I love talking about bowel movements. No, really. I’m not trying to be gross
here but if more people would openly discuss their bowel habits, we might be a healthier society. Not only can constipation make you physically sick, it can also contribute to poor mental health. Read on.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is medically characterized by the inability to have a bowel movement more than 3 times per week. Are you kidding me? If you’re only going to the bathroom 3 times a week, you’re incredibly constipated! But, since nobody talks about what goes on in the bathroom, hardly anybody knows this.
Though the amount of times you sit on the throne does vary from person to person, at the very least you should have a full-bodied, hard, firm stool at least once per day. At the least! Ideally, you should go 2-3 times per day.
What Causes Constipation?
How Can Constipation Affect My Mental Health?
Chronic constipation can contribute to depression. If waste products are backed up in the system, it can prevent the essential absorption of nutrients from your food.
In order for your brain to produce the right amount of feel-good chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, you need to properly digest and absorb nutrients.
What makes matters worse is if constipation is severe enough, it can cause toxins to filter back into the system, which can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and insomnia.
Mental health problems associated with constipation may be more common than you think. Since no psychiatrist is ever going to prescribe a fiber supplement if he diagnoses you with depression or anxiety, you’ll have to take care of it yourself.
How to Treat Constipation Naturally
To avoid mental health problems associated with constipation, you’ll need to do a few things.
Clean Up Your Diet
The best way to avoid constipation-related health problems is to clean up your diet. Avoid processed foods and eat a diet rich in healthy, whole foods such as:
• Lean Meat, Chicken and Fish
• Organic Fruits and Vegetables
• Beans and Legumes
• Whole Grain
• Dairy (go easy on the hard cheese though)
Take Digestive Enzymes
Not only can a diet high in processed foods make you stupid, it can also make you an anxious, nervous wreck. I should know. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder when I was only 15. It was until I was in my early 20s I learned that gluten intolerance was causing most of my mental health problems. I added a digestive aid to my diet a few years ago and I can’t believe the difference.
Probiotics are the active cultures naturally found in your gut. Constipation-related mental health problems can result if you don’t have enough of these necessary cultures in your body. Friendly bacteria in your digestive system break up and digest food and keep waste from backing up in your colon.
Avoiding mental health problems associated with constipation can be as easy as adding prebiotics. Prebiotics encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut.
Drink Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is indigestible by your body. It is designed to mix with the water in your intestines and expand, grabbing and flushing built-up toxins from your colon. Psyllium fiber, apple pectin and kiwifruit powder are all great sources of this essential.
Try Phenolic Compounds
Phenolic compounds are great because they inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. This is especially important for those with severe constipation. A constipated intestinal tract is prime breeding ground for bacterial and yeast infections.
Add Chelated Magnesium
Chelated magnesium is what I like to call, ‘The Miracle Mineral’. It’s amazing. It’s responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body and kills two birds with one stone. First, magnesium is essential for good neurological health so adding it to your diet can help you beat depression and anxiety naturally. Also, magnesium is a natural laxative so it can help you relieve your constipation without causing dependency.
Constipation-related mental health problems can be avoided if you use the above natural remedies to get things moving again. Note: If you have any serious health or mental concerns, visit a healthcare practitioner before trying natural supplements.
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