Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Everyone suffers with occasional constipation. But when is constipation "safe" and "unsafe"? Well, constipation is never really "safe". Did you know that everyone should poop 1-3 times per day, preferably 3 times per day. You should relieve yourself after every meal. That actually makes sense doesn't it? Your body eats to get the nutrients that it needs, and then eliminates waste that we don't need. But what happens when we do not eliminate what we don't need?
When we don't go #2, the waste backs up in our system. The longer it is there, the more bacteria and toxins grow on it, and the more dry and hard it becomes. We need a certain degree of secretions on our stool for it to come out in a healthy way, so we are not stressing our body out trying to relieve ourselves.
So why is it so bad to be constipated? Well, do you ever feel good when you are? Chronic constipation can lead to many worse problems including mal-absorption of nutrients and increases your chances of worse digestive issues, leaky gut, and even cancers of the digestive tract. As little as occasional constipation can leave you with symptoms like toxic overload, bad breath, body odor, depression, lethargy, brain fog, headaches, gas and bloating, obesity, hemorrhoids, and more!
Relief of Occasional Constipation:
Massage: stand up in a straight proper position and perform a slight pressure massage in the direction of your intestines. Start by your hip farthest from the heart, and make a circular motion up towards your ribs and down by your other hip and over to your pubic bone. Continue for a 1 minute and take breaks in between. Tip: this is magic for children. Tip: you can add castor oil (EXTERNALLY ONLY)
Exercises: vigourous walking or running for at least 20 minutes per day, deep squats and standing for longer periods of the day may help with constipation
Fibre: Psyllium helps soften stools by adding a gelatinous substance and grabs on to bacteria in the tract to help force them out. In order for this to work, a good amount of water must be consumed. Other fibres include acacia gum, inulin, and sunfiber which are all prebiotics (food for probiotics to help them multiply in the digestive tract)
Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help keep our system clean and running smoothly. We have trillions of bacteria all over the inside and outside of our body- some of which are beneficial, and others that need to be cleaned out of our system. Increasing probiotics in our diet will increase intestinal balance and help us absorb those vital nutrients from our food.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's): EFA's (also known as Omega's) are also beneficial for proper elimination. Healthy fats help keep the intestinal lining slippery. Think of it this way- how much faster/easier you go down a slide when you add water.
Magnesium Citrate: This one seems to get a lot of positive feedback from people who need constipation relief. Magnesium citrate relaxes muscles, including the bowels, to help for a more easy exit. It also pulls water out so we do not have dry hard stools.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C in higher doses can help ease constipation- it also helps heal and cleanse our systems.
Ginger: Eases and stimulates the digestive tract (especially if you have gas/bloating)
Aloe Vera: Heals and cleanses the digestive tract while also helping stool form.
Increase fruits and veg (leave skin on)
Increase high fibre foods (whole grains, beans)
drink a minimum of 8 cups of water per day- bonus to add lemon!
Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha)
enzyme rich foods (papaya, pineapple)
Prebiotic foods (prunes, asparagus, artichoke)
Healthy fats (nuts, seeds, flaxseeds, avocado, healthy oils, butter instead of margarine)
decrease fried foods, remove bad oils (peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil)
decrease dairy products
For chronic constipation, please include the above remedies, and you may also need some added help including:
TEMPORARY relief with NATURAL laxatives: Even natural laxatives can become detrimental with long term use. Items like cascara and senna can make your bowels lazy with long term use. What that means is they start to rely on those products to have any type of bowel movement. If you need a laxative, try taking the smallest dose once every other day for a week.
Garlic: If you have been experiencing chronic constipation, chances are you are dealing with some type of toxic/bacteria overload. Garlic helps cleanse the system.
Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is a natural deodorant and cleansing agent. It will combat bad breath and body odor while also cleansing you from the inside.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E can help heal damage of the intestines due to long term constipation.
Triphala: Triphala is composed of three herbal ingredients. Combined it is used to strengthen the muscles of the intestinal walls to help them contract. This is important to keep things moving. It is also high in Vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties while also rejuvenates and detoxifies.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
chew your food 2-3 times longer than usual
don't drink with your meals
sit on the toilet at the same time every day
try and wake up and go to bed at the same time every day
exercise 3-5 times a week
try cleansing 4 times per year (will create a blog about this shortly)
never repress the urge to go
rule out food sensitivities (will create a blog about this shortly)