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Constipation: light at the end of the tunnel

Constipation is one of the most common medical complaints in Australia, affecting 1 in 5 adults, and is considered a symptom that's related to another cause, rather than a disease or health condition in its own right.

What’s considered ‘normal’?

Constipation is characterised by difficulty in passing stools, with incomplete or infrequent passing of hard, dry stools often accompanied by pain, bloating and abdominal discomfort. Constipation can be a temporary problem or it may last for months or even years. 

What’s considered ‘normal’ for passing a stool easily will vary from person to person. Some will pass a stool twice a day, compared to some who may only pass a stool every second or third day. As a rule, fewer than three bowel movements per week indicates constipation.  

What increases your risk of constipation?

Slow transit time within the digestive tract Lack of, or changes to, physical activity levels
Inadequate fluid intake Inadequate fibre intake
Pregnancy Advanced age
Changes to routine eg: travelling overseas Certain medications eg: codeine, antacids
Imbalance in digestive flora Inorganic iron supplements
Ignoring the ‘urge’ to go to the toilet

 

Consequences of constipation

Constipation can be compared to not emptying your rubbish bin every day, while still adding more and more rubbish to the pile. Over a relatively short period of time, you’ll start to experience abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating along with difficulty passing a stool while the waste continues to build up.

3 ‘golden rules’ to eliminate constipation

1. Include plenty of fibre in your diet

2. Drink plenty of water

3. Participate in regular physical activity

Following these 3 golden rules should help to alleviate constipation for many people. For others though, herbs and nutrients can play a supportive role by soothing irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive system, stool softening activity and provide digestive comfort to get things moving.

Herbs & Nutrients

 

Slippery elm bark powder: Soothing. Slippery elm bark contains mucilage which helps to soothe irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive system. Slippery elm works by trapping water, which then swells to bulk-up the stool and develops a gel-like consistency to provide a protective coating for the lining of the digestive tract.
Herbs of Gold Slippery Elm 400mg 

Probiotics: Healthy, balanced intestinal flora. A stagnant digestive system is a breeding ground that allows ‘unfriendly’ intestinal flora to flourish. Probiotics help maintain the balance by inhibiting ‘unfriendly’ intestinal flora and re-establishing ‘friendly’ intestinal flora.
Herbs of Gold Probiotic + SB 

Psyllium: Soluble fibre. Psyllium attracts and binds large volumes of water, helping to bulk up the stool and make stools softer. 

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