Constipation and Vitamin D
Updated: Feb 3
Intestinal Motility Disorders are a common causative factor in people with chronic constipation, and low Vitamin D might be connected!
I'll try to keep the potty humor to a minimum, but to put it politely; digestion is important! Constipation is estimated to affect 15 to 30% of American adults. That's a lot of people that are full of crap!
In all seriousness, we know more about how digestive health affects the health of the rest of the body than we ever have known before. Healthy digestion is paramount to a healthy body. There is a strong correlation between constipation and anxiety, and depression. One might wonder if constipation leads to anxiety or if the anxiety is causing digestive problems, but either way, it's not good!
Constipation can have countless secondary contributing factors, such as dehydration, lack of dietary fiber, medication side effects, or lack of physical activity. This blog post will focus on what's called Intestinal Motility Disorder-related constipation. Motility Disorder basically means that the nerves and muscles that cause waste to move its way through the digestive tract aren't functioning properly. This leads to waste getting backed up, and if left uncorrected, can lead to additional complications and could eventually be life-threatening.
A study published in 2019 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the relationship between Vitamin D levels in people with Intestinal Motility Constipation compared to people who don't have constipation. They compared 86 people with chronic constipation connected to motility disorders to 86 people who didn't have constipation.
They found that the people with chronic constipation suffered lower Vitamin D levels than the healthy study subjects. The authors concluded that "vitamin D low levels remained a significant independent risk factor for the occurrence of intestinal motility disorder."
Interestingly, the authors also mentioned the relationship between low Vitamin D, constipation, and anxiety and depression by stating this in their conclusion: "Vitamin D deficiency, anxiety and depression symptoms are commonly associated with chronic functional constipation induced by Intestinal Motility Disorders. Vitamin D serum levels should be routinely measured in these patients."
Did you know that Vitamin D could affect both mental health and digestion? How fascinating!