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Constipation Linked to Risk of Kidney Disease, New Study Finds

An examination of health records from 3.5 million U.S. veterans shows that those who had experienced constipation not only had higher risks of developing chronic kidney disease, but the more severe the constipation was, the higher their risk of developing kidney problems, according to Yahoo! News.

It’s true that chronic constipation has been linked to other surprising health problems, including gastric cancer, rectal cancer and ischemic colitis, along with the obvious, diverticulitis. That it’s now linked to kidney disease only adds to what we already knew, that your digestive tract is fundamentally linked to your overall health, impacting your mental health, your digestive health and your physical health.

Constipation is one of the most common bowel problems, impacting up to 19 percent of the U.S. population (no pun intended). It's defined as passing hard, dry stools that you have to strain to move, as well as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. It’s such a problem these days that it actually sends people to the emergency room — with about $1.6 billion spent on ER care for constipation in 2011.

Many things can cause constipation, from not eating enough fiber to being dehydrated to taking certain medications like antidepressants, antacids (like calcium), blood pressure medications and iron supplements. If you have chronic constipation, fresh, organic vegetables are one of the best sources for fiber. Berries, root vegetables, peas, cruciferous vegetables, beans and flax are all good starts toward a healthy gut. Fermented foods help too.
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