Smoking and Constipation – oh it’s linked…

Have you ever considered the link between smoking and constipation? Well many…

Have you ever considered the link between smoking and constipation?

Well many TCM Doctors see this link in practice. And now that your attention is to it, perhaps it is also something you may notice moving forward.

Here is TCM Dr. Peter Haxell to explain the link between smoking and constipation on an intricate level.

“Quitting smoking is an increasingly common challenge for many in today’s world. Whilst stopping smoking is an incredibly difficult thing to do, it is complicated by a range of symptoms or side effects that are frequently experienced once the habit is kicked.

One of the more common issues in a change in bowel patterns, with many experiencing constipation or sluggish bowel motions after they stop smoking.

Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the transit or movement of food/stool through the intestines, helping to keep bowel movements regular.

From a Chinese medicine point of view, there are a number of reasons to explain why this occurs and a few remedies to restore normal bowel function.

Smoking cigarettes has a ’heating’ effect on the lungs, and liver in particular in Chinese medicine theory, both organs playing key roles in the digestive process. The lungs have a relationship with the large intestine, with deep inhalation playing a key role in regular and smooth bowel movements. While nicotine stimulates bowel transit, the deep inhalation used by smokers also may help ensure better bowel function.

Alternate solutions? Vagus or diaphragmatic breathing for at least ten minutes daily is highly recommended to ensure better lung and large intestine function.

Smoking affects the liver and gallbladder in Chinese medicine, both these organs playing a role in the descent of food through the digestive tract.

If heat affects the gallbladder/liver it can lead to more frequent or regular bowel motions, and in more severe cases it can even lead to diarrhoea. Once smoking is ceased, this hyperactivity of the internal organs associated with bowel motions is eliminated and bowel transit can slow down significantly.

A diet that contains adequate vegetable and fibre content is recommended, and herbs that stimulate digestive function such as Digestive Herbs – formerly known as Tiny Tea or Sleep Tea for a less heat intensive blend”.

Yours in fresh air,
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