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A healthy digestive system is crucial for a fit and healthy body. Efficient digestion is an essential measure of good health and wellness, and one of the key indicators of digestive dysfunction is constipation. Constipation is a sign of changes to your digestive system, and can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable and sluggish. Read more here about the symptoms and treatments of constipation.

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Information about digestion

Digestion is one of the most important mechanisms of the body. Digestive problems can lead to a variety of negative symptoms, including indigestion, abdominal pain, fatigue, bloating and constipation. Digestive problems can stem from a variety of causes, including infection, poor diet and ageing.

Many people find relief from digestive problems by avoiding foods that have caused them problems in the past. If you’re unsure which foods might not agree with you, try eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if it has a positive effect. Indigestion affects our body and immune system in the same way that poor nutrition does, since it makes it harder for our bodies to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients from food. This is why good digestive health is so important.

What is Constipation?

Constipation is a very common ailment that will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Generally, people with constipation find it harder to pass stool, leading to a variety of troublesome and uncomfortable side effects. Whilst the pattern of bowel movements varies between individuals, you will be able to tell if you’re constipated because your bowel movements will be limited and may stop all together.

We go to the toilet regularly to empty our intestines, and not being able to pass stool can be very uncomfortable. If you’re suffering with constipation, you will go to the toilet less and may find yourself unable to pass stool. As well as causing uncomfortable side effects like bloating, abdominal pain and fatigue, constipation hardens excrement which can make it painful to pass.

How common is Constipation?

Constipation is estimated to affect one in seven adults and one in three children. Constipation more usually affects older people, as the intestinal muscles weaken over time and many prescribed medications taken by the elderly can cause constipation.

What are the effects of Constipation?

You will usually know if you are constipated. The symptoms are easy to spot, and the best indication of constipation is reduced bowel movements and the inability to pass stool. Other common symptoms include stomach cramps, a hard and bloated stomach, sluggishness and fatigue.

What causes Constipation?

There is no direct cause of constipation, but rather a variety of small contributing factors. These include poor and limited diet, inactivity and lack of exercise and dehydration. It has been found that a low-fibre diet may increase the risk of constipation.

Rarer causes of constipation include spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, stomach and kidney problems. Other rare causes include pregnancy, too much calcium in the blood and the use of various prescribed medicines. If you suffer continuous changes to your bowel movements for a week or two, it’s important to go to a doctor for a medical examination.

How can constipation be prevented?

1. Balanced Diet

A healthy balanced diet is essential for general health, fitness and wellbeing. Following a balanced diet can reduce the chances of getting constipated. If you are suffering from constipation, try to increase your fibre intake and eat natural, unprocessed foods such as fresh meat, whole grains, fruit and vegetables.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. Keeping your body hydrated is essential, and can be easily achieved by drinking plenty of water, preferably 2-3 litres each day. Hot, healthy drinks like natural tea and coffee can help to soften to stool and encourage bowel movement.

3. Body Cleansing and Detox

It’s important to flush out any toxins and impurities from your body to remain healthy. Constipation can be caused by poor diet and regularly consuming unhealthy, processed foods. You can naturally detox by improving your diet and using natural remedies such as Digestive Science® Intensive Colon Cleanse.

4. Regular Exercise

Regular physical exercise improves your health and fitness levels. By exercising regularly, you can enhance the efficiency of your digestive system and ensure you don’t get constipated.

How can Constipation be treated?

Constipation can be hard to treat. Often, it will naturally subside within a few days, and the best way to encourage bowel movement is by eating healthily, drinking plenty of water and exercising as much as you can. There are many natural treatments and remedies you can use to manage the symptoms of constipation and encourage bowel movement, including Native Remedies Natural Moves ™, which is a mild formula specially designed for constipation. If you are constipated for more than a few days, go to see your doctor.