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Toilet Talk

Toilet Talk…..Constipation.

Not a topic that most people discuss at parties!

Yet this is a very common for many people. In fact, the NIH stats are 16 in 100 adults experience constipation and these numbers increase to 33 in 100 for ages 60 & older.

OK. So, if it is common and - the question is why?

There are any number of reasons people experience constipation and the top two reasons are dehydration and lack of fiber in the diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is low in fiber, low in fruits and vegetables, high in saturated and hydrogenated fat and also high in sugar….is this a surprise that constipation is so prevalent?

But there can be other causes for constipation such as: diabetes, thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s, or pregnancy as well as structural lesions that cause a narrowing of colon structure. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can also be a reason that has additional symptoms including one or all of the following: abdominal pain, gas, bloating, either diarrhea or constipation….or both.

Constipation can also have a huge effect on our intestinal microbiome and visa-versa. The science and research include discoveries of the health of the colon is not only affecting bowel movements but even our brain! You may have heard the phrase “The Gut/Brain Connection” or the “Gut/Brain Axis”. Yes, the evidence is that the gut has a bi-directional effect on the brain and the brain to the gut.

We have all used phrases like, “I was so nervous, I had butterflies in my stomach”. Clearly there wasn’t real butterflies in our stomach, but the reaction of perceived stress or anxiety felt like it.

This is huge topic and an upcoming blog will cover the “Gut/Brain Connection”…so stay tuned!

Back to constipation and intestinal microbiome.

You may have heard the term microbiome and

wondered what exactly it is. Well, short answer: your gut is home/host to between 500 & 2000 organisms: bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites. Yup, living in you! And me! And everyone! These make up your intestinal microbiota.

If our intestinal microbiome population is not in balance, for example, if specific bacteria become overgrown, it may dominate the colon and overpower beneficial bacteria, causing distress or what is known as dysbiosis. If this imbalance is not corrected, many health issues arise….including constipation.

There are healthy solutions to address constipation and may be simple solutions such as hydration

and diet… a high fiber diet helps to get things moving. There are supplements that will temporarily help too. If these modifications don’t bring results, there may be other causes.

If you would like to learn more ways to understand your own struggle with constipation, please schedule a “Discovery Call” with me. My goal as a Functional Health Coach is to find out why!

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