Aside from being incredibly frustrating, uncomfortable and painful…
Let’s be honest, one would rather eat their foot for breakfast than have to deal with daily constipation.
It’s emotionally frustrating, physically painful and obviously not a natural state for the body to be in when operating optimally.
TCM Dr. Peter Haxell explains exactly what constipation is from a Chinese Medicine perspective.
“Constipation is the reduction of frequency of bowel movements, or difficulty passing stool. As an overview, signs of constipation can include bowel motions every 2nd day or longer, difficulty passing stool- having to strain excessively, dry stool or even sticky stool.
So what causes constipation?
Constipation can be caused by any of the organs making up the digestive tract, however, in Chinese medicine the 3 most common types arise from dysfunction with the liver and gallbladder, the stomach, and the small intestine
- Gallbladder/ Liver pattern:
The function of the gallbladder is to release bile (produced by the Liver) to help digest fats and lipids in the gut. Essentially it promotes the descent of food and stool through the intestines, and if released in excess amounts can cause loose stools or diarhoea, if not enough is released then this can lead to constipation. This occurs more commonly with high fat diets, or with excessive intake of processed or deep fried and fatty foods. It can also occur because of stress affecting the liver/ gallbladder and interfering with the release of bile and digestive enzymes. Typically there will be difficulty passing stool, which may be small and pellet sized, as well as bloating in the lower abdomen. The stool may also float- an indication of too much fat in the diet.
- Stomach pattern:
The stomach is the sea of fluids in Chinese medicine, playing a key role in water absorption, as well as the breaking down of food so that the intestines can extract key nutrients. When there is heat or inflammation affecting the stomach, fluids will be used more quickly leading to less fluids being available in the small and large intestine. The stool then dries out, becoming harder to pass. This often occurs due to high protein or too acidic diets that don’t incorporate enough fibre and green vegetables, and where fluid intake isn’t appropriate. There is often more pain and strain before or during a bowel motion, there might be some fresh blood in the stool. Associated symptoms can include excessive hunger or hunger pains, feeling warm or tired from 3pm onwards, irritability, restless sleep, disturbed dreams and thirst.
- Small Intestine:
The rarest of the 3, this occurs when the small intestine fails to properly transform and transport food/fluids leading to fluids and then the stool not travelling to the large intestine quickly enough. In this case the stool will be sticky- requiring more wipes than normal after a bowel motion! Usually caused by eating raw food such as salads and smoothies, cold food and drinks, ice cream and dairy”.
Now you can see that constipation isn’t as straight forward as one may think. The causes of and solutions to alleviating constipation will vary from person to person.
At Your Tea, we have a range of blends that help to alleviate constipation via addressing the various areas of health as mentioned above.
Feel free to email us or drop us a line on Live Chat so we can better help you find a blend that suits your type of constipation.
Yours in happy mornings,