Coffee and Hidden Constipation
Yes, let‘s talk about our bowel movements – not your favorite topic? Well, it shouldn’t be silenced since it is such a vital part of our health. Our bowel movement can show us some of our body’s concerns before they develop into more serious conditions. Constipation can be one of them.
Regular bowel movements help us to get rid of toxins, expel waste products from our digestion and support our body in keeping clean and healthy. For most people a healthy guideline would be 1-3 times daily. If we suffer from constipation we often experience a bloated stomach, abdominal pain, hard stool or the inability to entirely clear out our bowel. These are very important signs – it is our body speaking to us.
The black stimulant – Laxative effect of caffeine
Did you know that the caffeine in many people’s daily coffee has actually a laxative effect on our system? It puts our body into a state of artificial stress which triggers the release of stress hormones. These hormones irritate our intestinal mucosa and result in an unnatural bowel movement right after taking in caffeine. You might have realized that when some days you had more than usual cups of coffee and suffered from diarrhea afterwards. I myself could never really warm up to the taste of coffee but whenever I tried it I experienced this effect instantly.
Below the surface – How our daily coffee can hide constipation
If coffee is a daily habit for us, here comes the problem. In case our body suffers from constipation, we wouldn’t even realise it, since the laxative caffeine gives us a regular bowel movement. Should be all fine then, right? Far fetched, since the underlying problems that caused the constipation in the first place do still exist. And if they remain unnoticed in the long run they might actually lead to bigger issues.
Furthermore, regular intake of coffee and other laxatives stimulate our peristalsis (the muscle contractions that move our food through the intestines). Our intestinal system soon gets used to this and unlearns to use its own reflexes. In addition, with constipation the feces is discarded too fast, so that the large intestine doesn’t have enough time to perform its task. One of them is reabsorbing water and minerals from this mass which if not performed might lead to mineral deficiency or dehydration.
The source of discomfort – Common causes of constipation
Many causes for constipation can be eliminated by a change in our eating habits and lifestyle choices, like the following list of possible causes shows:
– Drinking insufficient amounts of water
– A lack of dietary fibers in the diet (e.g. berries, pears, flaxseeds, avocados or leafy greens)
– Not enough physical exercise
– Consuming too much refined sugar and white flour products
– Not chewing enough or eating too fast
– Certain medications causing constipation
– Emotional imbalances and stress
These dietary and lifestyle habits might lead to a variety of health issues and when tackled can drastically improve our wellbeing. But to take action, we would have to realize that there is actually a problem. This is the first step to more health and can avoid any bad surprises later in life.
Affected, but not helpless – Empower yourself to heal naturally
So, is there a chance your body is burdened with a hidden constipation? Just take a look at the timing of your bowel movements, do most of them occur right after your cup of coffee? If that should be the case, you might want to get away from caffeine for a while to see if constipation symptoms show up. If that’s the case for you, empower yourself with deeper knowledge about constipation and the numerous possibilities to sooth the symptoms naturally.
You can ease the discomfort by eating dried plums or figs (choose unsulfurated, organic ones) as a first resort. At the same time tackling the common causes for constipation listed above. Taking medications for constipation often just treats the symptoms not the causes of your problem and might even add some new issues. And, who could have guessed – you might want to keep away from the coffee till then.
Early birds on mushroom tea – How to move away from coffee
There are some great brands making healthy coffee alternatives with a very similar taste, for example out of mushrooms . Apart from that, if you can’t really get going without your morning coffee I got some wake-up remedies for you. A good stretch and a glass of water with lemon juice can wake you up the gentle way. And yes, consider the powerful effect of a good night’s sleep as well.
It’s time to move away from just treating symptoms and turning to stimulants like coffee to feel better in the short run. Instead let’s take a look at the underlying causes of our health conditions. Our food and lifestyle choices play a huge role here and can make a big difference if we decide to shift them. There is so much to gain from embarking on such a journey towards more health and vibrancy. We just have to start listening to our body and take advantage of the powerful healing possibilities of nature.