Pardon my language, but s#@% talk isn't always a bad thing; in fact sometimes it's necessary. Were experiencing an epidemic of constipation here in North America and if no one talks about it, it's only going to get worse.
So let's get the conversation started!
Popping laxatives only masks the symptoms, and may even irritate your digestive tract further. When you address the root cause of the constipation, you'll ahem... clear the way to joyous digestive health.
Here are some of the main reasons constipation happens:
Too Much Sugar
Refined sugars can help feed the bad bacteria in your gut so that they can outnumber the beneficial bacteria we need to keep the digestive process running smoothly.
Not Enough Fibre
Fibre is perhaps the most important nutrient when it comes to digestive health. It adds bulk to your stool, which helps keep things moving through your colon.
Not Enough Water
But all that fibre needs water to work. Hard stools are harder to pass, and water keeps things softer to prevent straining when you need to go to the bathroom.
Too Many Laxatives
If you've been taking lots of laxatives to cope with constipation, its possible for your body to get used to the laxatives. When this happens, your digestive system may get sluggish without the laxatives to urge it along. Dont worry, it is possible to retrain your bowels to get back to a regular pace, but it might take some time.
Too Much Stress
Your digestive system is your second brain and contains hundreds of millions of nerves, so it makes sense that stress would affect your digestion. When you're stressed, your nervous system stops blood flow to your digestive system and decreases digestive secretions, effectively shutting the digestive process down. If you're not digesting, you're not pooping.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Even if you're eating super clean and feeling super mellow, constipation might still happen. If this is the case, it might be time to look into whether you've got any food allergies or sensitivities. IgG food sensitivities in particular can affect the digestive system, resulting in constipation, bloating, cramps and nausea. Any food can cause an allergy or sensitivity, but common ones include wheat and other gluten-containing grains, dairy, eggs, nuts and shellfish. Perhaps it's time for the Joyous Detox!
Remember that constipation is a symptom that something's not right, so if you've ruled out all of the above causes and are still feeling backed up, it's time to talk to your healthcare practitioner, because true health isn't just about making symptoms disappear, it's about addressing the root cause of those symptoms so they don't have a chance to come back.
So let's keep the constipation conversation going so that we can all keep comfortably, erm, going. ;)