What is constipation?
Constipation is defined as having difficulty emptying the bowels, usually associated with having hard faeces and producing less than three bowel movements per week.
Causes of constipation
The causes of constipation are numerous, including diet, dehydration, lack of dietary fiber and emotional stress. Other causes include medications such as antidepressants, antacids, calcium or iron supplements and diuretics. Antibiotics which affect the gut flora may also contribute to constipation.
The small and large bowels can be thought of as a muscular tube. The smooth muscles that make up the intestines, help move the contents of the intestines by way of a rhythmic contraction and relaxation. This is known as peristaltic motion. A lack of magnesium will affect the function of these muscles, resulting in muscle tension and hence constipation.
What to do?
There is no quick fix for constipation that will give relief on an ongoing basis. Rather a sensible step by step change in certain life style habits will have the best outcomes.
To begin with, we need to ensure we are drinking enough water. Approximately 6-8 glasses of water per day, 1.5-1.8 litres.
An increase in dietary fiber is also important. This can be achieved by increasing our intake of raw fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts. Some of the best sources of dietary fibre is found in beans, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, berries, prunes, avocado, chia and flax seeds, 100% unprocessed grains and broccoli.
Green leafy vegetables contain fibre as well as being an excellent source of magnesium.
If you are currently suffering from constipation then the above may not give you the desired affects in a realistic time frame. The use of fibre supplements and over the counter laxatives, while easily available and commonly used to relieve constipation, may not be the ideal way to approach the problem.
Apart from short-term relief there are potential side effects from using these products such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, dizziness, damage to the colon and digestive organs and complications to the cardiovascular systems.
As an alternative to fibre supplements and over the counter laxatives consider using a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral needed by our bodies for normal daily functions. A magnesium deficiency can lead to many significant symptoms.
These include muscle aches or spasms, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, migraine headaches, restless leg syndrome, worsened PMS symptoms, insomnia and trouble sleeping, and osteoporosis to name a few.
Magnesium deficiency arises due to poor dietary habits, depletion of magnesium in our soil so crops are deficient, digestive disorders, antibiotics that damage the digestive tract and prevent magnesium being absorbed normally.
There are many different types of magnesium supplements on the market. One product that has been around for years is Colozone Plus. This product is produced with a focus on helping constipation sufferers. The added benefit of Colozone Plus is that it may also be used as a dietary supplement for magnesium and an antacid. The user needs to vary the amount taken depending on the desired use and outcome.
As with all nutritional products it is important to read the label. If your symptoms persist, please consult your healthcare practitioner.
For more information, visit Colozoneplus.com.au or call 1800 642 607.