It’s not a sexy topic but unfortunately its one that takes a negative toll on many people’s lifestyle and comfort. Clinical constipation is defined by fewer than 3 bowel movements per week, usually with hardened feces It is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort.
16% of Americans and 33% of adults over the age of 60 are documented as having constipation.( I’m sure it’s much more). Women experience constipation more than men.
Constipation is associated with IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There’s 3 types
Constipation can be caused by a multitude of issues but some of the physiological effects include delayed digestion, impaired motility (movement of the digestive tract), poor peristalsis (contraction of stomach muscles), low digestive enzymes and low stomach acid, hormone imbalance
Diets low in fiber - women need at least 25g /men 38g daily
Too much iron or calcium supplements, high blood pressure meds
Pain killers, opioids, beta blockers, tramadol, St. John’s wart
Gut brain axis (hormones and psychiatric stress)
How can you help constipation?
Remove gluten from your diet, eat at least the daily minimum of fiber, MCT oil, Prune juice (sorbitol) but be aware its extremely high in sugar, drink plenty of water, drink coffee or caffeine drinks to simulate stomach motility
Supplements- Probiotic either Saccharomyces cerevisiae or L.reuteri (often found in women’s probiotics), magnesium citrate
Movement - although it can be hard to want to be active walking and movement can help with constipation.
Hire a qualified sports nutritionist to make a plan that is exact for your symptoms and goals.
How to know if you may have IBS ?
IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by
At least 3 months, with onset at least 6 months previously of recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort associated with two or more of the following:
– Improvement with defecation and/or
– Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool and/or
– Onset associated with a change in form of stool
Studies show up to 94% of people who have IBS also have a psychiatric illness and is a disorder of the gut brain axis.
Athletes and active people often get constipation or IBS. You don't need to live in pain or discomfort. Proper sports nutrition and functional medicine can help prevent and relieve the symptoms of IBS.