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Constipation & Nutrition

Constipation; The complete opposite to getting ‘the-shits’. Constipation is a condition in which a person has difficulty or infrequent passage of poo. It can be a symptom of underlying pathology or an acute or chronic condition in itself. It can last days, months, or even years.



You should comfortably donate a formed sausage to the toilet once a day.  


A combination of dietary changes, coupled with nutritional supplementation and lifestyle changes can greatly contribute to the alleviation of constipation. A thorough analysis of your diet, lifestyle, exercise routine, behaviours and any medical conditions will be completed prior to commencement of treatment to ensure it focuses on the underlying factors that causing constipation.


Diagnosis:

The Rome Criteria II defines constipation as having 2 or more of the following factors for at least 3 months:

<3 stools a week.

Passing of hard stools

Straining >25% of the time

Incomplete evacuation

Sensation of blockage


But who cares if you don't poop?

Constipation is a symptom in itself, a message to you that something in your body is out of balance.

When constipated, you are also unable to remove waste from your body, nutrients from food may not be absorbed into your bloodstream. You're very likely to have uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, bad breath, GI distension, flatulence, and headaches. Chronic constipation can wreak havoc on your butthole, may cause blockages in your GI tract causing further issues down the track.


Gut health is strongly correlated with your health. Sort out your poo.


HOW CAN A DIETITIAN HELP?

- Analyse your current intake and lifestyle habits to create personalised food and nutrition plan.

- Provide you with a plan full of delicious recipes rich in the nutrients your body and GI tract needs to encourage comfortable bowel movements and GI flora (healthy gut bugs).

- Ensure adequate amounts of fibre, especially insoluble fibre which helps to absorb water to soften your stool for comfortable evacuation. 

- Recommend supplements to complement your nutrition plan.

- Ensure adequate hydration due to dehydration is a common cause of constipation.

- Educate you on certain herbs and natural therapies to help strengthen and tone your bowel function, assist in the evacuation of stools and reduce nervous tension that may be contributing. 

- Encourage you to remove or avoid food items that may contribute to constipation, such as refined foods, sugar, alcohol and some dairy products.

- Recommend a probiotic that is supported by evidence to assist in alleviating constipation and encourage healthy gut flora. 


Happy gut, happy life (or something like that?)


Start comfortably pooping and support your body to optimal health, click here to contact Nikki to discuss the right plan for you.


Nikki

Accredited Practising Dietitian 


Reference:


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Barker LR, Burton JR, Zieve PD, eds. Principles of Ambulatory Medicine. 4th ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1995:476-491.

Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(6):1086-1107.

JAMA Patient Page. How much vitamin C do you need? JAMA. 1999;281(15):1460.

Johnston CS. Recommendations for vitamin C intake. JAMA. 1999;282(22):2118-2119.


Levine M, Rumsey SC, Daruwala R, Park JB, Wang Y. Criteria and recommendations for vitamin C intake. JAMA. 1999;281(15):1415-1453.

McRorie JW, Daggy BP, Morel JG, Diersing PS, Miner PB, Robinson M. Psyllium is superior to docusate sodium for treatment of chronic constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1998;12:491-497.

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Chmielewska A, Szajewska H.Systematic review of randomised controlled trials: probiotics for functional constipation. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 7;16(1):69-75. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20039451


Quitadamo P, Coccorullo P, Giannetti E, Romano C, Chiaro A, Campanozzi A, Poli E, Cucchiara S, Di Nardo G, Staiano A. A randomized, prospective, comparison study of a mixture of acacia fiber, psyllium fiber, and fructose vs polyethylene glycol 3350 with electrolytes for the treatment of chronic functional constipation in childhood. J Pediatr. 2012 Oct;161(4):710-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22677568


Ding M, Lin Z, Lin L, Zhang H, Wang M. The effect of biofeedback training on patients with functional constipation. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2012 Mar-Apr; 35(2):85-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22472667


van Wunnik BP, Peeters B, Govaert B, Nieman FH, Benninga MA, Baeten CG. Sacral neuromodulation therapy: a promising treatment for adolescents with refractory functional constipation. Dis Colon Rectum. 2012 Mar; 55(3):278-85. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22469794


Riezzo G, Orlando A, D'Attoma B, Guerra V, Valerio F, Lavermicocca P, De Candia S, Russo F Randomised clinical trial: efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei-enriched artichokes in the treatment of patients with functional constipation--a double-blind, controlled, crossover study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;35(4):441-50 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22225544


Chang CC, Lin YT, Lu YT, Liu YS, Liu JF. Kiwifruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2010; 19(4):451-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21147704


Higashikawa F, Noda M, Awaya T, Nomura K, Oku H, Sugiyama M. Improvement of constipation and liver function by plant-derived lactic acid bacteria: a double-blind, randomized trial. Nutrition. 2010 Apr;26(4):367-74. Epub 2009 Jul 22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19628371


Murtagh, J. (2011) Murtagh's general practice. McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd: NSW.

Hechtman, L. (2011) Clinical Naturopathic Medicine. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier: Australia.

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