Array

There’s more to constipation than grunting

You think constipation isn’t important?

If so, an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests you’d better think again. Annually, in the U.S., 700,000 people are seen in hospital emergency wards for this problem.

Since 2006 there’s been a shocking 42% increase in constipation, costing $1.6 billion.

So what’s gone wrong, and what are the medical consequences other than grunting?

Constipation can be merely a chronic annoyance affecting quality of life. But Dr. John R. Hyatt, gastroenterologist at the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano in Texas, says, “It can also result in hemorrhoids, anal tears, fissures, rectal prolapse and fecal impaction.”

Fecal impaction is no fun.

It occurs when a large fecal mass cannot be passed. This can result in pain, bleeding, vomiting, a rapid pulse, dehydration, even confusion.

A poor lifestyle is often responsible for many cases of constipation.

Dr. Michael Levitt, an Australian colon-rectal surgeon writes in The Bowel Book that bowels work best when stools resemble the shape and consistency of an unripe banana.

But most stools are far from banana-like because of poor fiber intake, inadequate fluids, lack of exercise, faulty bowel habits such as delaying a bowel movement (BM), and overuse of laxatives and enemas.

Another big cause is the ‘pillitis epidemic’ of prescription medication such as antidepressants, sedatives, iron supplements, blood pressure medication and pain killers which decrease bowel motility.

Medical diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease can affect bowel function.

So how can you prevent the complications of a constipated bowel?

Remember what circus promoters Barnum and Bailey used to say, “There’s a sucker born every day.”

They’re the ones who fall prey to high-powered ads that promote laxatives to treat constipation. This practice over a period of time can destroy the nerves in the bowel, resulting in a lifetime of laxative use. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a ‘Constipation Anonymous’ society to prevent this from happening.

Another problem is that most North Americans only get 15 grams of dietary fiber daily, when it should be double that amount. Increased fiber holds onto water making stools soft as toothpaste rather than hard as rock.

Years ago readers complained that I gave them stiff necks. I had advised that they look back at the toilet bowl to see if their stools floated. That’s a good sign of sufficient fiber.

Also, it’s best to have a bowel movement early in the morning.

Get up a little earlier, eat a high fiber cereal such as Fiber One or Fiber First along with added fruit. A hot beverage also helps to trigger the gastro-colic reflex that stimulates a bowel movement.

But suppose you’ve done all the right things and are still grunting on the toilet. It’s never a good idea to succumb to the variety of laxatives. This always ends up as a no-win decision.

There is a normal, safe and effective natural remedy that works 99% of the time. Many years ago I interviewed Dr. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner. The purpose was to discuss Vitamin C and how it can help to prevent cardiovascular complications. (See the before and after photos on my web site after high doses of C).

During my interview with Pauling he made a chance remark that surprised me. He said, “I always take a high dose of powdered Vitamin C in the morning as it stops constipation.”

Medi-C Plus and other brands of Vitamin C powder are available in health food stores.

How much Vitamin C is needed varies from person to person. But a good starting dose is 2,000 milligrams (mgs) at bedtime and another 2,000 mg with breakfast. There’s a good chance of a BM in about 30 minutes.

If this does not happen, gradually increase the dosage. Eventually grunting will stop. And who wants to face the embarrassment of fecal impaction?

There’s an added advantage of decreasing the risk of coronary attack and other cardiovascular troubles, a win-win situation easily achieved with zero side-effects.

See the web site www.docgiff.com. For comments, email info @docgiff.com.

Just Posted

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

City increases parking rates by 25%

Red Deerians expected to pay increase in early fine payments

RCMP make arrests after bank robbery

Two suspects are in custody after using a needle to rob a CIBC in north Red Deer

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read