Constipation. The struggle is real.
When is it chronic? People tell me all the time, Mandi, “I poop every day! Constipation is not my issue!” But they have so many of the symptoms of chronic constipation that I keep them talking because I know that eventually, they will come to the same conclusion: they need help.
There are some obvious signs that you have constipation:
- Hard, rock-like stools
- Having to strain to pass a stool
- Pooping less than 3 times a week (but I’m going call bull on this one…..pooping less than once a day is a sign!)
- Frequent bloating
- Feeling like you still have to go even after you’ve already gone
- Frequent, painful gas
But there are other signs. And these signs are usually connected to being chronically dehydrated which in turn can be a factor in causing constipation:
- Dry flaky skin no matter how much you moisturize
- Brain fog
- Lower back pain
- Gas to the point of cramping
- Feeling full all the time
- Having trouble sleeping – getting comfortable
If you have any of the above matched up with the standard signs of constipation then you can consider that YES, constipation is a problem for you! And why is it a problem?
Well aside from the fact that it is darn uncomfortable, it can be dangerous for your health. Poop is waste and it’s not meant to be in your body long. So having a build up in there can be toxic. And there are complications connected to chronic constipation according to the Mayo Clinic:
Swollen veins in your anus (hemorrhoids). Straining to have a bowel movement may cause swelling in the veins in and around your anus.
Torn skin in your anus (anal fissure). A large or hard stool can cause tiny tears in the anus.
Stool that can’t be expelled (fecal impaction). Chronic constipation may cause an accumulation of hardened stool that gets stuck in your intestines.
Intestine that protrudes from the anus (rectal prolapse). Straining to have a bowel movement can cause a small amount of the rectum to stretch and protrude from the anus.
Sound fun? I didn’t think so either.
Still not sure if you’re constipated? Or chronically constipated because you say, “Mandi, I don’t have rock-hard poops when I go. It’s loose.” But you have some of the above symptoms especially the bloating, gas and feeling like you still have to go? Check out the picture below. This could be the reason:
The bigger of a hunk a junk in your colon and the longer it sits there, the more stretched out that said colon gets and causes all kinds of issues and all the while, loose poops can slip out alongside the junk – tricking you. So pay attention more!
So you’ve maybe got constipation. What can you do about it RIGHT NOW?
- Include plenty of high-fiber foods in your diet, including beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, and bran. We here at Your Healthy Hustle have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to this one. There’s a button below to show you one option we LOVE!
- Eat fewer foods with low amounts of fiber such as processed foods, and dairy and meat products.
- Drink plenty of fluids. WATER! WATER! WATER! Typically chronic constipation and chronic dehydration go hand in hand. So keep that in mind.
- Stay as active as possible and try to get regular exercise. Walking is key for this. Moving around on a stability ball. Yoga. Dancing in your kitchen. Just move that caboose!
- Try to manage stress. If this one is a struggle for you, try our Stress Series. Click the button here to learn more.
- Don’t ignore the urge to pass stool. This is key. Stop holding it. All you’ve got is a port-a-potty at the ball field? Hold your nose and go anyway. Get it OUT!
- Try to create a regular schedule for bowel movements, especially after a meal. The more regular you become and the healthier you eat, this will be easier to tackle.
Worried that you have a bunch of cruddy junk stuck in there? Not sure what to do? Want to do something safe and natural? Try this easy peasy Salt Flush to get things flowing and get back on track:
- 2 level teaspoons of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt to a quart of warm water
- 2 Tablespoons of organic cherry juice to water 10 oz. water and keep that with you
- Drink the salt water
- bring the cherry water with you and lay on your LEFT side for 20 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, sit up and drink the cherry water
- Lie back down on your LEFT side for 20 minutes
- When the timer goes off, try going to the bathroom. Within 45 minutes after drinking both you should go.
- Note- don’t toot while laying there….you might have a little accident.
Another great technique is a stomach exercise: stand up, bend over and rest hands on thighs, exhale all air and pull stomach up towards lungs, then push out and repeat this 2-10 x before taking a breath. Repeat this entire routine 5-10 x a usually you will need to go.