CAT | Oil Supplements
Do you suffer from occasional constipation? What does it really mean to be constipated? And can occasional constipation impact your overall health? All of these are important questions to ask. Occasional constipation slows down food transit time and allows undigested food to remain in the colon longer. The putrefied material then releases harmful toxins, which can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
So Just what is Occasional Constipation?
Occasional constipation is often defined as having infrequent bowel movements with stools that are typically hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. You may even experience some cramping and bloating. While many factors can lead to the development of constipation, the following are some of the most common:
- Diet: Because a diet that consists of too many refined sugars, starches and processed foods can lead to constipation, eating plenty of fiber-rich, non-starchy foods that are low in sugar is an important part of maintaining healthy bowel movements.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise triggers the lymphatic flow that helps stimulate peristalsis (the natural muscle contractions that move food through the intestines and help ease elimination).
- Changes in routine: Changes in normal daily activity can often throw off your internal schedule, which can affect your bowel movements and lead to occasional constipation.
- Lack of time: Although taking the time to eliminate regularly is an important part of good bowel health, many people simply don’t do it. Try setting aside time in your day to go to the bathroom, even it means setting the alarm a bit earlier.
3 Simple Steps for Natural Relief
Follow this easy 3-step approach to achieve at least one healthy bowel movement every day.‡
- HYDRATE the Colon
Properly hydrating the colon will promote regular peristalsis. Drink plenty of water and use hydrating minerals such as magnesium hydroxide and gentle (laxative) herbs such as cape aloe and rhubarb to assist with natural bowel movements.‡
- ADD BULK with Fiber
A healthy colon requires bulk in order to eliminate regularly, and fiber can help provide that bulk.‡ Many people do not consume enough fiber through diet alone. A flax-based fiber supplement is ideal for promoting at least one healthy daily bowel movement because it provides a better balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.‡ Avoid fibers that could be binding, such as psyllium, as they can leave the colon dehydrated and in turn reduce peristalsis.
- LUBRICATE with Oils
To achieve bowel regularity and a healthy elimination schedule, it is critical to keep the colon lubricated. Beneficial oils such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats from fish oil, flax oil and borage oil help in providing the necessary lubrication for smooth and gentle bowel elimination.‡
Irritable bowel syndrome affects between 25 and 45 million Americans every day. Although its cause is still unknown, many experts believe the symptoms of IBS—which include abdominal pain and bloating along with diarrhea, constipation or both—are closely linked to the interaction between the gut, brain, and central nervous system. (It’s possible the nerves along the gut alter normal pain perception so that the bowel becomes oversensitive to normal stimuli.)
Most IBS sufferers are adults, and 2 in every 3 are female, but the disorder can affect all people of all ages. Still, few people seek treatment from a doctor for their symptoms, and as a result many cases of IBS remain undiagnosed. If you or someone you know is living with IBS, here are 9 natural solutions to help you take the first steps toward better bowel health.
- Add More Fiber. In addition to its role in heart health and weight management, fiber supports healthy digestive function by helping to absorb and eliminate toxins in the colon that may contribute to IBS symptoms.
- Limit Fatty Foods. Eating foods that are high in fat such as fried foods and certain meats may contribute to IBS. Be sure to consume these types of foods in moderation.
- Cut Back on Caffeine. Highly caffeinated foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea, soda and chocolate) have been shown to worsen IBS symptoms.
- Avoid Foods High in Sulfur. Some foods that are healthy—including vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, garlic, onions and broccoli—are high in sulfur and may actually trigger IBS symptoms. Opt for low-sulfur veggies such as carrots or green beans.
- You May Have a Food Sensitivity. Some people have IBS because they are dealing with an underlying food sensitivity. Gluten and dairy are the two most common foods to which a sensitivity may develop. A gluten-free diet, dairy-free diet, or both can help to improve IBS symptoms in these people.
- Show Your Digestive Tract a Little TLC. Many herbs and nutraceuticals such as marshmallow root, slippery elm, and the amino acid L-glutamine can help nourish and soothe the intestinal tract and bowel.
- Balance with Probiotics. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria in the gut that work to maintain a balanced internal environment and promote optimal digestion and immune health.
- Drink Plenty of Water. Drinking plenty of water (at least half your body weight in ounces every day) will help flush out toxins and other harmful microbes that may be causing IBS symptoms.
- Try Colon Hydrotherapy. IBS sufferers—especially those with severe symptoms—may find that natural colon hydrotherapy can help cleanse the system and improve digestive health and elimination.
Check it Out: A New IBS Information App!
The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), responsible for establishing IBS Awareness Month more than a decade ago, just launched a new mobile app to help people learn more about IBS, its symptoms and treatment options. The free app is called IBS Info and offers real-time information from experts in the gastrointestinal field to promote awareness and education about irritable bowel syndrome. It is currently available for use on iOS and Android platforms.