If you suffer constipation, I want to help. So many people face this problem. Taking the steps to fix it will not only get your digestive system moving and grooving again, it will positively effect many other aspects of your life. Your skin will glow, your mood will improve, and you’ll feel healthier overall. A good poop is a powerful thing.
The standard American diet and lifestyle can easily lead to chronic constipation. This diet is low in fiber and antioxidants and high in difficult to digest additives and refined ingredients. Some people are constipated and they don’t even know it. They may have regular bowel movements, but they are still not flushing their systems thoroughly, which creates intestinal build up.
Another cause of chronic constipation is intestinal dysbiosis. This means that pathological organisms in the gut essentially outnumber the beneficial. We need beneficial bacteria to help us break down our food and even convert it into necessary nutrients. We lose beneficial bacteria every time we take antibiotics. Some beneficial strains are completely eliminated when we take these powerful drugs. This can lead to constipation because the beneficial bacteria help to regulate the gut. This is one reason why eating probiotic (beneficial bacteria) rich foods such as Activia can regulate bowel movements. Eating high sugar, high processed foods, and regularly overeating also reasons for dysbiosis.
For constipation relief, there are a few different steps to take. You might not need to make all of these changes. We can discuss this during your treatment.
Hydrate your colon for an easy movement:
Drink a large glass of room temperature or warm water every morning. Lemon and a pinch of salt can help its cleansing effects, but warm water alone will get the digestive system moving.
Drink aloe vera juice to soothe the colon and promotes peristalsis (smooth muscle contraction in the bowel).
Flax meal and and chia seed are excellent high fiber sources for constipation. They draw more water into your intestines. Add to porridge or smoothies.
Add “bulk” to push it through:
Psyllium is a high fiber product that alleviates constipation. Take with two glasses of water. Bonus points if you can find a product that has husks and seeds.
Eat a salad everyday, and cooked greens every day. Vegetables should be the base of your food pyramid. They are rich in fiber and water, and are your bowel’s bff :).
Eat foods that promote bowel movements:
Some foods are considered to be “slippery” in Chinese medicine and are helpful for dry, hard constipation. These include cooked spinach, banana, sesame oil, honey, prunes, beets, and tofu.
Foods rich in probiotics and lactic acid are excellent for a health digestive system. These include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, saurkraut and other fermented vegetables (not “pickled” but “fermented”)
Other foods that promote bowel movements are cabbage, sweet potato, apples, and coconut
Move your body with regular walks, yoga, stretching, swimming, etc.
Take herbs and supplements as recommended by your health care professional:
At your acupuncture treatment, you may be given the Chinese herbal formulas such as ma zi ren wan and run chang wan are gentle laxatives that are not habit forming.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal complex that gently eases constipation and removes stagnant waste from the intestines. This can be taken daily on a longterm basis.
Smooth Move or other senna based teas can be useful for severe constipation. They shouldn’t be taken for more than two weeks.
Get acupuncture, which can help reset your digestive system when it gets thrown off. Acupuncture also regulates and strengthens the organ systems responsible for healthy digestion. It’s especially beneficial when stress is part of the issue, because it is such a wonderful stress reliever.
Another consideration is a food intolerance that is causing inflammation and disruption to your digestion. We can identify these foods through an elimination and/or and IgG antibody test. I use USBiotek’s simple finger prick blood sample right in the office. I would also recommend doing to the gut restoration program, which incorporates an elimination diet. See more here.
I hope this post helps move you in the right direction. Please contact me for an appointment for one on one guidance, support, and treatment to improve your health.