Almost everyone will hear about, read about, and maybe even personally experience constipation at least once during their lifetime. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) reports that more than 4 million Americans have frequent constipation, which account for over 2.5 million physician visits a year.
Are you suffering from stress, lack of energy, back pains, or feeling bloated? Did you ever consider the possibility that constipation may be the root problem to some of your reported pains of stress, lack of energy, back pains, or feeling bloated? Let’s explore this further.
What Is Constipation?
First it is important to define and have better clarity as to what constipation is. According to Wikipedia.org, constipation is defined as a symptom of infrequent hard to pass bowel movements. According to NDDIC, Constipation is defined as a symptom and not a disease, having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week. With constipation stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate . My definition of being constipated means that you have difficulty passing stools and do not have at least one bowel movements everyday.
Now that you have a better understanding of what constipation is, you also know what it is not – a disease. Just because constipation is not a disease, does this mean you are not to take it seriously?
Although a symptom by definition, it is highly critical that you are aware of these alarming constipation facts taken from NDDIC :
- Prevalence: 3.1 million people (1996)
- Mortality: 121 deaths (2002)
- Hospitalizations: 398,000 (2002)
- Ambulatory care visits: 1.4 million (1999–2000)
- Prescriptions: 1 million (1985)
- Disability: 30,000 people (1990–1992)
Common Symptoms of Constipation
Acknowledging the above referenced, eye-opening facts, and knowing how your health is key to living a long and successful life in all areas of your life, let’s look at a couple of sources as references to symptoms of constipation. Mayo Clinic  reports you are likely to have constipation if you experience two of the following signs or symptoms:
- Pass fewer than three stools a week
- Experience hard stools
- Strain excessively during bowel movements
- Experience a sense of rectal blockage
- Have a feeling of incomplete evacuation after having a bowel movement
- Need to use manual maneuvers to have a bowel movement, such as finger evacuation or manipulation of your lower abdomen
WrongDiagnosis.com reports 32 symptoms of constipation, including but not limited to difficult bowel movement, dry bowel movement, painful bowel movement, dry feces, small feces, hard feces, absent bowel movement, infrequent bowel movement, fecal straining, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, feeling uncomfortable, feeling sluggish, diarrhea, abdominal swelling, and abdominal bloating .
Now, if your stools are soft and pass easily and you pass them at least 2 times per day, I would say you’re not constipated.
In order to be diagnosed with constipation, you must have at least two of the following symptoms for at least 12 months:
- Hard or pellet-like stools at least 25% of the time
- Straining with bowel movements at least 25% of the time
- A feeling that you don’t completely empty your bowels at least 25% of the time
- Fewer than 5 bowel movements per week
Here is the bottom-line:
Although constipation is not a disease, take its symptoms seriously as constipation can be the root problem to some of your most common reported pains of stress, lack of energy, and back pains, just to name a few. Once you are able to target the root problem, the process of finding answers that work for the long term becomes much easier, and in some cases, life saving.
For this reason I recommend using an oxygen based colon cleanser at least 2x weekly to keep your bowel movements regular. In fact, the results of a recent clinical study shows that Oxy-Powder®, one of the best oxygen colon cleansers, will help relieve the symptoms of constipation.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
- National Institutes of Health. Constipation. NIH Publication No. 07-2754. 2007 July.
- National Institutes of Health. Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States. NIH Publication No. 10–3873. 2010 June.
- Mayo Clinic. Constipation. 2011 January 14.
- Williams, Robert MD. Constipation: symptoms. Health Grades Inc. 2011 March 16.
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