As a popular children’s book says in its title, “Everyone Poops”…well, mostly!
Unfortunately 80% of Americans experience some kind of constipation throughout their life. Constipation, having infrequent bowel movements, is a common gastrointestinal problem…and can be a pain in the butt (sorry, I just had to).
What constitutes normal frequency of bowel movement can vary from person to person, but it’s generally accepted that less than 3 bowel movements per week is considered constipation, especially when the stools are hard and difficult to pass. Ideally, I recommend that people have daily bowel movements for optimum digestive health.
Constipation can be more than just an embarrassing subject to talk about. It can be very painful, contribute to other illness, and in severe cases, complications can lead to death.
Most medical doctors try to treat constipation through laxatives and suppositories, but for the majority of people, making lifestyle changes will lead to more significant improvements with their bowel movements. Some of the easiest lifestyle changes include:
1. Eat more fiber – It helps move “things” along. Get at least 25-30 grams/day. Here’s a list from the Mayo Clinic of high-fiber foods.
2. Take a probiotic – If you’ve ever taken an antibiotic or been exposed to antibacterial products (and yes, yes you have), chances are you’ve depleted your supply of the healthy bacteria that help regulate digestion. A quality probiotic supplement will help replenish the supply of the good bacteria to improve the function of your digestive tract as well as boost your immune system!
3. Get adjusted! – Subluxations, or misalignments of the spine, can interfere with the nerves that regulate digestion. Correcting subluxations and reducing that nerve tension can help all parts of the body work better, including digestion!
In the last month, we’ve seen several practice members notice significant improvement with their digestion following chiropractic care. Here are some powerful stories:
- A 10-year-old girl came into the office after 4 days of constipation. An hour after her first adjustment, she evacuated her bowels completely and felt much better.
- A 2-week-old boy struggling to have normal bowel movements was gently adjusted. That night he had a “blowout” diaper and then 4 bowel movements the next day.
- A 28-year-old pregnant mom with lifelong constipation and hard stools experienced twice her normal bowel movements after her first adjustment.
These improvements don’t happen by chance. They are the natural byproduct of a body working with less stress and a nervous system functioning without interference…compliments of specific chiropractic adjustments.