By Dr. Mercola
For most people, the topic of bowel movements is private and the actual mechanics of how stool is produced is rarely thought about. Unless, of course, you begin to experience constipation.
According to research presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting 2015, at least 15 percent of the general population experiences chronic constipation.
This is equal to approximately 63 million people in the United States. The study1 demonstrated a statistically significant link between people who suffer from chronic constipation and from other health problems, including colorectal cancer and gastric cancer.
Researchers approached this study not expecting to find anything surprising. The link between diverticulitis and chronic constipation has been well documented.
However, the links found in this study between chronic constipation, gastric cancer, rectal cancer, and ischemic colitis were not expected.2
How Is Stool Formed?

Stool is the end result of digestion, which starts in your mouth. Imagine your body as a large solid cylinder, which has a tube running from the top to the bottom of the container.
The inside of the cylinder is inside your body and the tube that runs from top to bottom is actually outside the body. This is a description of your digestive system that runs from your mouth to your anus, but never opens directly to the inside of your body.
In other words, while your digestive system is technically “inside” your body, it contains digestive juices and bacteria that should only live outside your body. Your digestive tract plays a critical role in your overall health. Digestion starts in your mouth as you chew food and the food mixes with saliva.Digestion ends in the large intestines, after your body has extracted nutrients and water, leaving only the waste products it can’t use. The nutrients absorbed contain energy, which you know as calories.
How many calories

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