Did you know that constipation is the most common digestive issue experienced by women?

That’s right… it’s not just you!

In fact, it’s estimated that around 25% of the population (especially women) are affected by it.

Constipation is not something we often talk about, unless you hang around me 😉

And while most people think of constipation as just an annoying symptom, it can also cause other symptoms and conditions like fatigue, weight gain, low mood, and many more when it becomes chronic.

It can take many forms:

  • Infrequent bowel movement (not going every day)
  • Dry, hard stools that are difficult and painful to pass (number 1 or 2 on Bristol Stool Chart, see below)
  • Incomplete evacuation (when you feel like you haven’t passed the entire stool)
  • Feeling like you can’t go unless using enemas or strong laxatives

Ideally, you should have a bowel movement at least once per day. I consider anything less than that constipation.

The ideal poop is a type 3 or 4 on the Bristol stool chart.

 

Beyond the discomfort and feeling of sluggishness that constipation can cause, both physical and often emotional (it would be so nice to stop obsessing about pooping!), I’m here to tell you that constipation can have many other health repercussions.

That’s why it’s really important to have a satisfying bowel movement at least once per day.

But I urge you NOT to rely on harsh laxatives, as this can perpetuate the constipation cycle, and often cause dependence on the long term.

If you are interested in learning how to fix your constipation issues, both long term and short term, sign up for this 2-hour webinar Constipation Solutions and gain instant access. In this webinar, we talk in details about the possible root causes of constipation (HINT: It’s not just about eating more fiber!), and go through many great solutions to help you achieve a satisfying bowel movement daily, without the use of harsh laxatives.

Sign up for the Constipation Solutions Webinar and gain instant access.

Constipation… what’s causing it?

It’s beyond the scope of this article to talk about all the possible causes of constipation, but I did want to mention that if you have chronic constipation that is not responding to the usual ‘eat more fiber and drink more water’ advice, it’s worth consulting with a gut health expert to uncover a possible root cause, like a gut infection (SIBO, parasites, etc), food sensitivities, leaky gut, ileo-cecal valve dysfunction and more.

We talk about possible root causes in the Constipation Solution webinar.

How can constipation wreak your health?

1- It can lead to hormonal imbalance.

Hormones, after being used up by the body, are metabolised and eventually get evacuated in the poop.

When you are constipated, those metabolised hormones are reabsorbed and re-enter the body. This constant re-circulation of hormones, especially oestrogen, can cause significant hormonal imbalances, one of the most common being oestrogen dominance.

And guess what… oestrogen dominance can cause weight gain, mood issues, difficulty sleeping, and so on ;-(

Learn more about oestrogen dominance here

So making sure you eliminate daily can greatly improve your hormonal health, and reduce symptoms of PMS, pre or post-menopause!

It’s important to note that gut health influences hormones in many other ways, learn more about the gut and hormone connection here.

2- It can lead to toxic build-up.

There are debates about whether this is true or not, but in my opinion, it’s most definitely true, and I’m sure many of you would have felt irritable, tired and maybe even anxious or depressed during a bad episode of constipation.

What exactly causes this toxic build-up, other than the fact that the toxins are not getting out?

First of all, many people with constipation have dysbiosis (an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut), and constipation can actually contribute to dysbiosis by allowing the bacteria a longer time to ferment the food in our gut. If you have the wrong bacteria/bugs in your gut, this fermentation can create many toxins.

If you are doing any form of ‘detox’, I can assure you that you will feel terrible if you are not having a daily bowel movement. That’s why most holistic health practitioner will work on fixing the gut before doing anything else.

Other issues caused by the accumulation of toxins:

  • bad skin: the skin is another way that toxins can get out.. if it’s not getting out through your stools, it will get out through your skin!
  • fatigue

Other potential complication of constipation

  • Impaction: prolonged constipation can cause the stools to get hard and build up inside the colon or rectum, which can be serious if left untreated, causing abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. The hardened mass can eventually get stuck and cause a blockage.
  • Hemorrhoids and anal fissures: caused by the straining and pressure.
  • Rectal prolapse: When your constantly straining, the rectum, the last part of your large intestine, can stretch and slip outside the body.

So I hope you now understand that constipation is not simply an ‘annoying symptom’, but an important message about an imbalance in your body that needs to be addressed.

By maintaining healthy digestion and elimination, you’ll be on your way towards optimal health!

Do you want to learn everything about constipation, from possible root causes to solutions beyond eating more fibers and taking harsh laxatives?

Sign up for the Constipation Solutions Webinar and gain instant access to the 2-hour webinar, as well as useful handouts and exclusive access to my self-belly massage video series.

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