Are you sick and tired of feeling sluggish, toxic and stuck with constipation?
Do you ever find yourself in the frustrating cycle of feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and consistently dealing with constipation? You’re not alone! Chronic constipation affects many of us, impacting our daily lives and can be so incredibly painful it can leave you feeling that you are stuck this way without a solution, but I am here to offer some answers that I hope will help.
Symptoms of chronic constipation are not just limited to the obvious, feeling sluggish, bloating, pain, haemorrhoids, and incomplete evacuation. Further-reaching symptoms can also alter mood and include depression, low mood, fatigue, headaches, migraines and malaise.
There is a strong association between chronic constipation and some underlying conditions relating to poor thyroid function, hormone imbalances and of course it can be diet related. If you aren’t putting the good stuff in the gut can’t move it through efficiently leading to poor gut motility. Additionally, some food types are difficult to digest i.e., those high in fibre that we are told to eat more of can give us a problem even though we want to eat them! As an aside, a women’s colon is 10cm longer than a man to navigate around our reproductive organs which can mean even more room for slow movement, gas build-up leading to more discomfort, farting, burblings and gurglings.
Firstly, let’s rule out some basics steps that you can take to ensure you are helping your gut as much as possible to move waste through and out the other side.
Diet and Hydration
Ah, this is the cornerstone of our digestive health! What we eat and drink plays a significant role in how smoothly our digestive system operates. Insufficient fibre intake, lack of hydration, and excessive consumption of processed foods could all contribute to constipation. We really need to include plenty of fibre rich plant-based foods and keep ourselves hydrated as a primary step towards better digestion. My good gut point system might be just the ticket to get you on track.
Picture this: sitting at a desk for long hours or leading a predominantly sedentary life. While we’re not advocating constant movement and HIIT workouts, a complete lack of physical activity will slow down gut motility and bowel movements. Aim to take short walks or engage in light exercise daily to keep things moving. A good burst of movement in the morning can really help “wake up” our gut.
Stress and Mental Health
Believe it or not, our emotional state influences our gut health. The gut-brain link is a sensitive highway relaying information back and forth. Stress and anxiety can upset our digestion leading to constipation. Explore relaxation techniques, breathing exercises or find calming activities that help the mind to relax. A bath, a walk in nature, meditation or listening to music can be helpful.
Medications and Medical Conditions
Sometimes, our body chemistry or certain medications can throw our digestive system off balance. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), thyroid problems, or neurological disorders could contribute to chronic constipation. Consulting a healthcare professional to rule out underlying issues is crucial in such cases.
Ignoring the Call
Ever heard of the phrase “holding it in”? Well, repeatedly ignoring the urge to use the bathroom can confuse our body’s signals, eventually leading to constipation. Those signals eventually get dulled if they are ignored consistently! I mean, you wouldn’t keep knocking at a door that never gets answered would you? Let’s promise ourselves to listen to our body and respond promptly to its calls for relief. When you get the urge, try not to stifle it. Top tip: it can be very helpful to raise your feet up on a small box when sitting on the loo -this tips your bowel into an easier position for emptying.
Age and Hormonal Changes
Ah, the joys of ageing! As we grow older, our digestive system might not be as efficient as it once was. Hormonal changes, particularly in women during pregnancy or menopause, can also affect bowel movements. Getting digestive help and support with specific dietary advice and some supplements can make a huge difference. Just promise me that you will get qualified, professional advice.
The mystery of chronic constipation is not so mysterious. It is about understanding these potential causes and making simple yet effective lifestyle changes so that we can bid a final farewell to this painful condition. Remember, it’s about nurturing our bodies with healthy food, habits, staying mindful of our mental and physical well-being, and seeking professional guidance when needed.
Let’s raise a glass (of water, of course!) to happier, healthier digestion!
Remember, I am always here to help. If you have any questions or would like further advice, just ask me and book your private call with me today.
Nutritional Therapist Gut Health Specialist
DipION mBANT CNHC