My bowel movements are not regular as of late. Is that a major health issue?

Constipation is seldom discussed and spoken about, but it’s important to pay attention to the regularity of your stool. Stools are not just unabsorbed food but also have toxins including hormones your body doesn’t require, bacteria, fat, protein waste matter and dead cells from the gut. Constipation prevents the body from getting rid of the waste, which then keeps circulating in the blood. Headaches are one of the first indicators. You’ll also feel bloated over a period of time and skin could develop acne. Constipation can make you feel tired all the time. Left unchecked, it can cause serious health issues that may need surgery.

Constipation could result due to you eating less fibre or very little fat, if you’re on a new diet and your body is taking time to adjust to it, if you’re having a lot of sugar, from an overuse of medicines, fluctuating thyroid levels, stress and being inactive.

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Your solar plexus is your body’s emotional energy centre. So when you have old unresolved issues and emotional experiences you aren’t letting go off, your solar plexus gets jammed and this causes more pressure on your colon, causing constipation. Your emotions will always manifest in your body if you don’t regularly address them or clear them off.

Taking laxatives could make your body dependent on medication, so avoid them. Here are things you can do to get fix constipation:

Fibre: You need to have a minimum of 500g (raw weight) of veggies a day for enough fibre to get your lazy bowels moving. But make sure your veggies are well cooked if you have a sensitive gut. You’ll have a lot of bloating if they are raw. Avoid laxatives.

Good fat: Apart from the fat-first ritual, have more good-quality fat such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil, nut butters and olives all through the day.

Eliminate foods: Some of you may feel constipated with dairy or gluten or too much caffeine.

Prunes or prune juice: Have five to six prunes or half-to-one glass of prune juice. It works wonders.

Green juices: This includes cucumber, celery, mint, ginger, water and salt.

Magnesium citrate 200 to 400mg can help.

Let go of any emotional baggage from the past that does not serve you anymore. It helps with gut healing. Stay hydrated at all times.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.