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Constipation: an internal traffic jam that can be a real pain in the…you know! This incredibly common problem is often your gut's way of saying something is not quite right, physically or emotionally. You might be visiting the bathroom far less frequently than you would like, or your stools might be hard and take a long time to pass. You also may have a tight, achy back or a stomach or pelvic ache. These can all be symptoms of a backup in your digestive system. Constipation affects just about everyone at some point. The usual culprits are a crappy diet (sorry, we can’t resist a pun), lack of exercise, stress and anxiety, certain medications (especially pain relievers), and thyroid and other disorders. To get things moving, try eating a nutritious, high-fiber diet (heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, like beans and lentils), exercising more, staying hydrated, and using a bulk-forming fiber supplement. Other options include colonics, senna, aloe, and acupuncture. If these steps don’t give you relief, talk to your practitioner about your situation. (And don’t be embarrassed; trust us, they’ve heard it all.)

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