Most folks have dealt with at least some level of constipation in their lives. An occasional bout of constipation may not be much to worry about – like say when you are traveling for a few days. However, if you struggle with chronic constipation, that’s when you absolutely want to take a deeper look at things.
If you’re not moving your bowels regularly, ideally at least once daily, then you aren’t efficiently clearing out toxins and waste matter. Your liver, in particular, does a lot of work to package toxic byproducts into the bile, so it can then be excreted in the stool. If you’re not eliminating this stool regularly, those toxins can become “un-packaged” by the microbes in your gut, and put back into circulation. (This is particularly an issue for women who have high estrogen or “estrogen dominance” as the estrogen that’s tagged for elimination can get recirculated).
So, if you’re struggling with chronic constipation, what should you consider?
Dr. Casey’s top questions to consider for chronic constipation:
- Hydration status – Are you getting enough water?
- Fiber and micronutrient intake – How’s your fruit and veggie intake? What does your diet look like?
- How is your upper GI tract functioning? Any issues with stomach, pancreas or liver/gallbladder function?
- Microbiome status – Do you have signs of microbiome imbalance or dysbiosis? What about SIBO?
- Nervous System status – Are you in a state of constant state of stress or “fight or flight” (aka sympathetic nervous system overdrive)?
- Thyroid Health – Is there potentially an under-active thyroid contributing to sluggish movement of the bowels?
There are many reasons one can be constipated. The important thing is to get to the bottom of it and address it! Chronic constipation is not only unhealthy for day-to-day living – like how it affects your toxin load, bacteria levels, hormone levels and so on, it also puts you at higher risk for more serious issues like diverticulitis down the line.
Are you struggling with constipation? Schedule a visit with Dr. Casey today!
For some simple at-home tips on improving your digestion, check out this recent post.