From the Outside Looking In
The subject of our bowel movements rarely makes for great conversation. However, it can be a very important one to have. We can tell a lot about what’s going on within our bodies by analyzing what comes out. Our bowel movements are no exception. Specifically, the consistency, color, and frequency of bowel movements. If you are dealing with constipation, it’s possible that something is off internally.
Causes of Constipation
There are many causes of constipation, but we’ll simply outline a few here.
- Gut Health – Your microbiome, or gut bacteria, play a major role in how you utilize and digest food. If you’re lacking a healthy gut biome, you will have a harder time digesting nutrients and passing waste material.
- Thyroid Hormones – Your thyroid hormones regulate all metabolic activity within the body. When you lack sufficient thyroid hormone function, also known as hypothyroidism, your bowel movements will slow down. Alternatively, in the case of too much thyroid hormone function – or hyperthyroidism, your metabolic rate becomes excessive. This condition induces frequent bowel movements.
- Inactivity – Our bowels are made up of smooth muscles that contract to push digested foods through our bodies after absorbing nutrition. If we’re not exercising these muscles, fecal material will build up – causing constipation.
- Dehydration – Water helps us flush out toxins and waste material. However, when we’re not drinking enough fluids – fecal matter will sit in our colons and dry up. Ultimately, this makes it much harder to pass.
- Dietary Habits – There are many dietary factors influencing our bowel movements. Things like fiber intake and electrolyte intake all affect how frequently we have a bowel movement.
The Integrative Approach to Treating Constipation
Integrative medicine is a comprehensive, science-based approach to medical care that draws on the best of many different specialties: natural medicine, allopathic (or conventional) medicine, diagnostic testing, nutrition, metabolism, detoxification, nutritional supplements, customized diets, acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage, among others. In integrative medicine, natural medical therapies are preferred as a way to mimic and enhance the body’s natural, healing abilities while minimizing unwanted side effects.
The focus is to address the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms, and to promote the health of the whole person- mind, body, and spirit. Hence, when we’re treating constipation in our patients – we first gather information and perform testing to identify the root cause of the issue. This involves testing thyroid levels, gut biome health, and reviewing lifestyle factors like activity levels and hydration.
The team at Progressive Medical Center strives to take a deeper look at our patients’ conditions and actually treat them. While many other clinics are content to simply treat the symptoms, our team doesn’t quit until we find the cause and correct the condition. Contact us today to start dealing with your constipation.