Regular bowel movements are the primary way your body eliminate toxins, metabolized hormones, and other waste products.
But when you’re constipated, waste stagnates in the digestive tract. This irritates your gut lining, allowing harmful bacteria to flourish. Eventually, your bloodstream reabsorbs waste and circulates it throughout your body.
This nasty process leads to systemic problems. And those can sap your energy, cause irritability, and increase your risk for serious illnesses.
Forum Health’s Dr. Shilpa P. Saxena explained this process on the TEDx stage:
Constipation is embarrassing and uncomfortable. It can also be painful — even debilitating. Gas and bloating are common. You might also experience abdominal cramps, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, lack of appetite, and vomiting.
Bathroom issues can be difficult to talk about. As a result, most people don’t know what’s normal.
Conventional understanding is that bowel movements should occur at least once every three days. But in functional medicine, we believe daily elimination is essential for effective gut detoxification and overall health.
You should have at least one healthy bowel movement per day. Otherwise, you could accumulate harmful toxins.
You can have regular and frequent bowel movements but still be constipated.
Truly healthy bowel movements meet these four criteria:
Constipation has many potential causes, including serious illnesses and medication use. But most cases are rooted in diet and lifestyle. Addressing these areas will often restore normal intestinal function, improve bowel movements, and relieve constipation.
Over-the-counter medication and fiber supplements can mask your symptoms. But they don’t resolve constipation. And overuse can inflict damage in the long run.
With so many possible causes, constipation clearly calls for a functional and integrative medicine approach. Texas Integrative Medicine providers act as medical detectives. We’ll assess your whole body to identify underlying causes and develop a custom treatment plan.
We’ll help you address lifestyle and diet issues for lasting results. As a Texas Integrative Medicine member, you have ongoing access to a personal health coach. You’ll also work toward ideal gut health through a detox program tailored to your unique needs.
Not near our office?
No problem, our Providers are accessible to
you no matter where you are.