Constipation is the slower-than-normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract. A normal digestive cycle takes six to 24 hours to pass, with a person having one to three bowel movements per day. However, when the bowels are constipated, stool becomes slow, difficult or even impossible to pass.
Almost everyone gets constipated at some time during his or her life. It affects approximately 2 percent of the population in the U.S. Women and the elderly are more commonly affected.
You are considered constipated if you have two or more of the following for at least three months:
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Hard stools
- Incomplete evacuation
- Difficulty passing stool
- Back pain
The main cause of constipation is a low fiber, low electrolytes and low water diet. Stress, inactivity, certain medications, an imbalance in intestinal flora, thyroid problems and a magnesium deficiency can also cause constipation. Also, liver stagnation is a major cause of constipation.
If you get constipation while you are on the program, it could be the cruciferous vegetables that you are not used too. If you have constipation when you became a vegetarian, it could be a lack of bile since bile release gets triggered from saturated foods from animal products and vegetarians’ avoid these fats thus depleting their bile reserve – either consume whole eggs or coconut oil. If you just do not go at least 1x per day take the Gallbladder Formula (1 per meal) as this will increase lubrication. If this does not work, then we recommend Smooth Move Tea (slipper elm bark) and even a herbal laxative as it is more important to keep the bowels moving than it is to get dependent on laxatives.
Tania also has a recommendation for a chinese herbal tea that is fermented and aids digestion and constipation.
You may also want to take the Live Pro Biotic formula this will help with your gut flora and help digestion as well as the constipation, gas and bloating. The probiotics will help you to grow a healthy intestinal tract which is critical for avoiding digestive problems. I would also like to recommend a supplier of Kefir grains in Australia. They are a family run business and have been doing this for so long they are the industry experts I would have to say. You can get their Kefir Grains and Kombucha packs as well as probiotic yoghurt kits too. Check them out at this address and say Tania sent you and they will look after you. I am not an affiliate of theirs I just love their product.
Try adding 250mg magnesium, 2 -4 times daily. This improves gut motility but add it in slowly and cut back if it causes diarrhea.
General Remedies to Try
Eat foods high in fiber. you can add fiber by adding psyllium husk to your juices and chia seeds into your water. Psyllium is an insoluble fiber that helps the stools become more bulky, allowing them to pass through the digestive system easier. Apples are also great way to get fiber. Go for green apples as they have less natural sugar.
Leafy Green vegetables, such as Kale, spinach parsley and corriander are great. Any leafy green is good. They are also a great source of magnesium which helps improve constipation.
The old favourites of Prunes and Figs are a great fiber source but also a natural laxative. My mum swears by eating a whole orange in the morning or the evening too.
Warm liquid in the morning like your warm lemon water with ginger. Steep the ginger slices in boiling water the night before, the next day add some of this mixture plus some boiling water to have a warm liquid, add lemon too if you like. You may also have some bone broth. This is great do drink and healing for the gut.
Flax seeds and Chia are also a great way to help you to go. I love the flax seed crackers. See my flax seed cracker blog for a great recipe. Or my chia cranberry water.
You may also want to try alternative treatements like
Rebouding, which is jumping on a trampoline. This can stimulate the bowel. Light exercise can also help here too. It also stimulates the lymphatic system too.
Acupuncture and Reflexology : These may help improve lack of intestinal motility, dryness and liver stagnation, which are all causes of constipation.
Foods To Avoid
FRIED FOODS : Trans fats slow down the transit time through the intestine as do hydrogenated oils. Avoid canola, soybean, cottonseed and vegetable oils. Besides the fact that these oils are most likely grown with GMO crops they are also very bad for your health and long term use will lead to dis harmony in your body or possibly dis-ease later in life.
ALCOHOL : This is difficult on the digestive system and after a night drinking you will be reaching for the refined carbs which will just irritate your digestion further. Gluten blows holes in the gut leaving you feeling worse than you did to begin with.
CAFFEINE : Caffeine is dehydrating which may worsen the effect of the constipation.
PASTEURISED DAIRY PRODUCTS : If you are lactose intolerant then you may be eating dairy and the result is being constipated. Keep an eye on how dairy affects your diet. Try to cut dairy out or to a minimum or go for cultured dairy products and see how you feel.
REFINED FLOUR : By nature refined flour does not contain any fiber and therefore will not aid your constipation. So avoid it. It turns to glucose faster than sugar and if white flour it also have the chemical beaching agents in it so not good for our constitution as a whole.