Your constipation symptoms indicate the best relief for constipation and constipation remedy
Dr. Mark Howard
In basic terms, constipation is a digestive system problem in which a person experiences less bowel movements than is normal for a healthy person. It has been optimistically suggested by some writers that an adult should have a bowel movement after every meal. Given the reality of modern day living this means that perhaps two bowel movements a day should be considered very healthy. However, many adults only have from (at best) one bowel movement per day to three bowel movement per week or even less frequently. This means that it has become normal to be constipated. The health consequences (e.g. obesity, colon cancer) can be very serious and they present an enormous burden in medical costs and discomfort for those affected. Child constipation is not discussed in this article but it usually presents less health problems.
Simply having less bowel movements than is considered healthy can lead to a whole range of constipation symptoms. These include the feeling of being bloated (a distended abdomen), lethargy, cramping, excessive flatulence, headaches and difficulty in concentrating. In many cases the symptoms may interfere with the social life of a sufferer, lead to a lower quality of life and when chronic present serious health consequences (e.g. a toxic body, bowel cancer and even disrupt the brain). Always consult a medical professional for all chronic conditions so that they can offer a diagnosis of your symptoms (e.g. vomiting, a very tender abdomen). You may choose not to use prescription pharmaceuticals (e.g. laxatives) or even surgery but in the first instance you need an accurate diagnosis.
The digestive system is very complex and besides the brain it is the only autonomous nervous system in the body. This means that it can be influenced by a lot of factors that may not be self evident and these include:
1. You psychological state. The brain and digestive system are in constant communication and influence one another. For instance, under a state of stress or what is perceived to be a life threatening situation, your digestive system can literally shut down or work overtime to empty itself. Many people suffer from constipation because they find it hard to escape a state of stress and let their digestive system function properly.
2. Your diet (what you eat and what you drink). If you dont drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water (not coffee or another drink) every day, feces can become hard and compacted and bowel movements more difficult. If you eat a lot of dairy products and processed foods with insufficient natural roughage you can experience the same congestion problem. The situation is made worse if you have a history of constipation over many years or if the bowel is partially obstructed (e.g. fecal impaction).
3. Your lifestyle. Various sexual practices (e.g. anal sex) can disrupt normal bowel movements. Living a sedentary lifestyle (e.g. no regular exercise) can cause a sluggish digestive system. A hectic lifestyle may also lead to constipation simply because someone never reserves enough time to relax or use the bathroom.
4. Various disorders of the digestive control system. The digestive system is very complex and for example, hormone imbalances, heavy metal poisoning, anatomical disorders or certain types of diseases can disrupt how well it functions.
5. Some medications can influence your bowel movements. Perhaps the least obvious one is laxatives. In the short term laxatives will obviously increase bowel movements but their long term use can be harmful. The digestive system, in common with other muscular systems, can simply weaken and adapt to the laxatives. When you stop taking laxatives the constipation problem will be much worse. For the same reasons excessive use of enemas can also cause problems.
As you can see from this list the best constipation remedy should vary according to the symptoms and cause. Regularly using any form of laxatives as a convenient short term fix is definitely not a clever solution, no matter what the laxative marketing might claim. In addition, short term relief for constipation should always be supported by a constipation remedy for the underlying causes.
Relief for constipation is usually straightforward. It may include taking an enema (or other form of colonic irrigation) and using natural laxatives (e.g. Epsom salts, large quantities of certain foods e.g. prunes) for a short period of time. These are fast acting and will usually help to clear out the lower digestive system. However, they are also quite hard on the body. Always consult a medical professional first if you have any other related medical conditions or they do not provide relief.
Due to the close communication between the digestive system and the brain your psychological state has a big influence on the digestive system. What is even more interesting is that the reverse is also true. Constipation can actually influence your psychological state and for example, your emotions. If you have ever taken an enema after a long period of constipation you will know what I mean. Typically you will feel much more relaxed, think more clearly and be much happier!
Some of the psychological remedies may include reserving time every day to relax or meditate, always acting on an urge to use the bathroom (dont suppress it) and the use of psychological or hypnosis counseling (e.g. to relieve fears, deal with depression, actively relax your body).
Diet remedies are many and varied. In essence, if you eat a varied and healthy diet you should not have a problem with constipation. The three food categories of any healthy eating plans include:
1. Carbohydrate foods e.g. bread, cereals, rice, beans, potatoes and sugar. They provide quick and sustained energy for the body.
2. Protein foods include meat, dairy, nuts, beans, lentils, quinoa, spelt, sprouts and chickpeas. These are used to grow and repair cells and are involved in producing enzymes, antibodies, hormones and last resort energy when other sources (e.g. glycogen) are depleted.
3. Fat foods include dairy products, chocolate, avocado and fried food. Fats provide sustained energy and are essential for brain function, nerve transmission, hormonal function, body cushioning and insulation.
If you have problems with constipation on with your current diet, try eating or drinking more:
– Raw and correctly cooked vegetables (e.g. salads that include a varied range of leafed foods such as watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots).
– Raw nuts (e.g. brazil nuts, almonds) and correctly cooked lentils and beans (e.g. in vegetable stews).
– Raw fruit (e.g. apples, dates, figs, prunes).
– Natural musali for breakfast (i.e. without sugar)
– At least 2 to 3 litres of mineral or filtered water per day.
Eat or drink less (not necessarily eliminate):
– Dairy products (e.g. yogart and especially cheese) and sugar products.
– Bread of any sort (including some soft wholemeal bread) that does include large whole grains or nuts and seeds.
– Meat of any type but especially red meat (this will slow down your digestive system).
– Alcohol or any type of soft drinks (i.e. this includes so called low calorie drinks and health drinks).
You may not have total control over some aspects of your lifestyle but you will have some control. Try to make many changes that move you towards a healthier lifestyle over time. The number one change for the sake of your general health as well as constipation is to be more active. Purchase a meter that you attach to your waist for recording how many steps you take. Wear it every day, all day and then record the number of steps you take over several weeks and months. If, on average, this is less than 10,000 you need to reserve more time for being active. Every system in your body (e.g. the lymph system) will function better as a result of this one action. Become involved in some sort of regular exercise activity (e.g. the gym, a sport) to gain further improvements. The old saying of use it or lose it is absolutely true. Use your body in an active lifestyle or you will lose your health.
If you have a hectic lifestyle you need to counter this stress with reserved relaxation time. Constipation could well be the least of your future worries if you do not take control of your life and prioritise your health. Start by reserving some time every day for using the bathroom and creating a routine for daily bowel movements. A routine will be easier for you to follow and train your digestive system!
All disorders of the body (e.g. Diabetes, Parkinsons, underactive thyroid gland) and digestive system (e.g. colon cancer, tears in the anal canal, lactose intolerance) should be investigated by a medical professional. An accurate diagnosis will empower you to decide on which treatment options you want to follow. There are many natural remedies cures that offer an alternative to pharmaceutical remedies (the theme of one of my websites). It is worth noting that an appropriate holistic detox can be used to help the body to eliminate most body toxins (including mercury and lead) and even clean out the digestive system (e.g. using a special form of clay). I know that some of these work because I have tried them myself and undertaken research in this area.
When it comes to medications (e.g. opiate based pain relief pills, anti depressants) there are three paths to follow. The first is to discuss your problems with the doctor that prescribed them. There may be alternative medications or even new procedures (e.g. Sacral Nerve Stimulation) that have less serious side effects. The second path is to check out some of the self help groups that are focused on your particular problems. As a collective they usually know more about your problem than anyone else and can suggest the most effective remedies, whether they are pharmaceuticals or not. The third path is to do your own research and use websites like mine to point you in directions that help you to understand all the facts and make informed decisions about your next steps. The final choice is yours!
Dr. Mark Howard is a performance enhancement coach that can help you to feel and look fantastic. Held back by an embarrassing illness? Discover natural remedies cures at =>
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