The Health Corner Vol. 33 – Constipation and Diet
Today, I would like to discuss the link between diet and constipation. Constipation in this country has become a widespread problem thanks to our ‘modern’ diet here in the United States.
Many times, the role of diet is overlooked when it comes to bowel function because people do not make the correlation between what goes into the body and what comes out. Constipation is one of those things that oftentimes takes years to manifest as a true problem, so many people are lulled into thinking it a normal part of life, when nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s interesting to note that constipation remedies are among the most purchased over-the-counter medications in the United States. The public is driven to desperate measures to handle constipation. They don’t know that many times a few simple changes in diet are all they need to consider. Eating refined foods such as sugar and flour can cause constipation to become a very serious problem indeed.
I remember in my clinical internship days, I worked at a facility where we routinely gave colonics, which is a form of irrigation of the bowel to help stimulate bowl function. At one point, I worked with a woman that had not had a natural bowel movement for months. I used colonics with her, but they were ineffective because there was so much impaction and she gave up after three visits. She did not feel she was getting the results she needed. But such severe constipation is a problem that develops over time. It very often must be reversed over time as well. The diet must be addressed and changed so that the problem can be properly addressed and corrected.
When speaking of diet and constipation, one might be surprised to learn of the so-called ‘healthy’ foods that can cause these difficulties. One such example is the bagel and cream cheese breakfast. If you don’t think that a bagel is going to cause a problem, just take it and soak it in some water for ten minutes. And then start to knead it. Pretty soon, you will find that it is a sticky paste that is very difficult to remove from your hands. If that is the case outside of the body, think what it will do inside the body? The fact is that bagels are very unhealthy for us, and this is one of the primary reasons.
Cream cheese is another hidden threat to health. The reason lies in how it is processed. Cream cheese is a chemical mixture of rancid cheeses, color, and flavor enhancers to make it what we consumers would think edible. In its natural state, cream cheese is actually gray and smells so bad that it is difficult for its processors to work with it without protective breathing devices. This is not ‘health food’ but rather a food stuff which is not fit for human consumption.
And this is only one example of how the American public has been deceived in the area of diet. There are many commonly accepted foods that people eat that contribute to the widespread constipation problem.
So, how should constipation be handled? Obviously, the first thing that we would have to do is look and change, if necessary, an individual’s diet. Supplementation may be needed as well, at least initially, while dietary changes are being made. The beauty of Nutrition Response Testing is how it helps me, as a practitioner, to find just the right supplement out of the twelve or fourteen products I use for such a problem. Once I find the protocol that the body needs and the patient begins eating a truly beneficial diet, constipation can usually be dealt with quite easily.
Constipation is considered almost normal in our society because ‘everyone’ seemingly has it, at least once in a while. But ‘normal’ is not a bowel movement that occurs only once every two or three months, or even once a week. Normal bowel function takes place at least once a day … anything less than that can cause a person to face some serious health trouble in the future.
I hope you will feel free to call my office for an appointment if you have issues with constipation. I would be happy to answer any further questions you might have and help you on the road to better colon health.
Until we meet again, here’s to your good health.
Dr. Jon R. Link