Melatonin causes constipation
How a sluggish bowel perks up again
Photo: © istockphoto.com/pixelfit
A sluggish bowel is common at the end of winter. Then it helps to actively get the digestion going.
Nature awakens, the intestine falls asleep: Many people are plagued by a sluggish bowel in spring. This is normal, because our digestion also has a winter mode. If this leads to constipation more often, the spring fever is significantly dampened.
In the cold season, the stomach and intestines work more slowly. When the buds sprout and the birds chirp, it is high time for our intestines to finally “wake up” properly again.
Carrier bowel - what now?
With the first warm rays of the sun, not only do the animals crawl out of their den, we humans slowly start moving again. We feel the urge to take walks through the woods and meadows, stroll happily through the city with the first ice cream of the year - or just take our lunch break outdoors.
The beginning of spring also gives many people a boost of energy. They try out new hobbies or sports. At the same time, unpleasant things should no longer be put on the back burner. In general, we want to free ourselves from old winter ballast and start fresh.
Melatonin makes you tired - including the intestines
Throwing off ballast is not only good for your mental well-being. It also helps the intestines. In the cold season, many people complain of constipation or hard stools. The associated unpleasant toilet visits are not least a consequence of the mostly hearty food in winter. In addition, there is a lack of exercise: Who likes to go outside in fog or drizzle?
That will finally change in spring and we will be more awake again. The sun is primarily responsible for this. Because their light causes our body to release less of the sleep hormone melatonin - we feel more lively again. Melatonin is an important biorhythm generator. The hormone influences the rhythm of our internal clock.
Carrier bowel, hard stool
Melatonin is not only produced in the pineal gland of the brain and the retina of the eye, but also in the intestines. The hormone thus not only influences our sleep-wake rhythm, but also the length of time the stool remains in the intestine. A sluggish bowel can therefore be the result of increased melatonin levels. It has been found, for example, that the activity of the intestine after eating is less in the dark season than in summer. Experts are currently investigating more closely what this means for our digestion. But one thing is certain: If the intestine is less active, the food stays longer in the body. The longer the intestinal passage takes, the more water is withdrawn from the stool - it becomes firmer and stool more difficult.
So-called stool softeners can help to support a sluggish bowel. A well-tolerated aid for the symptomatic treatment of hard stool are, for example, preparations with the ingredient macrogol. Macrogol binds a lot of water, but is otherwise excreted unchanged. This makes the stool softer and the stool easier. A sudden urge is not to be expected, the effect slowly sets in within 24 to 72 hours.
Last changed on January 10, 2020
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