Constipated? 3 Things You Can Do To Alleviate Constipation

Woman with constipation sitting on toilet

 

Are you struggling with the pain of straining every time you go to the bathroom?

Are you tired of feeling like you need to go but when you get to the bathroom the urge is gone ?

Do you feel gassy and bloated  even after you go to the bathroom?

If you struggle with constipation you’re not alone , 63 million people and 66% of women and the elderly  suffer from  constipation.

 

Constipation is a multi-factorial condition that is affected by diet, stress, medication and dehydration. Symptoms of constipation include dry, hard stools, painful bowel movements, difficulty passing stool, straining and the feeling of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement.

There are a few areas you can tweak to help alleviate and prevent constipation.

 

1. Diet

Your regularity is dependent on your diet, how frequently you eat, how active you are and how much water you consume.  If you’re eating a highly processed, low fiber diet you increase your  risk of developing constipation.

The large intestine is responsible for absorbing water from food that you have digested, if you are not drinking enough water the large intestine absorbs what it can and this can dry out the stool making it harder to pass. The best way to increase your regularity is to eat high fiber foods like dark leafy greens, grains, and legumes.

 

2. Stress

If you’re eating a highly processed diet that’s lacking in fiber,  you’re more likely to develop  inflammation which  stresses out the digestive system and the body.  This turns on the fight or flight system and increases the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. A  stressed digestive system is not focused on digesting food or   eliminating waste and this can cause constipation.

 

3. Hormonal Imbalances

Did you know that hormones play a big role in digestive  and overall health.  Chronic stress can lead to an imbalance in your hormones. It’s  very important to make sure that you manage your stress,  so you can better  digest your food,  absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

Stick to an 80/20 rule of eating, 80% minimally processed foods like vegetables, legumes and fruits and 20% of refined foods.  It is important for you to find a balance that will work for your needs and your season of life.

 

 4. Hormone Imbalances and Constipation

We all know that we should drink enough water, manage our stress, and eat fiber-rich foods. You’re probably thinking, why is constipation such an issue for women?  Well, as we know our bodies produce a variety of different hormones and if we produce too much estrogen our body has a  way of getting rid of the excess hormone. Our bodies will send the excess hormone to the liver, where the liver will detoxify it and get it ready for elimination.

If you ’re constipated the excess hormone is not eliminated and if it sits in your large intestine long enough it can lead to the re-absorption of extra estrogen and other toxins that need to be eliminated.  This is an issue, especially in the case of excess estrogen since high levels of estrogen have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.

Whether it’s colon cancer where the re-absorption is occurring or breast cancer you want to do all you can to prevent it. In addition to preventing constipation eating a diet high in fiber can also help prevent cancer.

 

If you’re suffering from constipation it is very important that you take steps to relieve it. 

3 Steps  You Can Take  To Alleviate Constipation

 

A. Exercise

Did you know that regular exercise can help increase your regularity?   Although exercise does not directly activate the rest and digest system, it increases blood flow to the smooth muscles in the digestive tract.  This  promotes the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract until it is eliminated. Exercise decreases stress levels by turning off the flight or flight system and turning on the rest and digestive system which promotes digestion and elimination of waste.

B. Take a magnesium supplement

Magnesium is needed for over 300 chemical reactions that occur in the body and if you’re living a high-stress lifestyle don’t forget to add a magnesium supplement  like Natural Calm. 

If you suffer from chronic stress you have a greater need for magnesium because our body uses it at a faster rate.  The best way to get more magnesium in your diet is to add dark leafy greens and  add a supplement like Natural Calm.   Magnesium helps relax the smooth muscle in the digestive system and it increases the amount of water in the large intestine which makes stool soft and easy to pass.

The main side effect of supplemental magnesium is diarrhea, make sure that you take the recommended dosage.

 

C. Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is another simple way to help relieve constipation. Most people don’t drink enough water instead they will  drink soda or coffee.   Water re-absorption occurs in the large intestine, if you are not drinking water you’re going to have hard stools because you’re dehydrated.

The best way to assess whether you are drinking enough water is to keep track of it in a journal. Observing the color of your urine is the best way to know if you’re drinking enough water. Keep track of the number of cups of water that you drink during the day, the goal is to have light yellow urine. When you have light yellow urine go back and look in your journal and look at how many cups of water you have had and stick to that. You can add more water to your diet by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables.

At the end of the day, dealing with constipation requires a holistic approach that focuses on diet, stress management, hydration, and supplementation.  The best way to prevent constipation is to drink water, eat fiber-rich foods, make time for exercise,  take a magnesium supplement and manage your stress. 

 

If you want to learn more about 4 Ways To Relieve Constipation Without Medications  click here.

 

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Dr. Blessing A

I help high-achieving women practice intentional living and prioritize their health so they can optimize their life from the inside out by emphasizing on sleep, digestion, nutrition, movement and personal boundaries for long-term results.

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Hi, I'm Dr. Blessing A

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I am Dr. Blessing A. D.C.,M.S, and at the young age of 8 years old, my mother had an adverse reaction to medications that her doctors prescribed her. Those adverse reactions have had lifelong consequences for her and because of witnessing her struggle for many years, I was inspired to go into whole body health. Because the mind, body and spirit connection is so powerful, it is important for everything to work together in perfect harmony, to sustain maximum health.

With a focus on proper nutrition, improving digestive health, quality sleep and setting clear boundaries, I help women gain more energy, prevent burn-out, manage their stress, reverse inflammation and manage their weight so they can show up with more confidence in their personal and professional lives while living life on THEIR terms.

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