We all know that horrible feeling of sitting on the toilet bowl unable to poop. As time ticks, you begin to feel more and more uncomfortable. That’s not to mention, embarrassed.
Whether or not you want to admit it, almost everyone has been constipated at some point in their life. A few signs of constipation include:
- Inability to pass a bowel movement
- Straining while trying to poop
- Hard or small stools
- Feeling like everything didn’t come out
- Back pain
- Vomiting (in severe cases)
1) Not Eating Enough Fiber
One of the main causes of constipation is a low fiber diet. Fiber is what helps add bulk to your stool, allowing food to move through your digestive tract. Healthy sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.
2) Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is key for good digestion. It helps keep your intestines smooth and flexible. It also helps keep the food you eat moving through your intestines, and ultimately allows food waste to exit the body. If your body doesn’t have enough water, then stool will become hard and difficult to pass. Doctors recommend drinking 8-16 oz of water every two hours.
3) Out Of Balance Gut Bacteria
Your gut is filled with bacteria (good and bad). In order for your body to perform the way it was designed to, you want to have about 20% bad bacteria and 80% good bacteria. However, we are killing our good bacteria! Poor diet, antibiotics, tap water and high stress are all gut killers. Find out more about the top six gut killers here.
4) Certain Medications
Certain types of pills can cause constipation. Among the worst offenders are painkillers, particularly opioids and narcotics. According to the American Gastroenterological Foundation, other medications that can cause constipation include antidepressants, antacids, antispasmodic and anticonvulsant drugs, tranquilizers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, and calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure and heart conditions.
5) Too Much Supplemental Calcium or Iron
Iron and calcium are both binding and can harden stool, making it difficult to pass.
6) Eating Too Much Dairy
Cheese, eggs, and meat are low-fiber and high-fat. For this reason, they slow down the digestion process.
7) Eating Too Much Sugar & Unhealthy Fats
Processed foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats are usually low in fiber and wreak havoc on the digestive system.
Processed foods also act as yeast for bad gut bacteria and kill your gut’s good bacteria. This creates unbalanced gut flora, which affects the entire body.
Depression causes a general slowdown of the body’s normal processes, which can also affect the bowel.
9) Lack of Physical Activity
One of the main causes of constipation is the lack of physical activity. By getting in just 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can increase blood flow to your organs, stimulate the muscles in the GI tract, tone the walls of your colon and speed up the digestive process. This all helps to stimulate a bowel movement and move waste through the intestines.
10) Laxative Abuse
While laxatives can help relieve your constipation fast, in the long run, they do more harm than good. If used for a long period of time, your body can actually become dependent on laxatives. That means your body simply won’t work properly without them.
Do THIS To Help Relieve Constipation
There are a few things you can do to help your body pass regular movements. They include:
- Eat enough fiber
- Drink a lot of water
- Limit dairy and processed foods
- Exercise for about 30 minutes a day
- Eat laxative-acting foods
- Take a daily probiotic supplement
While you should avoid taking laxative pills, there are some foods that act as natural laxatives. Some laxative-acting foods include:
- Aloe vera
- Olive oil
- Coconut water
- High-fiber fruits
- Beet Juice
- Leafy Greens
- Fermented foods (rich in probiotics)
The Most Important Tip Of All:
Take probiotics! Probiotics are the good bacteria your gut needs to properly function. Chances are, your gut bacteria is out of balance right now.
There are only two ways to replenish your body with the good bacteria it needs.
1) Eat probiotic-rich foods
2) Take a daily probiotic supplement
We recommended you do both!
If you want to learn more about how probiotics will rebalance your gut and help cleanse your colon, click here.