Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
If you’ve been living with constipation, you know it’s no picnic.
The constant discomfort and straining over the toilet can make life just miserable.
But the problem is it’s not just uncomfortable. Constipation can lead to serious health issues including bowel problems and cancer.
Now researchers have found a new health threat linked to constipation — one that could lead to a lifetime of dialysis or even land you on the operating table.
And it’s never been more important to take a couple small steps to get rid of your constipation problems once and for all.
You see, scientists have discovered a link between constipation and kidney disease and kidney failure.
In a recent study, researchers reviewed the health records of over 3.5 million U.S. veterans for reported cases of constipation and laxative use over a seven-year period.
After taking a closer look, they found that folks who experienced constipation had a greater risk of developing a chronic kidney disease and, even more frightening, kidney failure.
Both of these conditions can result in serious and risky procedures like dialysis and kidney transplants or even death.
And while this news is scary, researchers involved in the study reported that is wasn’t very surprising.
Previous studies have shown constipation can cause heart trouble. The scientists assumed since constipation has a negative impact on the heart, it would also have a negative impact on the kidneys as well – and they were correct.
Researchers believe the link may be caused by an imbalance of the “good” bacteria, or probiotics, in your gut. Changes in gut bacteria often lead to inflammation, which can cause constipation.
This discovery offers different treatments for patients afflicted with constipation. For instance, health care providers may start treating constipated patients with fiber-rich diets and probiotics instead of traditional laxatives.
Another easy way to get your gut health on track is with prebiotics. These indigestible fibers are found in certain foods and help grow “good” gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods include artichokes, avocados, onions and garlic.
By simply adding some of these foods into your diet, not only are you increasing your gut health, you could also be decreasing your risk of constipation and kidney disease.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily