The most important thing to remember is that “Constipation is not a sickness, or illness or disease. It is a symptom of something we do (or don’t do)”. Constipation is generalized as a condition where bowel movements are infrequent, resulting in a hard, dry stool. Many experts suggest that you should have at least 1 bowel movement each day, and some even suggest you should have a bowel movement for every meal!
The causes of constipation are many and varied, but the most common ones are: (i) a low-fiber diet (ii) insufficient fluids (iii) lack of exercise, and (iv) unhealthy colon. When you read through this list of common causes, the solution to constipation should smack you right in the face, and get you thinking about your diet, exercise and your outlook on life. If it doesn’t, you need to read on.
Here’s some little known facts. The colon (or large intestine) measures approx 1.5m (5 feet), and it is primarily responsible for storing waste, reclaiming water and some vitamins, and then converting wastes in feces. Most importantly, while the waste is travelling through the colon, the body will also absorb unwanted toxins. That is if your digestive system is working slowly. If your digestive system is working properly, the waste spends less time in your colon, and there is less chance of toxins being absorbed.
Constipation should never be ignored, because when the body is not functioning correctly, serious illness can ensue. In fact, a recent study into regularity of Bowel Movements in Japanese men and women suggests those with more frequent bowel movements had the lowest risk of developing colorectal and colon cancer. When you consider the fact that most people will have between 5-40 lbs of fecal matter in their colon (large intestine) at any given point in time, and that the fecal matter is rotting waste that is leeching toxins back into the body, is it any wonder that illness can ensue ?
So let’s address the common causes of constipation, and illustrate how some simple changes can relieve you of such a debilitating condition…..
DIET : changes in your dietary habits might just be the cure for your constipation. A typical diet for constipation would see the introduction of more fiber (especially in fruits, vegetables and whole grains), with restrictions on the consumption of fatty foods and sugar. Fibre is the key, and we don’t consume enough. Seriously, most Americans do not eat enough fiber on a daily basis – the American Dietetic Association recommends around 20 to 35 grams per day, most Americans consume only around 5-15 grams. The importance of fiber can only be appreciated by understanding how fibre works in the digestive process. Fiber actually travels right through the digestive process without being absorbed into the body. It actually absorbs water and becomes gel-like, hence making your stool/feces softer. In a low-fiber diet, the intestines actually draw nearly all of the water out of the stool, which becomes rock-hard and difficult to pass.
FLUIDS : the importance of water cannot be stressed enough. Our bodies consist of around 50% water, and this needs to be replenished daily to assist in flushing toxins out of the body and assisting the digestive system. 60-70 ounces of water and/or juices is recommended to be taken each day to assist is making bowel movements softer and more regular, and to help flush the colon at the same time. Many people believe that consuming copious amount of caffeine beverages such as tea and coffee help, but they in fact have a dehydrating effect rather than a hydrating effect.
EXERCISE : Our lack of exercise is another cause of constipation. We would much rather drive our cars to the corner store to buy milk than walk there, and our children are spending more an more time playing video games and watching TV. There is no precise explanation of why constipation is caused by laziness, but the lack of exercise works to slow our metabolism and in turn can be seen as a factor in slowing the digestive system and reducing the regularity of bowel movements
COLON HEALTH : as mentioned above, the colon plays such a big role in the digestive process and in constipation. A clogged or unhealthy colon can cause constipation by slowing the flow of fecal matter through the digestive process. The colon (large intestine) is that largest part of our digestive system, and adults on average have between 6-40lbs of fecal matter in the colon at any given point in time (10-20lbs of which can be compacted, and very hard to flush out). Having a large volume of such matter in your colon is not healthy, and a simple colon cleanse with a product like OxyPowder can assist in unclogging the colon, ridding it of the bad bacteria, and hence allowing a smoother passage for fecal matter to flow regularly.
Again, constipation is not a sickness, or illness or disease. It is a symptom of something we do (or don’t do). Constipation sufferers invariably display habits associated with poor diet (consisting of low fiber foods, and foods that are high in sugar and fat), not enough consumption of water, lack of exercise and stress. These symptoms typically lead these sufferers to opt for laxatives to help the regularity, but these people will do nothing to curb the problem at the source, leading to more severe constipation and a harder pathway back to normality.
Simple changes to lifestyle and eating habits are the key.
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