Constipation is most commonly defined as having less than 3 bowels movement per week. It normally is associated with difficulty passing stool and hard stools overall. There is pain while trying to pass stools, or a complete inability to have a bowel movement even after straining to do so. There are many causes for constipation, and it is an affliction that affects millions of people throughout the United States and around the world. For the vast majority of people constipation is a transient problem that resolves with changes in diet, improved hydration, or the incorporation of dietary fiber. For others constipation can be a sign of something more serious such as intestinal cancer, neurological disease, or intestinal obstruction from an infection. If constipation persists for many months, or is associated with other health complaints such as rectal bleeding, weight loss, increasing fatigue, and intense abdominal pain being evaluated by a trained medical professional is absolutely necessary.
However, there are many cases where constipation is a functional problem linking back to a food sensitivities, chronic bowel infection, or poor digestion overall from consuming unhealthy food or poor digestive enzyme production.
Constipation Problems – Food Sensitivities
Constipation problems can come about from eating food that your body is immune sensitive too. There can be almost anything that a person can develop a sensitivity too, but the following list of foods are quite common in food sensitivity tests:
• Wheat, gluten
• Dairy (cow) – including milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream
• Soy (and soy products)
One of the best tests to do to see if food sensitivities are causing a problem is the Comprehensive Food IgG Test (finger prick). This easy to do test at home involves no blood draw, and only requires a small amount of blood via a non-painful finger prick procedure. The test analyzes for over 90 foods. It is an efficient way to assess for a wide range of food reactions.
Constipation Problems – Chronic Infections
Constipation problems can occur from long-standing infections in the digestive system. Bacteria, yeast, and parasites if left untreated can harbor in the digestive system leading to chronic irritation and constipation overtime. Not everyone with chronic constipation has infections, but a certain percentage of people do and analyzing the digestive system for pathogens can help uncover an important cause or contributing factor for constipation problems. The Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) helps to identify a myriad of normal and abnormal bowel bacteria, as well as yeast, parasites, and digestive markers which suggest inflammation and poor digestive enzyme production. The CDSA is a complete digestive stool analysis. The Gastrointestinal Pathogen Screen w/H. pylori – #401-H (from BioHealth Laboratory) is a more specific stool test for parasites and bacterial overgrowth.
Constipation Problems – Digestive Enzyme Production Issues
Constipation problems can also come about from faulty production of digestive enzymes. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid to help breakdown proteins in the stomach, and the pancreas produces a wide variety of enzymes need to breakdown protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Without adequate digestive enzyme production poor food assimilation occurs and this stress can lead to constipation for some people. Just like the discussion in the ‘chronic infection’ section the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) is an excellent test to perform for constipation problems to assess all around digestive markers, including those for enzyme production.
Recommended: Lab Tests