Digestive health is essential for healthy living. Or, as Hippocrates said ages ago, “all disease begins in the gut”. Digestion and digestive processes supply the body with the energy and nutrients necessary for its normal function. After a meal, it takes six to eight hours for food to pass through the stomach and small intestine. It then enters the large intestine for the last stage of digestion. Finally, waste material and undigested food residue leave the large intestine and are expelled from the body. It is therefore essential to maintain regular digestion.
People commonly experience various problems: everyone has an ailment of some kind, takes medications or dietary supplements, feels unwell or is dissatisfied; often, such problems are attributed to changes in weather, stress, or tiredness. While there is some truth to these explanations, digestion is often overlooked. Poor and slow digestion and constipation are problems that most people experience today. Poor digestion can lead to the prolonged presence of harmful substances in the body, decreased effectiveness of the immune system, and various health risks. It can also significantly affect the quality of life.
Human digestion is a very complex process that is ill-adapted to modern life. We are exposed to harmful substances present in our diet, medications, and the environment, which can have an adverse effect on our health and digestion. It is often said that constipation is a disease of civilisation; however, it is not a disease, but a symptom, much like fever. Constipation can have different causes, and we should maintain regular bowel movements to alleviate chronic problems and strengthen the body.
Today, constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems not only in adults, but in children and pregnant women as well. It is important to identify the problem and treat it without delay. After it is determined whether constipation is functional or organic, a physician will prescribe the appropriate treatment. In most cases, and particularly for functional constipation, treatment begins with lifestyle and diet changes and is followed by the use of osmotic laxatives. The treatment of constipation should be gradual and the problem actively addressed.