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Avoid constipation: Get your gut health in a balance

Avoid constipation: Get your gut health in a balance | Mr Vitamins
Many of us take the ability to empty our bowels on a regular basis for granted, you probably don’t even think about it. It’s only when you start to experience abdominal pain or discomfort that you realise that maybe you haven’t emptied your bowels easily or regularly lately. Constipation is one of the most common medical disorders in Australia. Alleviating constipation, sooner rather than later, will leave you feeling more comfortable and reduce the toxic load on your body - it’s time to take out the trash.

The digestive ‘rubbish bin’

Constipation is a little bit like not emptying your rubbish bin every day, while still adding more and more rubbish to the bin. Over a short period of time, you’ll start to feel abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating along with difficulty passing stools and incomplete or infrequent passing of hard, dry stools. The majority of your body’s waste starts to build up and decay, increasing toxicity levels in your body. There are countless causes of constipation, whether it’s acute or chronic, which may last for a couple of weeks, months or even years. Slow transit time within your digestive tract, changes to your physical activity levels, inadequate fluid or fibre intake, pregnancy, hormonal, metabolic or neurological disorders, stress, advanced age, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or certain medications may all contribute to constipation.

It’s time to take out the trash

Increasing both your water and fibre intake, along with some regular physical activity, provide three of the most important, simple lifestyle changes that help prevent or ease constipation. Effective herbs and probiotics may be needed to help resolve constipation and improve your digestive comfort: Senna A stimulating laxative traditionally used to relieve constipation and more recently, where soft stools are beneficial eg: haemorrhoids, anal fissures or post-operatively. Senna works by:
  • increasing the wave-like muscular activity of your digestive tract to increase transit time and improve bowel emptying
  • promoting secretion of water into the large intestine which in turn increases the water content of the stool, making it softer and easier to pass
Senna typically takes between 6 to 12 hours to work, so is best taken at night for early morning relief upon waking. Butternut A gentle laxative traditionally used to relieve constipation. Butternut increases the release of stored bile from your gallbladder and improves liver digestive function generally, helping to relieve constipation. Increasing bile flow also improves the elimination of toxins which is an issue where there is chronic constipation. Dill A calming digestive herb traditionally used to relieve abdominal discomfort, bloating and griping pain by relaxing the intestinal muscles and sphincters. Dill helps to reduce any griping effect of stimulating laxative herbs such as Senna. Psyllium A bulking laxative rich in soluble fibre that attracts and binds large volumes of water, helping to bulk up the stool which stimulates the wave-like muscular activity of your digestive tract, increasing transit time and making the stools softer. Probiotics A stagnant digestive system provides the ideal conditions that allow ‘unfriendly’ intestinal flora to flourish. Probiotics help maintain balanced, ‘friendly’ intestinal flora by inhibiting the ‘unfriendly’ intestinal flora and re-establishing ‘friendly’ intestinal flora.

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