There are many causes of chronic constipation in women. Chronic constipation is defined as infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Some holistic doctors recommend three bowel movements per day! I personally think that is extreme. Some people only have 1 per week and that seems to be normal for them. There are things you need to take into consideration before deciding if you have chronic constipation.
Things To Consider
- Dehydration – Are drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of good filtered water? Proper hydration means less water will be withdrawn from the colon to aid in digestion. This will also keep your stool soft and easy to pass.
- Fiber – Are you eating enough from the best sources found in fruits and vegetables? There are two different types of fiber. Soluble and Insoluble. Good sources of soluble fiber include legumes which consist of seeds that are covered by a pod or shell, grains, oatmeal, bran, flax seeds, pear, peaches, apples, blueberries, plums, strawberries, fresh and dried apricots, bananas, oranges, cherries, dates, dried prunes, raisins, cantaloupe, grapefruits, grapes and pineapple. Vegetables include parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, baked potato with skin, spinach, squash, string beans, cabbage, baked sweet potato, turnips, broccoli, kale, and zucchini. Soluble fiber grab toxins and helps keep the stool soft. Good sources of insoluble fiber fruits include fresh raspberries, apple with the skin, whole fresh strawberries, pear with the skin and figs. Vegetables – turnips, okra, green peas, asparagus, beets, sweet potato, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn, kale green beans, bell peppers, fresh tomato and carrots. Insoluble fiber sweeps through your gut, pushing waste along. It helps you have regular bowel movements.
- Exercise – If you expect your bowels to keep moving then keep moving your body. If aerobics are too strenuous then you can start with walking and slowly build up to brisk walking. I use walking poles that work my upper body as well. I also use a rebounder (mini trampoline) that helps reduce body fat, firm your arms, benefit the shape of your legs, hips, and abdomen, improve your balance, protect your joints, strengthen your muscles and bones and stimulates your lymphatic system. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. You definitely want to keep this flowing.
- Stress – When we are under stress we tend to hang on to things. This includes your bowels. I had a colonic where I was required to repeat the phrase “Aggie releases and let’s go.” When you are bound up in your mind with all the concerns and cares of this world, unfortunately, your colon is bound up. Just breathe, be good to yourself and trust that the Lord will take care of your concerns if you will just let go.
This was the short list of things that you can control without much effort. On a more serious side, you might want to discuss with your healthcare provider if you are taking prescription drugs for pain, high blood pressure and laxatives. Pregnancy because of the fluctuation in hormones can also become an issue. Thyroid issues and lack of minerals can also wreak havoc on your bowels. Of course, there are a few signs that ARE cause for concern. If you have a change in stools accompanied by abdominal pain, please discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Number 4 is what a healthy stool looks like!
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