Dangerous health effects of chronic constipation and foods that help relieve it

Estimates suggest anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the general population experience chronic constipation,1,2,3 characterized by hard, dry and difficult to pass stools, and/or having less than three bowel movements per week.

While temporary constipation can be the result of simply eating poorly for a day or two, chronic constipation has been linked to a number of other, more serious health problems, including:

Causes and Risk Factors

Stool is the end result of digestion, which starts in your mouth and ends in your large intestine. When you chew, the food mixes with saliva, which starts the digestive process to break the food down.

As the food makes its way through your small intestine, nutrients and water are extracted, leaving only the waste products your body cannot use. A number of factors can affect the consistency and mobility of your stool, increasing your risk of developing chronic constipation. These include:

Lack of beneficial gut microbes, often caused by a lack of fiber in the diet.5

A low-fiber diet also makes your intestines more vulnerable to infection.

Fiber promotes bulkier, softer stools, and helps keep your intestinal walls intact6

Certain medications and supplements (such as antidepressants, opioids, antacids, blood pressure medications, diuretics and iron supplements)7,8,9,10
Excessive or chronic use of laxatives Frequently ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement (for instance, to avoid using public toilets)
Dehydration Magnesium deficiency

The following high-risk groups are also more likely to experience chronic constipation:

Women, especially during pregnancy or after giving birth. The weight of the developing baby normally sits on the intestines and can slow the motility or movement of the stool through the digestive tract.

As the stool slows down more water is extracted by the body, making the stool hard, dry and more difficult to pass. Older adults, due to lower physical activity level and slow-down of the digestive tract.

Lower-income individuals,11 because they may not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables, which provide fiber for their diets

People who have just had surgery. They may be nervous about pushing, may have reduced physical mobility and/or may not be eating their normal diet, all of which can contribute to constipation.

Certain medical conditions can also affect the ability of your intestinal tract to function normally, including:12,13

Conditions that cause blockage, such as tumors, inflammation or swelling and/or anal fissure Diabetes
Conditions that affect the nerves in your intestines Spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and stroke
Conditions involving the muscles used in elimination.

Weakened pelvic muscles or pelvic muscles which do not coordinate relaxation and contraction (dyssynergia)

Conditions that slow movement through the intestines, such as autonomic neuropathy and multiple sclerosis (MS)
Conditions that affect your hormones, such as hyperparathyroidism and hypothyroidism Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Connections Between Constipation and Your Health

Chronic constipation should not be taken lightly. Aside from causing pain and affecting your quality of life, it can have a significant impact on your overall health. For starters, chronic pushing and painful stools may predispose you to large hemorrhoids, which can be quite aggravating and painful.

Your colon was designed to hold a few pounds of stool, but when constipated your colon may hold up to 10 pounds of dry, hard feces. The sheer volume of stool alone can stretch your colon, irritate the lining of the colon (mucosa) and produce toxins while waiting to be eliminated.

Chronic constipation can also lead to tearing of the anus (anal fissure). These fissures are caused by trauma to the inner lining of the anus.14 Pushing out large, hard stools can also result in some of your intestines protruding from the anus (rectal prolapse), which requires surgical intervention.15

Postponing surgery increases your risk of further stretching your anal sphincter, and increases the amount of intestines that protrude. Chronic constipation can also affect the genital and urinary health of women.

Because the colon and female reproductive organs are structurally close, pressure from large amounts of stool in the colon can lead to rectal prolapse in the vagina,16increasing the potential that the bladder will not empty completely, or resulting in reflux of urine from the bladder back into the kidneys, called vesicoureteral reflux.17

Chronic Constipation May Raise Your Risk of Kidney Disease

According to recent research, men and women suffering with constipation had, on average, a 13 percent higher risk of kidney disease than those who were not chronically constipated.18,19,20 The study had a follow-up period of seven years. They also had a 9 percent higher risk of kidney failure.

Overall, severe constipation led to a quicker deterioration of kidney function, although the exact mechanism was undetermined. According to co-author Dr. Csaba Kovesdy, a professor of medicine in nephrology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Memphis VA Medical Center:21

“Our findings highlight the plausible link between the gut and the kidneys and provide additional insights [into the possible causes of kidney disease]. Our results suggest the need for careful observation of kidney function trajectory in patients with constipation, particularly among those with more severe constipation.”

How Constipation Relates to Parkinson’s Disease

Your gut and brain health are closely connected. A number of studies have delved into the role of gut bacteria in the workings of the gut-brain axis, and how they benefit your mental and psychological health.

For instance, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders are increasingly recognized as being, in part, related to an unbalanced microbiome. This interlinking may also shed light on why chronic constipation is associated with a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s.

In one recent mouse study, proteins implicated in the disease were found to travel from the gut into the brain over the course of several weeks. These findings suggest that, in some cases, Parkinson’s disease may have its origins in the gut. The question is, what causes alpha-synuclein to accumulate in the gut? No one knows for sure, but theories include:

  • Presence of bacteria that produce curli — a compound that causes an aggregation of alpha-synuclein
  • Pesticide exposure
  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic inflammation

Foods That Relieve Constipation

If you struggle with frequent constipation, reaching for a laxative may be a tempting option. However, doing so may simply exacerbate the problem as chronic laxative use can cause dependency. Your best bet is to address your diet instead.

Food Ingredient(s) that help relieve constipation
Water and/or warm beverages such as tea or warm water with lemon Increasing your water intake may resolve the problem if your dry stools are due to dehydration.

Drink enough that your urine is straw colored. If it’s dark yellow, then you’re dehydrated. If it’s colorless you are drinking too much

Leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard and kale Fiber, magnesium and water
Avocado Magnesium
Fermented vegetables Healthy bacteria (probiotics), fiber and digestive enzymes
Yogurt from raw organic grass-fed milk (to identify healthier commercial brands, see the Cornucopia Institute’s Yogurt Buyer’s Guide) Healthy bacteria (probiotics)
Prunes Fiber. The skin also has mild laxative properties
Radishes Compound that promotes healthy peristalsis (relaxation and contraction of your intestines)
Flax seeds (freshly ground) Fiber
Organic psyllium Fiber
Beans Fiber, magnesium
Dark chocolate (cacao) Magnesium
Olives and olive oil24,25 Promotes bile production, which aids digestion. The fats also promote intestinal wall health and loosen stool.

CONTRAINDICATED for babies and young children. Use small amount of pureed prunes instead and please remember that the vast majority of olive oil sold in the U.S. is adulterated. So be very careful and do your research before you but it

Figs and fig paste26 Fiber and prebiotics. They also increase production of mucin (proteins that form a physical barrier that protects your intestinal wall from damage) and improve peristalsis
Aloe vera27,28 Acts as a stimulant laxative. Aids with protein digestion and helps strengthen intestinal muscles.

CONTRAINDICATED for pregnant or nursing women, children, diabetics and those with hemorrhoids, kidney problems, intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s, and those allergic to plants from the liliaceae family such as onions, garlic and tulips

Magnesium supplement Magnesium
Castor oil29 Works as a stimulant laxative, causing increased movement and contractions in the small intestine.

BEWARE: Castor oil is also used to induce vomiting, so should be used sparingly and only as a short-term or occasional remedy in lieu of chemical laxatives. A typical dose is around 15 milliliters (mL), or about 3 teaspoons.


Also contraindicated if you have rectal bleeding, stomach pain, symptoms of appendicitis, symptoms of blocked intestine and vomiting

Long-term use can result in serious adverse effects, including dehydration, diarrhea, potassium depletion, malnutrition, muscle weakness and swelling of the bowel

Squatting and Exercise Can Also Reduce Constipation

The position you use when going to the bathroom can significantly impact the ease with which you eliminate. It can also influence your risk of bowel and pelvic problems, including constipation, hemorrhoids and more. Most of you reading this probably sit to evacuate your bowel, but this requires you to apply additional force (straining), which has unwanted biological effects, including a temporary disruption in cardiac flow.

Sitting on a modern toilet is designed to place your knees at a 90-degree angle to your abdomen. However, the time-honored natural squat position places your knees much closer to your torso, and this position actually changes the spatial relationships of your intestinal organs and musculature, optimizing the forces involved in defecation.

Squatting straightens your rectum, relaxes your puborectalis muscle and allows for complete emptying of your cecum and appendix without straining, which prevents fecal stagnation and the accumulation of toxins in your intestinal tract.

If you have trouble with bowel movements, especially constipation, I urge you to give the squat position a try.


Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation

Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.

In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!

Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!

==> Naturally Fight & Reverse Damaging Inflammatory Effects in Your Body!

Best stretch before bed (1 minute)

Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…

What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...

=> Best stretch before bed (takes 1-min)


Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody

Stop Snoring in 3 Minutes - Starting Tonight

...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!

Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?

Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!

...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.

Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.

Use them anytimeanywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.

Plus the results are permanent!

To learn more and test-drive the easy snoring and sleep apnea exercises for yourself, click here...

To a good night's sleep,
Rick + Lisa
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody

The #1 "bodyfat-eating" hormone...

weight loss solved

Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?

True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.

However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...

It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:

==> How to Activate Your #1 "Bodyfat-Eating" Hormone...

To your health!

PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...

#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

Is it…

a) Abs

b) Chest

c) Glutes

d) Hip Flexors

Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!

How to Wipe Out Chronic Inflammation (Free Book)


In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.

See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.

Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.

inflammation book

Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!

Get the Free Inflammation Book

--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)

Free Paleo / Keto Cookbook

Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold ­­ a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...

And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!

paleohack chart

The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef ­created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes ­­ which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.

Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)

>> Get The Free Cookbook


Sponsored Health Resources

In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.

NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!

1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…

--> "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!

2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.

--> Get the 1 Day Cleanse (better than 7-day detoxes!)

3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

--> #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!

--> Your Birth Date + Name - Free Report

5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!

--> The best way to get maximum effects of Turmeric

6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.

--> Why Some People LOOK Fat that Aren't

7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.

-->  Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.

Rick D.