Overcome Constipation - Natural Boost for Digestion
Have you ever experienced this? You attend a family or birthday celebration, indulge in a lavish feast, and then find yourself unable to visit the bathroom for the following days. Or perhaps during a stressful period, your digestion went haywire, tormenting you with constipation, bloating, or diarrhea?
You're not alone in this. About 20% of the population suffers from constipation, with women being more affected than men. But why does a digestive strike happen in the first place?
Medically, constipation (obstipation) is defined as having bowel movements less than three times a week, accompanied by the need to strain significantly, resulting in hard and lumpy stools due to prolonged time in the intestines.
If the symptoms persist for more than three months, it is termed chronic constipation. Simply put, constipation is characterized by less frequent and more difficult bowel movements than usual, often accompanied by bloating and/or abdominal pain.
What causes this sudden backlog in the intestines?
One of the most common causes is lifestyle. Dietary habits are crucial for good intestinal care. Thus, it's not surprising that digestive issues often arise after festivities, during vacations, or in prolonged periods of stress.
A diet low in fiber, insufficient fluid intake, lack of physical activity, or being bedridden can lead to these problems. A stressful work life, which can suppress natural bowel movements, also contributes to constipation, as do certain medications like hormonal contraceptives, iron supplements, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, and strong painkillers.
Diseases causing electrolyte imbalances (e.g., hypokalemia, hypercalcemia), neurological conditions (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis), disruptions in glucose or hormone metabolism (e.g., hypothyroidism), can also induce constipation. Pregnancy, too, alters hormone levels, leading many expectant mothers to struggle with constipation.
Often, the causes of constipation can be found directly in the intestines, such as obstructions (e.g., Diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, tumors) or functional disorders (e.g., Irritable Bowel Syndrome), disrupting intestinal motility. This means the muscles surrounding the intestines work slower or not at all, impeding food movement. An altered composition of gut bacteria can also lead to constipation.
Natural constipation relief
For natural constipation relief and to ease the intestines' workload, one should maintain a balanced diet rich in fiber and fluids, and incorporate sufficient rest into daily life. It's also important to take time for meals, chew consciously, and train the body for regular bowel movements.
If symptoms don't improve or keep recurring, a doctor's consultation is essential. Caution is advised with laxatives: they are suitable for acute cases but not as a long-term solution, as regular use can lead to dependency. Home remedies like abdominal massages or heating pads can also provide relief.
Flax or psyllium husks, high in fiber and mucilage, promote intestinal motility, increase stool volume, and ease its passage through the intestines. Fiber plays another vital role as a food source for our colon bacteria, which ferment it.
This process produces metabolic byproducts like short-chain fatty acids, essential energy sources for colon and liver cells, and thus significant for digestion.
Boosting Digestion with Papaya
A true marvel for digestion is the papaya. Not only is it an alkaline fruit rich in vitamins and minerals, but it also contains the enzyme papain. It's no wonder papaya is highly esteemed in tropical countries.
Papain, a proteolytic enzyme, can break down proteins, enhancing their utilization and digestion. The valuable components of papaya are also crucial food sources for our intestinal bacteria, strengthening them to perform their vital functions. A balanced microbial population is the foundation of a functioning digestive system.
Restoring a disturbed gut flora takes time, but papaya quickly brings natural momentum to the core and supports the intestines, the center of health, with the power of nature.
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