Normally we can expect to have two to three bowel movements a day – or in some cases, one is quite natural too. But the inability to have a bowel movement is known as constipation and this can lead to a variety of diseases and illnesses as well as lethargy, depression, stress, anxiety, obesity, gas, insomnia, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, reflux acid, bad breath, body odor, bad hair, skin and nails, and more. Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (feces) as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be unusually hard, lumpy, large or small. The severity of constipation can vary greatly. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time with no lasting effects on their health. For others, constipation can be a chronic (long-term) condition that causes significant pain and discomfort and affects quality of life.
Everyone has their own normal bowel habits, which can differ greatly from person to person. For example, some adults normally go to the toilet more than once a day, whereas others normally go only every three or four days. Babies and infants have several bowel movements a day, while others normally pass stools only a few times a week.
When you are constipated, you feel that passing stools has become more difficult than it used to be. It may feel more difficult for several reasons. For example, you may be going significantly less frequently or much less effectively (you feel you are unable to completely empty your bowel).
Passing stools may also seem more difficult because your stools are:
- dry, hard and lumpy
- abnormally large
- abnormally small
As well as causing a change in your normal bowel habits, constipation can also cause the following symptoms:
- stomach ache and cramps
- feeling bloated
- feeling nauseous
- loss of appetite
As well as infrequent or irregular bowel movements, a child with constipation may also have the following signs and symptoms:
- loss of appetite
- lack of energy
- being irritable, angry or unhappy
- foul-smelling wind and stools
- abdominal pain and discomfort
- soiling their clothes
- generally feeling unwell
If your child has these symptoms or has spoken to you about having difficulty passing stools, we recommend you consult a licensed health practitioner.
Constipation can occur in babies, children and adults, and affects twice as many women than men.
Older people are five times more likely than younger adults to have constipation, usually because of dietary factors, lack of exercise, use of medication and poor bowel habits.
Approximately 40% of pregnant women experience constipation during their pregnancy.
It can be caused by a number of reasons and it can be difficult to identify the exact cause. A common side effect to prescription and non-prescription drugs is constipation so firstly stop taking them! However, certain factors increase the risk of constipation, including:
- not eating enough fiber, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
- a change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
- ignoring the urge to pass stools
- side effects of certain medication
- not drinking enough fluids
- anxiety or depression
Low thyroid function can lead to a sluggish digestive system, often resulting in gastro-intestinal problems.
In children, poor diet, fear about using the toilet and poor toilet training can all be responsible.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Miller’s Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
Barley water and constipation: articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-07/drinks-corner/29895975_1_barley-insoluble-fiber-fitness
Eat well to beat constipation: m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/12565729.cms
Bananas and constipation: www.natural-health-remedies.net/bananas-and-constipation.html
Natural health and constipation – www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbwcjFSjDss
Cure constipation with organic foods – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubicLqg_Tz4
Abdominal massage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5VP5Jc6_1Q
Yoga for constipation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdw9-kyLX8U
How to treat the digestive system with reflexology: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0gAV-hIIx0
Natural ayurvedic home remedies for constipation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPGoUHdM9sw
Efficacy of Chinese Medicine in treating Constipation: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19958146
Pro-biotics for children with constipation: www.naturalnews.com/031690_probiotics_constipation.html
Constipation, a childhood problem: www.naturalnews.com/025178_health_natural_constipation.html
Further Information (links and books)
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way, Lindsey Berkson; The Best Constipation Remedies, Rudy Silva; Natural Relief From Constipation, Donna DiMarco; Herbs That Cure – Constipation, Prayank and Kavita Singh
www.sunorganic.com (888) 269-9888
Dr. Natura, Colonix Program
www.drnatura.com (800) 877-0414
Flax seed meal, Forti-Flax
www.renewlife.com (800) 445-3529
Flax seed meal, Fiber Smart
www.renewlife.com (800) 830-1800
Digestive enzymes, Univase
www.rockyforkformulas.com (800) 630-4534
Ginger, Primal Essence
www.primalessence.com (877) 774-6253
Probiotics, Probiotic Advantage
www.drdavidwilliams.com (800) 888-1415
Nopal Cactus, HealthForce Nutritionals
www.healthforce.com (760) 747-8822
Triphala, Ayurveda Organics
www.compassionet.com (800) 510-2010
Fresh beet, apple, celery juice
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.