If our bodies had their own justice system, constipation would be criminal. And like some of the most notorious crimes in history, it would be an inside job. The good news is, with a better understanding of what’s going on with our insides and how we can improve our gut health, we can become crime fighters in the war on constipation.
This unpleasant condition is well known to many people of all ages. Symptoms can range from missing a bowel movement a few days in a row to straining to go, to having hard stools. It’s pretty easy to tell when you just aren’t right inside.
Luckily, the human gut has some good guys fighting to keep us healthy. These are the good bacteria that work in our gastrointestinal system to break down our food and keep us balanced. But there are bad guys, too, and if the balance between good and bad bacteria sways too far in the wrong direction, we can experience issues.
What role does the gut play in causing constipation?
Dysbiosis, an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut, is a known accomplice in the criminal underworld of constipation. Researchers also believe too much bad gut bacteria may contribute to chronic health conditions ranging from obesity to kidney disease.
There are other shadowy culprits who can play a role in causing constipation, and many of them are easy to overcome. Dehydration is not a friend in the battle against irregularity. Stay hydrated to stay regular. A sedentary lifestyle can also be a factor. If you want to get what’s inside to move out, then get up and move around. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or clean out the garage.
What you eat will also help determine how well you can keep from getting all bound up. Eating too much white rice, red meat, white bread, chocolate, or dairy products can hasten constipation. In comparison, eating foods high in fiber can help prevent it. Examples include beans, broccoli, whole grains, berries and more.
Many people can still struggle with constipation even though they are practicing good health and dietary habits. Genetics, disease, and other factors out of our control can still lead to difficulties.
More than 2,000 years after Hippocrates wrote that “bad digestion is the root of all evil,” scientists began to explore the possibility that live bacteria found in certain fermented foods may be as effective as our own good bacteria in the fight against poor gut health and conditions such as constipation.
What can you do for your gut to relieve constipation?
Following decades of research, the use of what we now call probiotics to improve gut health has become commonplace. Now easily taken in the form of supplements, these live microorganisms help to restore the balance between those good and bad guys in our guts. To better promote gut diversity and feed your probiotics, many health professionals also highly recommend taking a prebiotic and postbiotic In addition to promoting overall health in the GI tract, probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics can help alleviate constipation and are thought to aid in weight loss, immune function, and more.
Not being able to go is uncomfortable and unhealthy, but we can find the light at the end of the tunnel by improving our lifestyle and diet and considering the beneficial effects of supplementing your probiotics with prebiotics and postbiotics. Taking steps to self-educate can help you say goodbye to the bloating and irritation caused by poor gut health. The holistic approach begins with the mind and continues with making sound choices with your body.