As if digestive issues weren’t common enough already, being in lockdown can actually make them worse. Stress, not moving around as much, and not drinking enough water can all lead to feeling more constipated than usual.


Typically, constipation is thought of as being unable to poop, usually accompanied by all sorts of fun symptoms like bloat, gas, and general discomfort. But according to  Fiber Fueled author and gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, MD, you can still be constipated even if you poop every day.


“This is a little-known, but highly important fact for anyone with a damaged gut who is trying to heal,” Dr. Bulsiewicz shared on Instagram. “I see this daily in my gastroenterology practice; patients who poop at least once a day can’t possibly imagine that they’re constipated, but the reason that they’re suffering with abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating, a distended stomach, nausea, loss of appetite, or even acid reflux is actually constipation.”


Part of this is because people can be pooping in small amounts every day without fully emptying their bowels. “Let’s pretend you empty [your bowels] 70 percent,” he writes. “Well, that means you have 30 percent backing up. Compound that a few days in a row, and next thing you know you’re super constipated.” He even says that regular boats of diarrhea can be linked to constipation, because per Harvard Health, liquid stool can leak around the stuck feces in the bowel, which can look like diarrhea.


No matter what constipation looks like, the reason is often the same: the digestive system isn’t operating in a good, natural rhythm. But addressing constipation can really help a variety of gut issues, says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “[With most people], when you fix their constipation, most of the time it becomes a lot easier for them to start eating beans and other gas producing foods,” he says. “It really alleviates the food sensitivity and allows them to open up their diet, rather than feeling the pressure to restrict it.”

Article written by Emily Lawrence of Well & Good

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