It’s certainly not the usual topic of discussion around the dinner table but if you suffer from a sluggish bowel (a fairly common digestive complaint amongst shift workers), then you’re not alone.

A lot of shift workers are prone to this gastrointestinal complaint because of the 24/7 lifestyle – working erratic hours resulting in chronic fatigue leading to poor dietary choices. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee or tea and not enough water, a bad diet, insufficient exercise and consuming foods low in essential vitamins and minerals are all potential contributors of constipation.

Eating when you’re not hungry or not eating altogether – a common trait amongst shift workers due to irregular start and/or finish times, (along with a lack of regular meal breaks), can also lead to a sluggish bowel.

So despite your crazy 24/7 lifestyle, you mind find the tips below helpful in overcoming this rather embarrassing complaint.

4 Handy Tips To Help With A Sluggish Bowel

1. Epsom Salts - mix 1/2 – 1 teaspoon into juice or water. Epsom salts work by pulling water into the colon making the stools easier to pass. The magnesium found in Epsom salts assists with muscle contractions making it easier for the colon to contract and eliminate the stool.

2. Drink more water – at least 2 litres per day. If your body is dehydrated the large intestine in your digestive tract soaks up the water from your food waste. This results in hard stools that are difficult to pass. Drinking plenty of water consistently throughout the day can help prevent and alleviate constipation by aiding the flow of food though the intestines.

3. Exercise – inactivity is a major risk factor for constipation and essential for regular bowel movements. Moving your body helps in the relief of constipation by decreasing the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine, thus limiting the amount of water absorbed from the stool into the body.

4. Linseed is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation – 1 teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication to the digestive tract.

It’s important to realise that a sluggish bowel is often blamed for many diseases because waste products are retained in the body allowing toxins to be absorbed back into your system.

The accumulation of faeces in the colon can also inhibit material from passing through naturally leading to the onset of hernias, diverticulitis and heemorrhoids. It can also destroy the good bacteria in our colon which can lead to infection and disease (80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system).

So just like our 24/7 lifestyle, we need to keep things moving in our digestive tract 24/7 as well!