6 Causes of Constipation And What You Can Do About It
This may be a subject you don't really want to talk about, but if you are struggling with constipation, you would really like to have some answers that could give you relief from this chronic digestive problem..."what's causing it", and "how can I change it?"
Are you aware that there is a baseline requirement that would put you in the "regular" category? Three bowel movements a week is the minimum, but the optimum for a healthy gut is 1-3 times a day.
Some of the systems that people who are constipated experience are:
- Infrequent and irregular bowel movements
- Abdominal discomfort
- Straining in order to have a bowl movement
- Hard lumpy stools
- Abdominal distention
So what could be causing your problems?
Although there are several other factors that could be causing your constipation, these are the common causes:
- Food Sensitivities and lack of fiber in your diet - Many people have food sensitivities and aren't really aware of it...typically dairy and gluten are the foods most likely to cause a problem. These sensitivities make it difficult for the body to not only digest these foods, but also to eliminate them, causing constipation.
- Get to know your body, determine if there are foods that lead to inflammation. A good place to start is to begin limiting or avoiding such foods as dairy, gluten, sugar, soy and corn one at a time, and see if things improve or stay the same.
- Dehydration - If you're not drinking enough water daily - 8, 8 oz. glasses daily is recommended - then your body is becoming dehydrated and your digestive system can't function properly.
- Drink the recommended daily amount of water...this does not include alcohol or caffeinated drinks, because they act as a diuretic and deplete your body of water.
- Disruption of good bacteria - Not all bacteria is bad, there are many good bacteria in your digestive system that help break down the food properly so it can be eliminated naturally. Things that can disrupt that good bacteria are such things as: stress, oral contraceptives, inflammation, parasites, viruses, fungal over growth or antibiotics.
- A good way to counteract any of these disrupters is to take a probiotic, which will help replace the good bacteria that is missing.
- Bowel blockage - An obstruction in your large or small intestines will prevent bowel movements. These blockages are typically caused by scar tissue, tumors, hernias, cancer and Crohn's disease.
- If your constipation is causing severe pain, you need to see your physician right away to see if you do have an obstruction of some kind.
- Autoimmune Disease - An auto-immune disease causes your body to to fight it's own organs, which affects your body's various systems, and can be the cause of your constipation. Auto-immune diseases are: Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Hashimoto's and thyroid disease.
- Be tested for Auto-immune Disease, and begin the process of eliminating the toxic foods and other toxins from your body.
- Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism - Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid is slowed and under active, which also slows down your digestive system and the elimination process, causing constipation. Many people who experience this thyroid disorder don't even realize it.
- Have your thyroid tested to determine if you do, in fact, have Hypothyroidism...if you do you may need to begin taking a quality multi-vitamin, begin a gluten free diet, and possibly taking a thyroid medication.