This is the second post in Digestive Health for the week. Yesterday I talked about heart burn and acid reflux. And I will be discussing stomach problems all week so make sure to check back to learn more about symptoms you might be experiencing and how to correct them.
My kids will be the first to tell you, I talk about poop. It is not the most exciting thing to talk about (unless you are a nurse or a nutrition geek). But when they come to me with a problem...the first thing I ask is "did you poop today?"
Seriously! And when you come to me for coaching, we will probably talk about poop. When did you last poop? Was it normal for you? What did it look like? Yeah, you can tell a lot about poop. And I can tell a lot about your health, just by poop.
So let's talk about constipation...
Having trouble pooping? You’re not alone. Constipation is an uncomfortable and inconvenient problem for many people.
Constipation can cause havoc on you and your health - bloating, gas, low back pain, and even anxiety or fatigue (remember that good mood I talked about).
Here is the good news: constipation can be prevented, and there are many natural ways to improve bowel function if you’re already suffering.
Let's start by talking about what can cause constipation.
Constipation is usually due to your diet, level of movement/activity, and your stress levels. If you are eating a low fiber diet, are dehydrated from not drinking enough water, and having unusual amounts of emotional stress, you increase your risk of constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could also be the cause of your constipation.
Natural Constipation Relief & Remedies
I like to think that we have a lot of control over our pooping based on what foods we eat, what foods we avoid, our supplements, our water intake, our activity level, and our stress levels.
Foods for Constipation Relief:
High fiber foods – raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds)
Green leafy vegetables – Green vegetables are very low in calories, have a high water content and are nutrient-dense.
Prunes and figs – These fruits are high in fiber but contains a decent amount of sugar given the small size so limit amount.
Warm liquids – herbal tea, warm water infused with lemon, coffee in moderation or bone broth.
Water & hydrating liquids – Fiber without drinking enough can actually make constipation and abdominal pain worse!
Foods that Can Make Constipation Worse:
Processed Foods -cheese, sweetened cereal, chips, fast food, ice cream processed meats like cold cuts or hot dogs and high sodium frozen foods.
Alcohol – which can causes dehydration.
Pasteurized dairy products – Many people are lactose intolerant and can become constipated from the over consumption of dairy products.
Refined flour – Refined flour by nature does not contain any fiber.
Caffeine – Caffeine can cause increased urine production and sometimes worsen feelings of anxiety and constipation. Consume enough other hydrating liquids throughout the day to offset dehydration.
Want to learn more?
For many people, improved eating and lifestyle habits can seem impossible to sustain, especially when progress feels non-existent. I like to say: Progress is always happening, you just have to know what to look for. That’s why I work closely with my clients to help them lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.
Interested in Carbon Elevation Coaching? Sign up for a complimentary consultation.
If you’re ready to transform your body, and improve your health, this is your chance.
If you are having persistent and recurring symptoms, you should consult your provider and this advice is not meant to replace recommendations from your provider.
Constipation can usually be managed on your own — without the need for a doctor visit, laxatives or prescriptions — but in some cases it’s best to call your doctor.
If your constipation becomes severe and lasts for more than 3 weeks, visit a professional to make sure an underlying disorder isn’t the cause.
Also make a doctor’s visit if you notice blood in your stool, a bulging abdomen or signs of an enlarged spleen.
If constipation occurs along with diarrhea, keep an eye out for signs of food allergies, sensitives or reactions to medications. These can include signs of malnutrition, painful abdominal swelling, skin rashes, brain dog, a fever, fatigue and aches.