What Causes Chronic Constipation?
Copyright, Neva J Howell, All Rights Reserved
ps. just looking for the best natural constipation remedy? Click here for the one that works better than anything I've ever tried!
One of the more common questions I get as a wellness counselor is how to detox and how to deal with eliminatory problems. Chronic Contipation is a serious health challenge over time. It may just seen annoying for a while, but when our eliminatory system cannot function properly, neither can our digestive system or any other system of the body.
I believe it was Bernard Jensen, the father of iridology as we know it in America, who said death and health begins in the colon though he may have gotten that phrase from his predecessors Ignatz von Peczely and Nils Liljequist. I totally support that assertion. I don't believe a person can be truly healthy with a toxic colon.
What constitutes constipation? Some confusion exists and some controversy among medical doctors about what actually constitutes constipation. I've read where some medical doctors assert that one bowel movement every few days may be normal for some people. I believe this is dangerous information and patently untrue.
If a person is consuming mostly foods that have had all the digestive enzymes cooked out and all the fiber stripped away, they might only be able to have a bowel movement every few days. That would make it consistent for that particular person but that wouldn't make it normal or healthy. It's only "normal" for someone eating badly.
A person on a healthy diet of mostly raw foods and drinking sufficient water daily, will have 2 to 3 good bowel movements per day. Anything short of that means:
1. The person's diet is lacking fiber and/or enzymes
2. There is an underlying medical problem with the colon
3. There is a pattern of chronic stress and/or poor sleep
4. Parasitic infestation exists
5. Insufficient absorbable, pure water is being consumed daily
Some other factors contributing to chronic constipation:
1. Stress. This one is way overlooked. Stress causes a "fight or flight" reaction in the body but there's nothing to fight so it's very hard on the entire system. In fight or flight mode, all non-vital processes shut down so that all energy is available to face the perceived threat. When we live in a state of chronic stress over things, we are essentially keeping our digestive and eliminatory systems partly shut down a lot and can contribute in a major way to chronic constipation. So look at your stress levels and be sure you are dealing with stress in a good way.
2. Not drinking enough water. I've seen the recent studies that say a person only needs to drink water when they are thirsty. I believe future research will debunk this ridiculous notion. Being thirsty means the body is already dehydrated. I hold to the old theory that an adult needs at least 6 to 8 glasses of pure, clean water per day, in addition to whatever other fluids they may choose to consume. A person will need even more water if choosing to consume diuretic-type drinks, such as coffee and sodas. I recommend ionized water. If you suffer from chronic constipation, simply increasing your intake of pure water may make a remarkable difference over a few days time.
3. Parasitic Infestation. Parasites are another often-overlooked health concern that is far more common than the typical person would believe. You can pick up a parasite just by walking barefoot thru grass in which an animal with parasites has slept of defecated. Parasites cause a wide variety of problems including faulty elimination, weight gain, lack of energy, hair loss, pasty skin, chronic constipation and general irritability.
4. Inadequate or poor sleep contributes to constipation as well, since the body is designed to rejuvenate and repair while we sleep. If we don't get good sleep, our body falls behind in those departments. Eventually, poor sleep effects every process of the body.
5. Enzyme Deficiency. This factor in healthy digestion and elimination is particularly important for those over the age of 45, and those whose diet is low on fresh fruits and vegetables and high on red meats, white flour products, fried foods or refined sugar.
Cooked foods have no viable digestive enzyme activity left so the ideal diet would be at least 80 percent raw foods, but who does that today? Sugar is one of the biggest culprits in constipation because it interferes with normal elimination. White flour products are like a glue in the intestinal tract, as are dairy products.
Digestive Enzyme supplementation is an excellent way to ensure that your body has the enzymes it needs to digest food properly so that elimination occurs properly as well. From the research I've read, the best enzymes are pure plantsource enzymes, not from animal sources. There is some controversy on that point but I'm convinced plantsource is best.
6. Trauma from childhood. I've only come occasionally come across childhood trauma as a factor in cases of chronic constipation, but it does exist. One person I counseled had a really scary experience as a child. His family had an outhouse and he had to go out there at night, by himself, at a fairly early age. There were spiders in the outhouse, which seemed huge to him at the time. It was such a fearful experience that he started holding his bowel movements as long as he possibly could. It got to be such a habit, that chronic constipation had been a lifetime problem. If childhood trauma is suspected as contributing factor with chronic constipation, inner child healing is suggested.
Whatever the cause of chronic constipation, it is a condition I feel should never be ignored. The first step would be to rule out medical conditions, such as colon cancer, colon polyps, IBS, diverticulitis, and Crohn's Disease.
Detoxing is something I do at least twice a year, as well as doing smaller maintenance cleanses throughout the year. It's probably my number one suggestion for better health. The most comprehensive detox formula I have ever used.
Additional articles on bowel health and / or constipation:
Healthy Weight Loss
Detox, Gas and Bloating
Colon Cleanse Side Effects
and more on chronic constipation