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Most of us have been there at some point or another throughout our lives - meaning, not having a bowel movement frequently enough. And it really gets you down sometimes. I recall back when I was about 16 and I was constantly bloated. I went to the doctor, he did an X-ray and told me I was literally FULL of poop. It's no wonder my belly was protruding like a 6 or 7 month pregnant woman. This is also one of the most common complaints I hear my clients share with me and it's always an easy fix if the root cause is addressed.
Here are some of the reasons you might not be pooping regularly:
S.A.D = Eating the Standard American Diet
Any food can cause an allergy or sensitivity, but common ones include wheat and other gluten-containing grains, dairy, eggs, nuts and shellfish.
Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough water and/or eating too many cooked/processed foods with little to no water content.
You need to be adequately hydrated for fiber to do its job. Water helps keep fiber moving through your digestive system and reduces the gassiness that can happen when you increase your fiber intake.
The longer your stool spends in your colon, the more water it absorbs. Dry, hard stools are more difficult to pass.
Overuse of laxatives
When stimulant laxatives are overused, your digestive system can become dependent on them and your bowels will need to be retrained to get things moving properly on their own.
Lack of exercise and movement on a daily basis
Aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles and move stools along.
Exercise helps constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine and thus limits the amount of water absorbed from the stool, making them easier to pass.
Certain medications ie. pain meds
Constipation is a common side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Types of medication known to cause constipation in some people include pain medications (especially narcotics), antacids that contain aluminum and calcium, blood pressure medications (calcium-channel blockers), Anti-Parkinsons disease drugs, antispasmodics, antidepressants, iron supplements, diuretics, and anticonvulsants.
Changes in routine, rushing in the morning, travelling
Changes in routine and travelling can lead to dietary changes and stress, both of which contribute to constipation.
Rushing in the morning can result in constipation because you're not taking the time to eat enough fibre and hydrate properly.
You may also suppress the urge to poop when youre travelling or rushing due to time constraints or limited access to bathroom facilities (see below).
Suppressing or ignoring the urge to poop because you are too busy
Suppressing the urge to poop on a regular basis creates a vicious constipation cycle: you're constipated because you're not pooping enough, you're not pooping enough because you're constipated.
Your thyroid releases hormones that are important to the digestive process.
If your thyroid is not functioning properly, your levels of these hormones can drop, slowing down digestion and resulting in constipation.
When you're pregnant, you'll often experience dietary changes (hello, cravings!) that can lead to constipation.
A pregnant womans fluctuating hormone levels also contribute to constipation.
Some women experience intermittent constipation while pregnant, others experience it through most of their pregnancy.
So now that you have all the potential reasons you are not pooping in a timely fashion you can either A. continue to suffer by continuing on the same path (which I beg you not to) or B. do something about it, such as doing a detox and eliminating potential problem foods with the help of a nutritionist, or address your stress levels, or start exercising to increase circulation, do yoga to help chill out or just walk every single day. There are as many ways to fix this problem as their are outfits in Kate Middleton's closet :)