How often do you go to the bathroom and have a bowel movement? I realize that this question may seem odd, but it the most basic sign of good digestive health. Over 95% of health problems start in the digestive system and constipation is certainly a culprit in many of these maladies.
Bowel movements should correlate to how many meals are eaten in a 24 hour period. If you eat three meals in a 24 hour period, you should have three bowel movements. If not, you are constipated. The statistics show that over 65% of the American Population is constipated.
There are two different theories related to constipation. They are the traditional Medical Opinion as well as the holistic opinion.
Traditional Medicine defines constipation as the passage of small amounts of hard dry stool. However it also states that we have different levels of metabolism and because of this we all experience different frequencies of elimination.
Holistic Medicine believes that you should have one elimination for every meal you eat each day. The holistic practitioner would tell you that the healthiest digestive system is one that absorbs food and nutrition at meals and eliminates the toxic waste 12 to 18 hours later. If the food stays in your system for more than 18 hours it putrefies, accumulates toxins which get absorbed into the bloodstream and contributes to numerous other health concerns.
If you are constipated there are several things that you can do to bring your body back into balance.
1) DRINK more water. Ideally you should drink one ounce of water for every pound of body weight each day. This will help rehydrate the digestive system.
2) Exercise Regularly. This will increase the blood flow which will assist with normal elimination.
3) Supplement with a good daily fiber product that consists of ground flax.
4) Lubricate your digestive system with Essential Fatty Acids like Flax, Borage and Fish Oils which make it easier to have an elimination.
The reason that Constipation is a serious health concern is that we absorb whatever is put in our digestive system. If your digestive system is blocked and filled with waste you will absorb that waste and put the burden on your liver, lungs, lymphatic system, blood, skin, colon and kidneys to assist in getting those toxins out of your body.
It is always a great idea to see a naturopathic medical practitioner who can suggest great supplements, reading materials and healthy alternatives when confronted with poor digestive health.