We are talking about poop! Everyone’s most favorite subject ever. If you look it up they say that approximately 20% of Americans are constipated. That means that they are pooping less that once every 3 days. But I see patients with functional constipation every day. This means that they frequently have a hard time pooping, only poop a small amount or frequently skip one to two days of pooping in a row. It doesn’t fall in the technical constipation definition but shit ain’t workin’ right… literally.
I want to remind you that as a Naturopath I always aim to treat the cause. It’s kind of our motto. Nothing, what’s a motto with you!? Couldn’t resist, but with that in mind there are three types of constipation to be thinking about when looking for the best treatment for your unique toilet issues.
#1 Neurologic: Basically, not getting an urge due to some neurologic condition or more commonly, ignoring the urge because you’re too embarrassed to poop when you have to! Oh, I remember the days of dating and not wanting to poop at my boyfriend’s house. Thank God I’m married, now I poop with the door wide open lol! But the lesson here is that if you keep ignoring that urge it will stop coming and so will the poop.
#2 Muscular: Or in reality, lack there of the muscular, since we see this with muscular weakness in the colon. This happens because of laxative abuse, hypothyroid disease and even with electrolyte imbalance. Remember electrolytes are needed to initiate and release muscular a contraction. What else do you think pushes that poo all the way down your 5-foot-long colon?
#3 Mechanical: This is code for, something is in the way of your poop. It could be a mass, an impacted ball of poo, or even a baby (I’m talking pregnancy). If you’re not able to get ta poopin’ with the tips I will be providing, it is worth checking with your doctor to rule out a mechanical issue with your pooper.
So here we have it my favorite tips to get you poopin’!
#1 Water. Borrring! I know but I am going to keep telling you until you actually do it. Drink half your body weight in ounces. Seriously how’s that stuff supposed to make its way out if it’s all dried up? Gross visual, I know, now go drink water.
#2 Exercise. I know, more things that you don’t want to hear. But exercise type movement helps your intestines move too. Say it with me, peri-stal-sis. Remember there are muscles in there moving your poo out. Exercising the ones on the outside also benefit the ones on the inside!
#3 Squatty Potty. Now this is getting fun! I got one of these at a white elephant party 10 years ago and it’s been my best friend ever since. By placing your feet up on a stool while sitting on the toilet you place your pelvis in the natural pooping position. Remember we didn’t used to have toilets so the squatting position allows the super highway of our sigmoid colon to open on up and let traffic move!
#4 Fiber. So many types, soluble, insoluble it can really make your head spin. Um not really, just eat more veggies and pectin containing fruits like prunes, apples, pears and figs. If that doesn’t work throw some psyllium husk down the shoot and you’ve just covered all the fibers. Point of the story, eat your dang veggies! But they don’t taste good… I’m sorry are you 5 years old? Be an adult and eat the green stuff, it’s good for you!
#5 Magnesium Citrate. When all else fails this stuff does not. You see, magnesium CITRATE (make sure you are using the correct form) can be taken to bowel tolerance. Translation, if you take enough of the stuff, it’ll make ya poop. Take too much and you will have a fire hose coming out your bum. Check with your doctor first but I find that most people see results with 300mg before bed. Results meaning you wake up in the morning with a mild urge and have a complete formed bowel movement before you even get in the shower. Now, that sounds like that start of a good day!
That’s what I’ve got for ya today. I wish you all the success the world has to offer… in the bathroom.
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