As you may have heard, your digestive system can tell you a great deal about your health! So for that reason, let's address the most common digestive issue- constipation.
- How do I know if I am constipated?
- You may be constipated if you have difficulty passing bowels, passing fewer movements than normal, find yourself straining, or suffer from small hard stools. It may be accompanied with pain, bloating, and gas.
- Why does constipation occur?
- Constipation occurs for a number of reasons including inactivity, poor nutrition, not drinking enough water, eating too many processed foods, side effect of medication, altered GI function, meat and dairy intake, pregnancy, and high stress (just to name a few).
- Many of us sometimes hold off on using the restroom. Some may be embarrassed by the smell, consumed by work, concerned with sanitation, or just prefer to use it at their own home. Holding off like this causes fluid imbalances that makes it difficult to release once you're finally ready. Remember, it is okay to poop. Everyone's doing it!
- Can't I just use laxatives to relieve my constipation?
- Laxatives are recommended only for the short term relief of constipation. It encourages laxative cycling without properly addressing the underlying cause of your constipation.
- How can I treat my constipation?
- Constipation can be relieved with hydration, diet and exercise.
- Try consuming more fluids, fruits & vegetables, and probiotics ("good" bacteria that helps facilitate digestion in the intestines).
- Drink lots of water! Water, water, and more water! Other fluids are fine but water is optimum.
- You can find all of your constipation medication (aka food) at your local market!
- Grab some pears, grapes, plums, papayas, mango, apples with peel, kiwi, watermelon, cucumber, celery, bananas, or my personal favorite, prunes!! Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber that helps your food make a smooth transition through your digestive system and into the toilet.
- Yoga revitalizes the body and increases the flow of oxygen while gently massaging digestive organs.
Constipation is another one of those things that can be self-treated in the comfort of your own home. Please share with me what methods you found helpful in your constipation relief!