Constipation and Bloating

Constipation occurs when bowel movements are infrequent and difficult to pass. Constipation is not a normal condition, but can occur occasionally with change in diet or in routine, such as travelling. Constipation accompanied by severe pain or blood in the stool is serious, and you should contact your doctor immediately.

Constipation is a result of undigested food and waste build-up in the body that is not eliminated, and gets stored in the gut. Over time, this toxic build-up gets reabsorbed by the body, which contributes to inflammation and is an underlying cause of chronic pain and illness.

Ideally, the body was designed to eliminate after each meal and a healthy person can have 2-3 bowel movements per day. While frequency varies among people, 2 or 3 days without a bowel movement is too long and will be difficult to pass. You should be able to eliminate completely without straining, as a hard stool indicates dehydration. While you may think infrequent bowel movements are "normal for you," it is important to check for underlying causes that may be corrected.

However, due to increasingly stressful lives, most of us do not undergo this frequency of elimination. The formation of your bowel movements including the frequency, transit time & appearance of bowel is a reflection of  digestive health, and good digestive health is essential to our overall health.

Causes of Constipation and Bloating

  • Poor diet (lack of fiber and vegetables)
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in diet
  • Change in routine (eating, sleeping, travelling)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Too much sugar
  • Gut issues
  • Chronic stress
  • Medications that slow down digestion (e.g. pain meds, psychiatric meds, antihistamines)
  • Medical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), thyroid or endocrine issues, and more

 

The doctors at NIHA will look at this condition from an integrative medical perspective. They begin with lifestyle changes, and traditional exams, diagnostic tests or other assessments may be used to check the systems of the body to determine how the gut and intestinal system are functioning.

 

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Related Information

Digestive Health Program

Colon Hydrotherapy