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Constipation can leave you feeling bloated and heavy. Most people experience this at some point in their lives and it’s really important to find the cause so it doesn’t turn into a bigger problem. Diet, and overall lifestyle can play a huge role in the frequency of your bowel movements and most of the time there is an easy fix to the issue.

If you suffer from constipation, it is important to seek help from a nutritionist or other health care professional who can get to the root of the problem, hopefully without major intervention, which could be counterproductive. Like other common ailments, it’s important to not dismiss constipation as something that just happens to you. With a little help you could end up feeling much lighter, and healthier overall.

Here are five reasons you may be constipated:

Dehydration

Water is extremely important for the digestive system to run properly. Water keeps things soft to prevent straining, which can be extremely uncomfortable, and comes with a whole slew of other issues (hemorrhoids… ouch).

The Standard American Diet

When you consume a high-sugar, low-fiber, highly processed diet you are making it nearly impossible for your digestive system to do its work properly. Foods high in allergens like dairy, gluten, and corn do a great job blocking the intestines. Food sensitivities can cause nausea, stomach cramps, bloating and constipation.

Lack of Exercise

The simplest way to put this is, when you move, your digestive organs move, and so does your secretion, providing flowing movements through your body. When you’re at a standstill, so is your poop! Get your workouts in to beat the bloat!

Change in Routine

Travel, a new schedule, or any other form of major change in your life can cause the body to react in a negative way. When your routine gets all out of whack, you tend to eat mindlessly, grab snacks as you go and usually they aren’t the healthiest, lacking important nutrients like fiber.

Stress

Ah, the root of all evil. Stress is a sure way to get everything backed up. When you are under a lot of pressure, your nervous system slows down blood flow, essentially shutting down the digestive process. If you’re not digesting your food, you aren’t passing stool either.

 

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