Recently, I have had a client, Maria, with chronic constipation. She has been constipated for about 5 years. Herr doctor prescribed a specific medication for constipation which yield no results. Over he counter laxatives which usually cause severe abdominal cramps before completely emptying the bowels, had no effect on Maria. She took milk of magnesia, suppositories. Results were minimal. She felt bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish every day.
Unfortunately, Maria is not alone with this disorder so many of us keep quiet. The condition is so common, in fact, that it results in over 2 million doctors’ visits each year.
What Is Constipation
Believe it or not, there are different levels of constipation. It ranges from few bowel movements a week to one every other day. Constipation can be so subtle that most people don’t even know they have it. When I ask my clients if they are regular, often times the answer is yes. Then I ask more specific questions: Do you go every day? Do you have to make an effort to pass the stools? Answers to these questions can confirm constipation.
Constipation can be defined by difficulty in passing stools; hard or dry stools that require pushing, a fewer than 3 bowel movements per week, or a combination of these factors. Constipation can be both short-term and last a few days (acute) or be long-term, characterized by lasting at least 3 months; chronic constipation can even last for years.
What Causes Constipation
For many, constipation is the result of diet and lifestyle factors – having a diet low in fiber and/or high in meat, dairy, and processed foods; not drinking adequate amounts of water; or lacking regular exercise. Another contributing factor is long-term or excessive use of certain medications and supplements, such as antidepressants, antacids, diuretics, and iron or calcium supplements.
For others, constipation can also be caused by underlying health conditions:
- Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Dysbiosis – due to antibiotic intake (imbalance in gut flora)
- Pregnancy – due to physiological changes, many women can develop constipation after 1 or more pregnancies
- Food allergies: the most common culprits are dairy and gluten
More serious causes of constipation should be addressed with a gastroenterologist to ensure no life-threatening condition is present, as they may need to be resolved with medication, lab testing, or a surgical procedure. But for those with diet and lifestyle-related constipation, the following changes could aid in relief: incorporating more high-fiber foods like vegetables and whole grains into daily meals; drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily; getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise, three or more days per week; and reducing intake of meat and dairy.
Constipation is not a permanent condition. Zizania nutrition protocols have helped dozens of people with all these conditions restore balance and a healthy-functioning GI in a matter of weeks (severe conditions can take 3-6 months). If you are suffering from any of these, there is help and there is hope – you do not have to do it alone. We can provide you a medication for your constipation, and we will guide you every step of the way.
It took our client Maria 5 months to resume normal bowel activity. A stool test revealed leaky gut syndrome and dysbiosis. Once we solved these problems, everything went back to normal. Maria still has to continue eating a healthy diet rich in fiber but she has no need for laxatives.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation!