Taro Gomi, the author of Everyone Poops, taught us that in an attempt to destigmatize the normal bodily function that every living thing has to do, everyone poops. It is a topic that we do not like to talk about, and for good reason. But there are times when the daily routine that many of us can set our watch to, simply does not happen. Irregularities in your digestive system can cause your bowel movement to get stuck sometimes.
In addition to the physical pain and discomfort that constipation can cause, that stigma is still there, despite Taro Gomi’s best efforts. We do not want to talk about it – not with our spouse, our doctor, nor our best friend. Some people have regular constipation issues that are signs of something worse, and they still simply do not want to talk about it. Gastrointestinal doctors and specialists, like the ones at the Investigative Clinical Research group (ICR), work tirelessly to provide relief, if not a cure, to gastrointestinal issues. Through volunteer, clinical studies, and research done on-site at their labs in Annapolis, Maryland, the experts at ICR work every day to fix the problems that nobody likes to talk about.
A person is said to be suffering from constipation or is constipated when their bowel movements become less frequent and difficult to pass. Constipation causes abdominal pain, discomfort, abdominal distention, or “bloating.” In order to fix any medical problem, it is important to first know the cause. Constipation comes when the pelvic floor, which is a group of muscles that play a role in having a bowel movement, is malfunctioning.
The stool will get down to the bottom, but the muscles there that are responsible for relaxing and dispelling the stool are not working. There is also a mental parameter that may play a role in constipation issues that often go back to a previous history of trauma or abuse. These situations are far more difficult to treat because the problem is emotional, not physical, so a simple laxative will generally be ineffective.
Constipation has a number of different treatments that include over-the-counter and prescription medications, changing your diet by eating fruits like kiwi and prunes that help promote natural bowel movements, and exercise and pelvic floor physical therapy. Constipation is not a “one size fits all” kind of problem, so there is not a simple fix. This is why we have to talk about it, regardless of how awkward it may seem. Continuous clinical studies are required to help find the best treatments for constipation and all gastrointestinal health concerns.
The group at ICR are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to gastrointestinal clinical research. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about current studies, please visit www.icrmd.com.