As toddlers go through a lot of dietary changes in a short span of time, constipation is very common during toddlerhood as their gut takes time to adapt. The prevalence of constipation in adulthood ranges from 2.6% to 26.9% and a higher percentage of 50% in older adults.
Constipation is described as having hard and dry stools that are difficult or/and painful to pass with less than three bowel movements a week. Occasional constipation is usually common and can be resolved by changing your diet and lifestyle. However, chronic constipation that persist for months may require medications. Chronic constipation can lead to discomfort and even frustration. In children, chronic constipation has been reported to have an impact on their growth status.
Factors that contribute to constipation:
1. Lack of exercise. Digestion process can slow down when there is a lack of exercise and this may result in constipation.
2. Age. Older adults may have problems evacuating the stools even if the stool passes through at a normal rate. Dysfunction of the pelvic floor in elders can also result in constipation.
3. Pregnancy. The increase in progesterone hormone during pregnancy results in the relaxation of smooth muscles and even digestive tract which leads to slower transition of food through the intestines. The increase in uterus size from second trimester can also lead to gas formation which may block the excretion of waste. The intake of iron supplements is also one of the contributing factor.
4. Medical condition. Conditions like hypercalcemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, Hirschsprung's disease and bowel obstruction can lead to constipation by either reduced gut motility or/and other factors.
5. Inadequate hydration and fiber intake. Having sufficient water will balance the fluids removed by the large intestine to keep the stool soft and moist for easy passing. Sufficient soluble and insoluble fiber in diet also plays an important role in preventing constipation, particularly insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows digestion and helps in absorbing nutrients from your food. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your food which helps to move food more efficiently through your intestines, thereby preventing constipation. Foods high in insoluble fiber are nuts, vegetables, whole-wheat products and beans. With higher intake of fibers, more consumption of water is also needed to prevent constipation.
Fibers from your food is also crucial in the development of the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut to ensure optimal function of your gastrointestinal system. Individuals with does not consume sufficient vegetables, especially young children, can face the issue of not having a well diverse range of friendly gut bacteria.
6. Food intolerances/sensitivies. Food sensitivity is one of the most common cause for constipation. When specific enzymes we need to digest a food is not present (e.g., lactase for dairy), these food are not able to be broken down properly, leaving partial digested food in our gut. It starts to ferment in our gut causing all sorts of bacteria to accumulate. The accumulation of the bad bacteria can cause imbalances in our gut microbiome and can give on to issues like constipation.
The profile of gut microbiome in chronic constipation individuals has been reported to be very different from healthy individuals who do not have chronic constipation.
7. Inbalance of gut microbiome (Dysbiosis). Constipation caused by dysbiosis is most commonly caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO). It can occur anywhere in the intestinal tract where colonies making up your microbiota are thrown out of balance. This is the case where bad bacteria are present in great numbers and good bacteria are in low quantities. Your gut microbiota contains tens of trillions of microorganisms. Comprised of over 1000 species of known bacteria which together contain three million genes (150 times more than human genes).
When your gut microbiota is off balance, it can lead to a cascade of health problems. Constipation is a common indicator of constipation that needs attention.
Dysbiosis can also lead to nutrient deficiencies even if you are eating all the right foods.
TGF milk kefir is fermented with only organic cows milk, producing only the finest quality of probiotic milk drink. Lactose and casein is believed to be extensively broken down to be be safe for lactose-intolerant and milk-allergy individuals. Pain during defecation for chronic constipation individuals is common and our milk kefir can soften the stools, reducing the pain during defecation.
Prevention is always better than cure. Consuming milk kefir regularly allows your gut to be colonized with friendly gut microbes more quickly to better prepare your body for unfavorable conditions. This is especially important in our diet culture where we consume only a narrow range foods. The pH of milk kefir has been reported to also improve gut motility. Hence individuals who are constipated due to gut motility will benefit to a certain extent. Our milk kefir has not only helped many young children relieve constipation, but also pregnant mothers prevent or/and relieve constipation due to pregnancy hormones, and even elderly.
Read our reviews:
"The kefir seems to be working for my mum who is 72! She has constipation problems. She used to poo only once in 5-7 days and relying quite a lot on fleet. But after 2 weeks of kefir (she takes one pouch on alternate days), she is pooping once every 3-5 days now and less relying on fleet also!" Ms Jalene
"The milk kefir is super effective in helping my girl to poop. She didn't poop for 3 days and after taking the kefir she pooped thrice a day the next few days. Must be clearing back logs." Ms Jie Ling
"I was terribly constipated during my first pregnancy but I have none of that this time round. TGF milk kefir helps me with keeping my bowel movements regular this time round when I was pregnant with my second child. Kefir is my 2 year old and my daily start for the day." Ms Lisa