Is Constipation Stressing Your Heart Out. Here’s 6 Ways to Avoid Constipation.On Jun 24, 2011 Diet and Lifestyle | Wellness/Disease Prevention No Comments
Is Constipation Causing too Much Pressure and Having Negative Affects on Your Ticker?
Got constipation? Then you may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who do not have constipation. Printed in the American Journal of Medicine, the research involving 73,000 postmenopausal women over a 6 to 10 year period, has found the link between the two health concerns The study found that the 35 percent of women who reported constipation over the previous month were more likely to develop clogged arteries, have a heart attack or stroke, or die of heart disease. over the following year than the women without constipation.
According to Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, a cardiologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, no direct recommendations can be made from the information and it is not believed that constipation causes heart disease. They do however believe that those with constipation are likely to have higher risk factors for heart disease such as low-fiber diet, too little exercise, and higher rates of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
After other factors including age, weight, diet, exercise and traditional heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol were taken into account, the link stood up in only 1.6 percent of the women. The researchers suggested that measuring constipation could be a useful tool for identifying those women who were at higher risk of heart disease.
From a natural health perspective, it makes little sense to look for a purely genetic or structural type of link between constipation and heart disease however. This is because we know from the study of nutrigenomics that the majority of diseases are determined by our diet and lifestyle and not purely our family history. For example only one of two twins might develop heart disease if one eats well and exercises, whilst the other one doesn’t leads a sedentary life with a diet that is calorie rich and nutrient poor.
The normal causes of constipation are:1. Sedentary lifestyle 2. Lack of green leafy vegetables, fruit and other fiber 3. Lack of water 4. Excess diuretic type of drinks such as tea, coffee, alcohol 5. Low magnesium intake
These same causes of constipation are also causes of other well known health issues. For example, lack of water results in acidity of the body as well as dry bowel motions. Lack of magnesium decreases the body’s ability to process glucose, is related to heart palpitations, fluid retention and raised blood pressure. Magnesium is also needed for absorption of fluid into the bowel motion and to assist with good bowel tone. Exercise of course assists with cardiovascular function but also helps with bowel peristalsis. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide us with anti-oxidants that reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and therefore decrease the risk of heart disease as well as providing the fiber for regular bowel motions.
One of the most common treatments given to my patients in practice is liquid fish oil and magnesium. We all know how good fish oil is as a preventative for heart disease due to its anti-inflammatory effects and 5mls of liquid fish oil daily will improve constipation in most people. Daily exercise is of course recommended.
Constipation is commonly associated with problems of the gut, so should be investigated. Constipation is also associated with hypothyroidism – another factor that increases cholesterol and raises the risk of heart disease. And obviously if your bowels are sluggish the amount of toxins that your body will reabsorb whilst the train is sitting at the station, is going to be higher in someone who moves there bowels frequently.
So the only question now is how often should you be moving your bowels? Having “regular’ bowel movements basically means that you are going 1 to 3 times times daily and that the motion should be formed and appear much like an over ripe banana. If this doesn’t sound like you then remember the keys for good bowel function are the same for all general good health.1. Eat plenty of whole fresh food especially green leafy vegetables 2. Keep processed foods to a minimum 3. Get regular daily exercise 4. Drink at least 2 liters of water daily 5. Don’t overdo the diuretic and acidic drinks such as tea, coffee and alcohol 6. Take regular fish oil
If you still have problems after following these guidelines, make an appointment with your natural health practitioner who can provide you with a few other hints to keep you regular and healthy.