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Constipation is characterized as infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. More generally, constipation is described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, constipation is common among all ages and populations in the United States. About 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation, and about 33 out of 100 adults ages 60 and older have symptoms of constipation. And although occasional constipation is very common, many people experience chronic constipation that can interfere with their ability to go about their daily tasks. At the same time, chronic constipation may also cause people to strain excessively in order to have a bowel movement.

Stress a Common Cause

Constipation most commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract or cannot be eliminated effectively from the rectum, which may cause the stool to become hard and dry. Stress is a common underlying cause, which can lead to poor conduction in the large intestine. “Modern people are often nervous,” says Dr. Lee. “This nervousness can lead to gastrointestinal peristalsis and poor intestine function, which leads to food blockage and reduced water in the colon.” Coupled with our stressful modern lives, constipation can quickly lead to forced bowel movements, hemorrhoids, bleeding and more.

Chinese Medicine Perspective

Dr. Lee suggests a diet rich in vegetables and to not over-eat. The small intestine’s role is to absorb nutrients, and the large intestine is charged with residue removal. So, the large intestine needs a lot of fiber, which can produce beneficial intestinal gas. In cooperation with adequate water consumption, bowel movements can proceed smoothly and effectively. In addition, Dr. Lee stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system as well due to its link to the lungs. Traditional Chinese Medicine links the lungs and intestines in terms of their similar intake-removal functions. The lungs inhale air which becomes Qi and exhale carbon dioxide waste. The large intestine receives from the small intestine, processes and eliminates digestive waste materials. And as they’re both considered to be Metal in Five Elements Theory, whereby both of these organs are tasked with processing and releasing grief, worry and sadness.

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Originally from: Healthnews.com.tw
Healthnews/ Reporter Ka-Ching Kwan reports

Sheng-pu Health & Wellness