So, I know that talking about bowel movements is a somewhat personal topic, but let's face it, we all do it, and some of us do it more frequently or less frequently than others. The truth of the matter is, Bowel movements are an essential part of life, and they tell us a great deal about our over all digestive health.
Did you know that 2-3 bowel movements each day used to be classified as the "normal" cycle. With some room for play, seeing how men tend to produce bowel movements quicker and more frequently than woman. Now it is considered "normal" as long as an individual produces 3 bowel movements a week!
Think about that, 2 times at least per day transitioning to 3 times a week. That is a big difference in speed of digestion, and stomach discomfort. Think about the sheer poundage of food consumed on a daily basis, and than think about the stools that you are producing...are they equal? Bowl movements should be easy to pass, and quite large...not small tiny circles, or circles clumped together...
Gastrointestinal issues are rapidly increasing. The longer one is "constipated" not going at least 1 time a day, the more gastrointestinal issues and overall physiological and psychological problems they are open to. Why? When the fecal matter isn't passing out of the body, it is caking on the intestinal walls. This produces a perfect breading ground for unhealthy bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. to bread, multiply, and wreak havoc on our digestive tracks. It also hinders the proper absorption of nutrients, seeing how you are hosting a whole bunch of unwanted critters in your bowels, they are consuming your food, before your healthy bacteria do. The "bad" guys are now getting first dibs on vitamins, minerals, etc. and your "good" guys get the left overs.
Compare your stools with the stool health chart! How do you fair?
Constipation in a nut shell, is a serious health problem, and overtime will leave the person with varying health issues, all stemming from the lack of proper absorption, and the hosting of "bad" guys leaching poisons into our systems. Once chronic constipation begins, it is very difficult to get rid of.
The best way to avoid this issue is to eat a well balanced diet. Don't eat processed carbs, starches, fibers, as these will only continually feed the "bad" gut environment. Switch to a "native" or nourishing diet. Digesting plenty of probiotics free of starch, will help improve the gut environment as well.
The dietary changes required are too lengthy to go into in this post, but I will give you some helpful suggestions for relieving occasional constipation...
Stay away from Laxatives. They produce harsh bowel contractions leaving your bowels natural muscles suffering. Instead grab a stool softener, non stimulant. This might come in the form of Milk of Magnesia, or my favorite and extremely natural, molasses. (for Molasses, take 1 Tbsp every 4 hours until issues subside) all other stool softeners follow manufacturers instructions.
These products specialize in pulling water back into the stool allowing it to be softer to pass. When stool sits in the bowels for longer than it should the bowels start to "drink" the water back out of the stools, which is why they are hard and very difficult to pass. You want to try to reverse the effects of this process!
Take a Probiotic! Since the root of all constipation is from unhealthy gut bacteria counts the best thing you can do is to add more of the good guys to fight off the "bad" bacteria! I personally really like bio-kult probiotic for the price and bacteria it can't be beat! There are various others available at health food stores, etc. Just be sure the bacteria are live, they don't contain fillers, and that the company can guarantee the counts! There is a lot of money thrown away every year to "pro-biotics" that are little more than starch capsules! Be careful!
Don't underestimate the power of a warm bath with 1 cup of cider vinegar, Epsom salt or sea salt added to it! This helps relieve the body of toxins. After the bath rub Castor oil, olive oil, hemp oil, or safflower oil (all natural, cold pressed, dark bottles!) on the stomach and allow it to soak in. These oils will help lubricate the stool as well. (think about the absorption power of our skin...!)
The use of a natural enema is also highly recommended. Notice I say Natural, not the saline enemas (2 liters is more than enough! and you don't need all the herbal stuff they try to sell with them. You will need peroxide to clean the bag and tubes after usage)you can purchase at pharmacy. You would be looking for an enema kit. With a large bag and tub attached to it. You will bring water to a boil and than allow it to cool to 100 degrees. Place it in your enema bag and add a probiotic capsule to it, make sure there are not starches or FOS's in your probiotic...this will cause excessive gas, you can also use homemade yogurt. Than proceed with the flushing as you would any enema. There are various website dedicated to the procedure of a natural enema, so I am not going to list them all here. The GAPS book has detailed instructions on pg. 226.
Get regular! You will be amazed at what it can do for your body, mind, and mood! Take constipation seriously, it is a health problem! Happy Pooping!