Regular bowl movements i.e. taking a poop on a daily basis is a basic and essential function of daily life. Barring a gastrointestinal condition of some sort, everybody has to take a seat on the throne usually once a day. However many people don’t, and it can be absolute hell for them…really, it’s a nightmare. Not being able to go to the loo can result in the accumulation of toxins within the body which can eventually leach into the main systemic system reaching the brain. Several days of not going to the loo can start to effect mood and mental function, resulting in poorer concentration and information recall, as well as bouts of confusion.
The brain and bowels are closely connected
The brain influences bowel function as much as bowel function influences the brain, the two are very closely connected. This shouldn’t be a surprise when we consider that the brain is the connecting network to everything in the human body. We know that a person’s stress levels can drastically effect their bowel function, you may have experienced this yourself when preparing for an important sporting event or exam (for example). On the flip side of this though is the stress and anxiety that poor bowel function can cause. Studies have demonstrated how women (in particular) are more likely to report anxiety, depression and feeling less feminine as a result of constipation. And it doesn’t end here, because it seems the poorer a person’s psychological wellbeing, the lower the blood flow is to their rectum. So feeling low in mood can have significant effects on bowel movements, largely because a poorer blood flow reduces tissue contractility and digestion.
What are some of the main causes?
Diet is the main factor to address when someone is constipated. Bowel movements rely on a number of things including a variety of foods that deliver fibre (both soluble and insoluble), plenty of fluid and regular activity. A lack of activity is one of the main causes of constipation in the elderly, this is partly because many elderly people are less mobile and therefore drink less fluid through fear of having to keep going to the toilet. As previously mentioned, stress is also a contributing factor to constipation, so too are some medications and indeed, some underlying medical conditions.
If constipation is left untreated and persists for more than 3 days, then it may be in the person’s best interests to speak to a Doctor or general health professional about it. The consequences of severe, chronic constipation can include Hepatic encephalopathy whereby toxins that are ordinarily removed by the liver, are allowed to accumulate in the bloodstream. Although the causes of this condition vary, infection and constipation are some of the main precursors. The condition is reversible if treated, and treatment relies entirely on reducing the number of toxins present in the intestine via the use of a laxative.
Golden Linseed… The Natural Laxative
Such is the efficacy of Golden Linseed that it is now the standard recommendation for people suffering with constipation based Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is interesting because it is quite often brought on by stress and anxiety, which then worsens the original condition… IBS can be a bit of a vicious circle. Linseeds offer a whole host of benefits to us, not least for their ability to free our bowel motions up when we become constipated. They also have a high omega oil content, they’re able to reduce cholesterol, alleviate symptoms of menopause, as well as possibly improving insulin sensitivity i.e. blood sugar control.
Linseeds are effective at relieving constipation because they provide the two forms of fibre (soluble and insoluble) in one. The insoluble fibre is the shell of the seed which is impenetrable by water, and the soluble fibre is the inside of the seed which is permeable to water. Linseed helps to draw fluid into the intestine and moisten the stool (poop), whilst the shell of the seed provides roughage needed to break the stool up.
If you want to utilise Golden Linseeds then look to start with a teaspoon a day, gradually building it up to 1-2 tablespoons a day ensuring you spread it out over the course of the day. You can sprinkle this over your food, in yoghurt, in porridge and so on, it doesn’t have a prominent taste and can usually be incorporated into your diet quite easily.