What Causes Constipation?
Constipation is usually caused by a disorder of bowel function rather than a structural problem. Common causes of constipation include:
- Inadequate water intake
- Inadequate fiber in the diet
- A disruption of regular diet or routine; traveling
- Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility
- Eating large amounts of dairy products
If you are constipated, try the following:
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day (unless fluid restricted)
- Try warm liquids, especially in the morning
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Eat prunes and/or bran cereal
The most important lifestyle correction to be done in the treatment of Constipation, except for those involving serious disorders, will be to have a high-fiber diet with plenty of cereals, fruits and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water, about 1.5 to 2 liters a day. One should also avoid drinks that cause dehydration, such as ones containing caffeine or alcohol. Training the bowel to pass stools at a certain time every day, particularly early in the morning when the stomach is unsettled, is also useful. If medication for another disorder is the problem, change to a different type. Use laxatives only for short periods.
Liquids like water and juice add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. People who have problems with constipation should drink enough of these liquids every day, about eight 8-ounce glasses. Other liquids, like coffee and soft drinks, that contain caffeine seem to have a dehydrating effect.
A diet with enough fiber (20 to 35 grams each day) helps form soft, bulky stool. A doctor or dietitian can help plan an appropriate diet. High-fiber foods include beans; whole grains and bran cereals; fresh fruits; and vegetables such as cfmaragus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. For people prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods is also important.
Constipation is very annoying condition and can effect your overall health. This is because it prevents the elimination of toxic substances from the body. If you are searching for the natural remedies for constipation relief then your search ends here. Just keep reading this article and find an easy solution to cure your problem naturally.
Before discussing about the natural remedies for constipation, this article will talk about the types of constipation. There are generally two types of constipation – acute and chronic. Acute constipation is normally sudden and caused by a particular reaction to a certain food, emotional upset or from an injury or medical treatment. In normal cases natural bowel movement will return after a few days. There are certain natural remedies that can help in this case. Chronic constipation should be investigated by a doctor to find the exact cause because it can be a symptom of something more serious.
Natural remedies for constipation Fiber rich food is the key to fight against constipation. Fruits and vegetables contain enough fiber content and help prevent constipation. Fluids also help to keep colon healthy. It is advisable to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. Keep yourself active by participation in sports activities or even 20-30 minutes morning walk can improve your overall health and keep your digestion proper.
Two common fruits for constipation relief Apple – Eat 3-4 apples a day to get relief from constipation. Using baked apples also helps to clear constipation. Eat one baked apple at night, right before bedtime, and one just upon rising. Do this until you constipation is cleared.
Papaya – Papaya is also good source of fiber. It contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Concentrated amounts can especially be found in unripe papaya. This enzyme helps prevent the accumulation of mucoprotein (partially digested protein) in the body and lymphatic system. Thus, the unripe papaya is considered to have more healing powers for constipation than the ripe one.
Herbal remedy for constipation Triphala, an ayurvedic herbal composition of three natural herbs – haritaki, amalaki and bibhitaki (in equal proportion), has worldwide gained its reputation as a natural colon cleanser. It also helps in treating constipation naturally.
Treatment & Prevention For most people, dietary and lifestyle improvements can relieve symptoms of constipation. A well-balanced diet that includes fiber-rich foods, such as unprocessed bran, whole-grain bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables, is recommended. Drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly will help to stimulate intestinal activity. Probiotic and fiber supplementation where indicated can restore bacterial balance and increase digestive efficiency. In addition, the urge to have a bowel movement should not be ignored.
For severe symptoms, solution is PBL: Peristalsis, Bulk and Lubrication.
Peristalsis – To maintain the regular movement, the peristaltic action of the bowel must be regular and vigorous. The ideally functioning digestive system has an approximate 24 hour transit time and hydration is an important part of this. In addition, hydrating minerals such as magnesium and gentle, non-laxative, herbs like cape alone and rhubarb can be used to jump start the peristaltic action of the colon. Cascara sagrada and senna are herbs that are often used either alone or with other herbs to induce peristalsis.
Bulk – The right amount and kind of fiber is critical to bowel function… A diet with enough fiber (20 to 40 grams) helps form soft, bulky stool. A doctor or dietitian can help plan an appropriate high-fiber diet that includes beans, whole grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables including asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrots. For people prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fiber, such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods is also important. Where the diet is lacking the recommended fiber level it can be supplemented by introducing high fiber meal replacements or fiber supplements.
Lubricant of the colon – flax, borage and fish oils are very effective in providing necessary lubrication for smooth and gentle elimination. Because these fats are hard to digest, it’s important to use an oil supplement that includes lipase, the digestive enzyme that assists in the breakdown of oils into essential fatty acids.
Chronic constipation develops over time and in seeking a long term, healthy solution one needs to understand that some time and attention will be required. Doctors agree that prevention is the best approach to constipation. While there is no way to ensure constipation will never occur, the following guidelines should help:
- Know what is normal and do not rely unnecessarily on laxatives.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes unprocessed bran, whole-wheat grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Add more fruits and vegetables. Lower the amount of refined starches, sugar and processed foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Supplement your daily diet with fiber products to improve bowel transit time.
- Take probiotic supplements to restore and maintain healthy intestinal microflora balance.
- Regular exercise – ideally 30 minute daily. Special exercises may be necessary to tone up abdominal muscles after pregnancy or whenever abdominal muscles are lax.
- Enhance digestion by taking digestive enzymes with each meal.
- Don’t ignore the urge to defecate. Set aside time after breakfast or dinner for undisturbed visits to the toilet. Ignoring the urge repeatedly can actually suppress the natural urges.
- Whenever there is a significant or prolonged change in bowel habits, check with a doctor. There is a chance that an underlying disorder is causing constipation. Then treatment should be directed toward the specific cause.
- Lubricate the colon by taking essential fatty acids in oils such as fish, borage and flax.
- Do bi-annual cleanses using herbal combinations to support overall body and intestinal detoxification.
What are Nasal Sprays?
Most “over the counter” nose sprays are decongestants which constrict blood vessels in your nose to reduce congestion. Corticosteroid nasal sprays must be prescribed by a medical doctor. They work locally to decrease inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. Some common corticosteroid nasal sprays are Nasocort, Flonase, Nasonex and Rhinocort. These drugs are not recommended because they are forcing the nasal tissues to do the opposite of what they were meant for –draining!
What is Nasal Saline Irrigation?
Nasal Saline Irrigation is simply flushing out your nose with a salt solution to clean and hydrate nasal tissues. This procedure is something you do at home and may offer similar relief to that of decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal sprays.
- It acts as a solvent that cleans mucus and crusts from your nasal passages
- It moisturizes and decongests the nose, improving air flow and opening sinus passages
- It improves nasal drainage
The Neil-Med Kit supplies a pre-measured packet of sodium chloride (pure salt) + sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that when properly mixed, gives you a solution that is of the same concentration as your own body. Some patient’s have increased the concentration (no more than double) while others have decreased the dose (no less than half) with good results. So feel free to see which works best for you.
Home Recipe for Saline Solution
NOTE: Do Not Use Table Salt
- 250 mL (8oz) warm water (non-tap water: filtered, spring, distilled, etc.)
- 1/4 tsp. pickling salt with 1/4 tsp. baking soda (exact measurements)
- Mix solution in a clean glass jar.
In addition, it is recommended to add ALKALOL (a nasal wash, mucus solvent and cleaner) to the above salt solution for a better cleaning and flushing effect. Again the dose can vary but we use a 25% mixture of ALKALOL (2oz.) + 75% salt water (6oz.) for your nasal rinse.
Acupuncture & Asian Healing
Top 5 Herbal Formulas for Health and Wellness
Why do the Chinese have a reputation for living long, healthy lives? A long history of using Chinese herbs may play a role. Here are five of the most popular herbal formulas and how they help promote health and wellness in the body.
A Basic Formula (Gui Zhi Tang)
This was one of the first formulas used to fight off signs of the common cold. It works by pushing pathogens out of the body, primarily through sweating.
Digestive Aid (Ping Wei San)
This formula works to tonify the stomach and improve digestion and elimination. It is often used when there is stomach upset or bloating, and has been used to help relieve fullness in the chest and abdomen.
Liver Support (Xiao Chai Hu Tang)
This formula has been used for lingering colds that persist for more than five days with alternating fever and chills. Over the long term, it also has helped improve liver enzymes and general fatigue from chronic illness.
Energy Support (Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang)
This formula helps strengthen weakened and debilitated patients and has been used with various types of prolapses, frequent urination, bleeding problems like anemia, and generalized weakness.
PMS and Mental Support (Xiao Yao San)
This formula, one of the most popular Chinese formulas used in America, focuses on supporting the mind/body balance. It soothes the mind and promotes blood movement, which also helps relieve pain and cramping.
Nutrition & Herbs
Keeping Your Body Energized
Healthy eating is more complex than adopting a low-carb, low-fat or high-fiber diet. It’s important to understand how the food you eat affects your body, so you can provide balanced, sustained nutrition to keep going strong.
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on glucose (blood sugar) levels. Glucose is assigned a value of 100, while other carbohydrates are ranked relative to glucose. Essentially, carbohydrates that break down rapidly during the digestive process have the highest GI values. The blood glucose response is fast. On the other hand, carbohydrates that break down slowly and release glucose gradually into the bloodstream have low GI values.
- The GI index is an important consideration for a number of reasons, particularly with respect to the benefits of consuming low-GI foods:
- Low-GI foods keep you fuller for longer.
- Low-GI foods cause a smaller rise in blood glucose levels following meals.
- Low-GI diets can help you lose weight.
- Low-GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
And according to the authors of a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “sufficient, positive findings have emerged to suggest that the dietary glycemic index is of potential importance in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.”
Healthy eating requires consideration of much more than just high- and low-GI/GL foods – but the underlying premise is important: providing balanced, sustained nutrition that the body can utilize effectively to generate energy, build muscle, repair tissue, fight infection and perform a host of other vital functions.
A Bare-Bones Look at Bone Health
Contrary to what you might think, there is more to supporting healthy bones than drinking milk. While calcium is an essential nutrient for your bones, it is by no means the only nutrient your bones need.
Your bones are made up of living tissues that are continually breaking down and building up. This process, called remodeling, occurs throughout your lifetime. When you are young, bone buildup outpaces bone breakdown until you reach peak bone mass between 25-35 years of age, depending on your genes and gender. Once you reach peak bone mass, bone breakdown begins to surpass bone buildup. That is why it is essential to develop healthy eating and exercise habits during childhood and adolescence. Research suggests that you can reduce your risk of bone disease by achieving a higher peak bone mass.
In addition to whole-food sources of nutrients that support bone health, like calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc and dietary protein, lifestyle factors also play a critical role in the health of your bones. Exercising, avoiding tobacco products and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume can help you maintain healthy bones. Your bones, like your muscles, will strengthen with exercise. Bones need specific types of exercise – weight-bearing exercise and resistance (or strength) training – to maintain and build density. Weight-bearing exercises are exercises that require your bones to support your body’s weight. For example, when you jog or walk, your legs are bearing the weight of your body. Resistance or strength training involves using weight or resistance to build strength. Research has shown that strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures, particularly for postmenopausal women who have a high risk for bone disease.
Smoking and alcohol may be linked to increased loss of bone. Researchers have linked smoking to an increase in fractures and hypothesize that for some women, smoking may interact with estrogen in a way that could reduce intestinal calcium absorption. While moderate alcohol consumption has not been linked to osteoporosis, studies have shown that consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day may decrease bone formation and reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
To learn more about bone health and bone disease prevention, talk to your doctor. The good news is that you can prevent bone disease with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Raising Baby Einstein
Pregnancy is a time of great expectation, of new beginnings, and the excitement of bringing life into the world. Wouldn’t it be nice to know some of the latest techniques from clinical neurobiology to increase the IQ of your unborn child?
Preconception care in America is aimed at reducing risk of birth defects and disease – not maximizing the intellectual potential of your unborn child. We can increase our IQ as we age by challenging ourselves with new skills such as learning a new language or taking piano lessons. (Of course, having an intelligent spouse is also a great leap forward in producing a gifted child.)
The most critical element in a newborn’s health is the overall health of the parents. Maternal health is addressed in the majority of medical literature, but poor paternal health and subsequent sperm quality can compromise the future mental health of a child, increasing the probability of schizophrenia, autism and Down syndrome. A common-sense approach would be for the mother and father to eliminate smoking, drug and alcohol use, and caffeine and reduce the mother’s exposure to heavy metals, solvents, cleaning products, MSG, aspartame and processed foods leading up to and during pregnancy. An organic diet for both parents would be the optimal way to go.
One surefire way to optimize fetal development is to provide the basic building blocks of neurological tissue: omega-3 fatty acids. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study showed that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases birth weight and lowers complications of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and gestational hypertension. However, results were inconclusive in terms of the infants’ cognitive development.
The best advice for couples who are planning a family is to take excellent care of themselves – get plenty of exercise, at least eight hours of sleep each night and quality supplements to improve their health, which in turn offers their children the best chance at a strong mind and healthy body. Although DVDs, CDs and modern toys may stimulate your baby’s brain, nothing can replace the neurobiological components of a healthy mind. Any way you look at it, boosting your child’s IQ starts with caring for yourself. Ask your doctor if you are doing everything you can to create a bright future for your baby.
Sports & Fitness
“It’s too cold. I’ll get sick. I might slip and fall.” All common excuses for avoiding exercise when the seasons change. With four to six months of winter in many parts of the country, you can’t afford to skip winter exercise altogether. For both physical and mental well-being, the human body needs activity all year round. Whether you find creative ways to exercise indoors or dive into the great outdoors, maintaining an exercise regimen through the holidays and beyond will not only keep you fit, but also give you a head start come spring.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
If you don’t want to stay cooped up inside for months, exercising outdoors can be a great way to stay in shape while appreciating the sights and sounds of winter. From snowball fights and sledding to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a host of outdoor activities awaits you. Of course, if you have any medical conditions or concerns about outdoor exercise, check with your doctor first. Here are a few tips to help make the most of your time outdoors:
- Dress for the Cold
- Protect Your Skin
- Drink Fluids
- Beware of Wind Chill
- Don’t Push Your Luck
Despite all the excuses for not wanting to face the elements, there are times when it is wise to avoid outdoor activities. If you are too cozy in front of the fireplace to brave the outdoors, try one of these indoor workout options.
- Walk the Mall
- Hit the Gym
- Take a Dip
- No Need to Leave Home
Winter can be one of the most exhilarating times of the year. With the sun and snow and a variety of winter sports to choose from, there’s no reason to hibernate indoors. It may be chilly and downright freezing at times, but your body still craves at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Stay indoors if you have to, but if the conditions are decent and you dress appropriately, you still can walk, run, hike and play sports outside. Once you get going, you won’t even notice the cold.
Ergonomics & Orthotics
The Agony of the Feet
Have you taken a good look at your feet lately? What do you notice? Are there any calluses, corns or bunions? Do your feet look red or do your toes look cramped and pushed together? Sore, aching feet can be more than inconvenient – they can put you out of commission.
Conditions ranging from calluses and heel spurs to plantar fascitis and Achilles tendon injuries can severely impact your quality of life. Long-term problems will result from these conditions if the proper treatment is not sought. Here are possible treatment options to give you an idea of how to help yourself and when to seek help from a professional.
Have your chiropractor adjust your feet. If you have never had your feet adjusted by your chiropractor before, you don’t know what you are missing. Aside from helping to support your three arches by getting the bones to move back to where they should be, it feels great.
Ask your chiropractor about flexible, custom-made, three-arch foot inserts (orthotics). Since the connective tissue under your feet is now permanently stretched out to some degree, you need the support from now on. Once you get the inserts, wear them appropriately. You want to keep your feet stabilized so they don’t get any worse.
Do exercises. Keep the underside of your feet loose by rolling a racquet ball, tennis ball or golf ball under them. Thirty seconds, twice a day will help keep your feet more relaxed and stretched.
Get supportive shoes. Wearing a shoe that fits properly and offers the best support will help keep your feet from overpronating.
Talk to your chiropractor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, and get some help. Remember, your feet are telling you a story. Are you listening?