Did you know each month there is are usually not just one but several associations and organizations that try to educate the public on an array of health concerns? April is an awareness month for 13 health concerns, it also holds weekly awareness for another 3 health issues, and 4 days to specifically raise awareness for yet another set of medical problems, some of which overlap with the monthly awareness. Each month is similar, differing in health observances.
Amongst the monthly efforts for April is “Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness”, also referred to as IBS. A topic that is somewhat taboo to talk about is our bowel habits, or going number two as some refer to it. However, 10-15% of the U.S. population suffers from this condition, which is disorder, “characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, and altered bowel habit (chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or both – either mixed or in alternation).” It is important to exclude any other causes of these problems with your doctor.
Ideally for good health we should be having a bowel movement that is not painful, or difficult, at least 1x/day, perhaps even up to 3, after your main meals. These should be well formed and brown in color. If you are going days without having a bowel movement, the toxins that are waiting to leave your body are built up and can lead to increased chance of colon cancer.
Constipation can be avoided, consider these 3 simple steps:
1. Make sure you are getting enough water. Imagine a pipe that represents your intestines and if the line is dry so to say, nothing in it will move. Ideally we should all get at least 64 ounces or more depending on your weight. Often if you weigh more, you should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Example 200 lbs person, needs to drink 100 ounces of pure water.
2. Vitamin C isn’t just for your immune system, it also has many other health benefits, including aiding the bowels. Taking 2000mg along with 200mg magnesium per day can aid in elimination.
3. Be friends with fiber! Fruits and vegetables such as brocolli, cauliflower, spinach, and zuccini are rich in fiber. There are also fiber supplements that may be beneficial.
“The road to good health is paved with good intestines!” (Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis)