Symptoms Of Constipation
( Originally Published 1938 )
Constipation, we have said, is not a disease entity. It is a sign or symptom a sign that your body is being neglected or abused, or that some invading force has weakened your system and, in spite of your body's gallant fight, is gaining control of it. It is a symptom of an abnormal condition in the same sense that fever is a symptom. But there the analogy ends. Fever means that your body is fighting and hence frequently is a good sign,Constipation, on the other hand, can never be construed as a good sign; we take it as a warning, not only to remedy the condition itself, but the underlying cause.
If you keep it in mind that constipation is a signs, warning that your intestines are not functioning as they should, no matter the cause and that poisonous substances are being absorbed into your blood and carried to all parts of your body, you will readily understand the significance of the host of symptoms that accompany intestinal stagnation and its grave, far-reaching effects.
Let us first consider the symptoms which usually accompany intestinal stagnation and the general toxic condition caused by the absorption of the poisonous wastes which should have been expelled. We have all been familiar with them from childhood, although at the time we probably did not recognize their cause. We were fully aware, however, that if we were cross and disobedient or refused to eat our cereal (spinach hadn't reached its glory in those days) the castor oil bottle was soon in evidence. Even now as adults, we fully recognize the symptoms in others, even though we are all too apt to overlook them in ourselves or not to recognize them at all. Hence it will not be amiss if we briefly review them. At the outset of constipation we may or may not be aware that the intestines themselves are not functioning as they should. This is because we might have a regular movement, but unbeknown to us, the evacuation is not complete. Part of the waste matter which should have been eliminated is still in the intestine and the blood is absorbing its toxic substances. As we have said before, regularity in itself does not mean freedom from constipation. This partial constipation or costiveness may continue for some time and is, therefore, in some respects even more dangerous than a complete stoppage of the intestinal contents which is easily recognized.
So, before or at the same time that we notice that we are constipated, we usually feel headachy or irritable. Frequently we feel lazy or sluggish, both physically and mentally. We are "too tired" to join in any fun. We can't think clearly or quickly and just stumble through our work somehow. Our work bores us, our friends annoy us and we feel depressed. Our favorite dishes taste flat and we go in for strange diets or "cravings", but nothing satisfies us. A glance in the mirror would reveal a coated tongue and friends might tell us that our breath is highly disagreeable, if we weren't so "touchy" as we usually are when constipated. Nights are agony tossing, twisting, turning sleep never comes, or if it does, it is full of weird dreams and nightmares, and when morning comes at last and we are warned that "if we don't get up at once and hurry, we'll be late" we are more tired than when we went to bed.
Not only is there a loss of appetite, but digestion becomes indigestion. This may be manifested by a burning sensation in the stomach, belching, a bloated sensation, retasting in the mouth of recently consumed foods, or in extreme cases, even nausea or vomiting. Frequently a sensation of heaviness is experienced in the abdomen, sometimes right in the stomach.
The complexion becomes muddy or sallow and dark circles appear under the eyes. Indeed, the eyes themselves are dull and lusterless and the lids feel heavy. Eruptions in the form of acne, pimples and black heads break out, on the face and body. They are persistent too and you may be sure that no amount of external treatment, while it may help, will make them disappear.
All of us are acquainted with these symptoms and it is more than likely that we are personally acquainted with them but, as we have said, when they are met with in ourselves, we either neglect them or fail to recognize them. Worse than that, even when we do recognize them, we seldom stop to think of the terrible significance of them. They are, after all, but signs of impending harm that is going to effect not only our health and our happiness but our very existence.