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What is constipation?

 

Constipation refers to infrequent or irregular bowel movements, usually with difficulty.

A healthy digestive system is of high importance for personal well being and overall quality of life. Regular digestion differs from person to person. Depending on the diet, age and daytime activities, bowel movements 2 to 3 times daily or 2 to 3 times a week is considered normal.

But, due to a modern way of life and chronic lack of time, many people suffer from digestive disorders. Constipation is a problem from which almost 20% of the population occasionally suffers.

Two thirds of these affected are women. Women are particularly vulnerable and one reason for that are regular hormonal changes from puberty through to menopause.

Why Constipation is a Serious Concern...

If you're constipated, it means your colon is not working properly. And a poor functioning waste disposal system makes a perfect breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria and parasites to grow and thrive. Being constipated also allows dirty, toxic liquids to be recirculated back into the body. The tissues and organs then become the “dumping ground” for the toxic material that should have been eliminated.

Your overall health and vitality can only suffer under these conditions.  

What are the Main Causes of Constipation?

The causes of constipation are various. Poor diet is definitely the #1 cause of constipation. When you eat too many unhealthy foods such as refined and processed foods (this of course includes fried foods and junk foods), along with excessive amounts of red meat, your digestive system cannot function properly. This horrible gunk is very difficult for the digestive system to assimilate and even harder (literally) for the colon to eradicate.

A lack of exercise, water intake and a lack of fiber in the diet are also other major causes of constipation, as is holding on and holding back a bowel movement because the timing may not be right.

Water and fiber both help to remove waste and promote regular bowel movements, along with softening up stools. Holding back a bowel movement, however, dries out and compacts what should be coming out and literally making it difficult to pass without discomfort. 

Other causes of constipation include -

  • Stress

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

  • Certain medications

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Excessive intake of processed dairy

  • Routine disruption, particularly from travelling

  • Hormonal changes