The Top 5 Reasons Behind Chronic Constipation
Chronic constipation can leave a person feeling miserably bloated and uncomfortable as well as lead to other health problems. It’s time you do something about your chronic constipation. Read on for the top five reasons behind your troubles.
Average American Diet
The average American diet is a huge reason behind chronic constipation issues. Most Americans consume far more refined carbohydrate products than carbohydrates from whole grains. Refined carbohydrates offer the body a whole lot of nothing, really, whereas whole grain carbohydrates give the body something it needs to avoid chronic constipation: FIBER!
Lack of fiber is an important factor behind chronic constipation. Fiber is the portion of carbohydrate that is not digestible. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber helps the food absorb water as it moves through the intestine and the insoluble fiber (not soluble in water) acts as a cleaner as the food moves through the intestines.
In addition to whole grain products, fiber is available in fruits and vegetables which are also extremely lacking in the average American diet. Adults should consume around 25 grams of fiber per day to avoid chronic constipation, but the average American consumes far less.
Inadequate Fluid Intake
Adequate hydration is important to avoid chronic constipation. You see, the colon is responsible for absorbing water to be put back into the body prior to elimination of feces.
When there is adequate water in the body, in other words, the body is hydrated, then the colon is told to absorb less; therefore, stools are softer and easier to eliminate and there’s less chance of developing chronic constipation. When the body is dehydrated, the colon absorbs as much water as possible leaving the stool hard and difficult to eliminate which can lead to chronic constipation.
Lack of Exercise
Many people who suffer from chronic constipation quite simply need to get up and moving to get things moving so to speak.
We live a sedentary lifestyle sometimes out of choice and other times because of what our jobs entail. When you’re stuck behind a desk all day, you’re also a prime candidate for suffering from chronic constipation!
You see, exercise helps the food move more quickly through the digestive system which in turn allows for less time in the colon. Less time in the colon means less water absorption and the stool is softer and easier to eliminate.
The right kind of cardio exercise increases respiration rate and heart rate which in turn encourages muscle contraction of the intestinal walls which helps food move through the digestive tract more quickly and helps one avoid chronic constipation.
Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine? How does caffeine cause chronic constipation? Caffeine is a diuretic which causes increased urination.
So in one area, you need to hit the bathroom every hour. The problem is that in the other area, all that water that is released through increased urination has to be regained somewhere. The colon is informed of the water shortage and pulls as much fluid out of the feces as possible leading to a potential for developing chronic constipation.
We live stressful lives that require us to be on the go constantly. I’ll spare you the obvious “go” pun and reference here. Suffice it to say, stress can cause chronic constipation.
Get the kids to school, work all day, soccer practice, run through the grocery store, make a dinner, homework, kids to bed, finish chores and then collapse into bed.
How does this lead to chronic constipation? At what point of the day did you have time to eat healthfully and exercise? How much caffeine did you consume to keep going throughout the day? If this type of living isn’t a recipe for chronic constipation, then what is?
In the next post we will share tips on preventing and relieving constipation. Thank you for reading and stay tuned!