Constipation is the irregular or infrequent movement of the bowels. A lot of people are surprised to learn that it is healthy to pass 2-3 bowel movements per day and that less than once a day is very detrimental to your health. This is because the bowel acts as an organ of elimination, removing waste and toxins from our body.
Constipation makes us feel sluggish, causing fatigue, headaches, and weakness. By treating constipation with herbs and nutrients which support healthy bowel function, you can often feel the difference within the first few days.
Constipation can be caused by many factors, with the most common being:
- Low water intake (less than 1.5 litres a day)
- Low fibre intake
- Poor dietary choices
- Past high use of laxatives
- Food intolerances
- Liver dysfunction
- Medication side effects (e.g. codeine)
- Nervous system dysfunction
- Lack of exercise
- Nutrient deficiencies
Naturopathic treatment of constipation aims at improving digestive function by improving bile output by the liver, pancreatic enzymes, and stomach acid production. By using herbs to do this, symptoms such as bloating, cramping, indigestion and headaches will resolve along with your constipation.
In cases of chronic constipation, the bowel will need to be retrained to get it back to functioning correctly. Katherine avoids using laxative herbs for long periods, instead of encouraging the body to restore digestive balance.