Dealing with and Treating Constipation

Constipation is a common issues for people switching to a whole food diet.  You would think with all that fibers food that this would not be an issue but for many it is.  When we eat tons of prepossessed foods all the added chemicals and junk in the food actually give us a laxative effect keeping us regular.  But when we clean up out diet and add more whole foods constipation can become a big issue! 

The characteristics of your stool will tell you a good deal about the health your digestive tract.  The color, odor, shape, size, and even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether it’s a “sinker” or a “floater” are all relevant information. The Bristol Stool Chart is a handy tool that may help you learn what you’re going for. Ideally, your stool should approximate Types 3, 4 and 5.  Type 4 is the Holy Grail

Fiber tends to bulk up your stool and acts like glue to keep the stool stuck together, instead of in pieces. If your stool is on the softer side, short of diarrhea, it could be related to lactose intolerance, artificial sweeteners (sorbitol and Splenda), or a reaction to fructose or gluten.

The average body takes between 18 and 72 hours to convert food into stool and pass it on out. When this time is significantly shortened, the result is diarrhea because your intestine doesn’t have time to absorb all of the water. Conversely, when transit time is lengthened, you may end up constipated because too much water has been absorbed, resulting in hard, dry stools.

Constipation is defined as passing hard, dry stools that you have to strain to move, and it’s typically accompanied by decreased frequency of defecation. Straining is not normal, nor is experiencing feelings of incomplete elimination, bloating, crampiness, or sluggishness after going number two.

Treatment for Constipation:

  1. Drink plenty of water daily.
  2. Eat a diet that includes whole foods, rich in vegetables and fruits that provide good nutrients and fiber; most of your fiber should come from vegetables. Add Prunes daily.
  3. Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine, and processed foods as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal (and immune) function.
  4. Boost your intestinal flora by adding naturally fermented foods into your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee and kefir (if you tolerate dairy)
  5. Add a quality probiotic supplement.  Look for something with Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1 in it plus other strains.  Aim for one with at least 10 billion CFU in it.
  6. Begin taking a magnesium citrate supplement daily.  This is the healthiest way to treat constipation in anyone.   Most all people are deficient in magnesium.  This deficiency causes constipation, fatigue, weakness, pain, and insomnia. Magnesium alone has tons of health benefits plus it safely eliminates constipation!  Be sure to get magnesium citrate if using for constipation, this will be a small dose that you take nightly because it also helps you sleep.  Which is unlike the liquid bottle you use for a colon prep.  The one that I feel works BEST for constipation is Natural Vitality, natural calm powder!  Click here to purchase on amazon.  Comes in many flavors.  Most start with a tablespoon in 2 oz of water and slowly increase their dose by 1/2 tablespoon each night till their bowels start to move.  If you feel the magnesium is not working I can guarantee you are not using enough so up your dose.  If you use to much you will know because you will have very loose stools!  Magnesium Citrate is safe, healthy and beneficial to take everyday! 
  7. Get plenty of exercise daily

Chronic constipation can effect weight loss.  Creating a healthier gut environment is important to getting clients on track and losing again!  Here is what April had to say about the program and how it helped her, “I have been constipated for almost 2 years now.  Never been really sure why, maybe lack of fiber and low carb eating.  So, I’m not sure what fixed it, the bulletproof coffee, the probiotics or the magnesium, but whatever it is I must always do it because life is so much better now!  Also, I don’t mind the fasting at all, I eat everyday around noon and try to take my last bite before 6.  This program is giving me lots of confidence that I can get back to losing and I can stay on track.”

 

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