Have you ever experienced poo-phoria?
That’s right, for some, going to the toilet can be like having an orgasm! A researcher revealed that the key is the passing of a large stool, which stimulates the vagus nerve, leading to a drop in blood flow and the sensation of a ‘high’.
While poo-phoria might seem a little out of reach… let’s face it, a great poop really does make life so much better!
FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT DIET
I’m a big proponent of ‘No-One-Diet-Fits-All‘, and this also goes for improving a bowel movement.
You probably already heard the classic advice: “Eat More Fibre”.
While this is sound advice and will definitely help some people, if you have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), fibre — especially that found in high FODMAP foods — might actually make constipation worse!
Flaxseeds and chia seeds can add bulk to your stools and make them easier to pass. However, if you have oxalate toxicity, be aware that chia seeds are super high in oxalates.
Eliminating food sensitivities can also make a big difference, as an inflamed gut can prevent the normal contraction of the large intestine.
If you’d like to see how good you can feel on an elimination diet that removes the most common food triggers, while also being low FODMAP, you might like to try our SIBO 4-Week Challenge – 4 Weeks to Discover Your Ideal Diet. By the end of this 4-week challenge, most people notice they have less bloating, gas, reflux, constipation and/or diarrhoea… and in general feel better all round.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN HELP
1. Digestive Enzymes
Some people have a lack of digestive enzymes, which means that some food goes undigested. This can wreak havoc in the digestive tract, especially due to fermentation of undigested foods, causing all sorts of unpleasant symptoms like bloating, reflux, and constipation or diarrhoea.
Try taking a good digestive enzyme with each meal to see if this helps.
HoloZyme is different to other digestive enzymes because it is has absorption technology that prevents the enzymes from being destroyed by stomach acid. It also offers activated full spectrum enzyme coverage.
2. Betaine HCL
For some, a lack of acidity in the stomach can be the issue. If you struggle to digest meat/protein (and feeling heavy after a high protein meal, like the food is sitting in your stomach), betaine HCL can help to increase stomach acid and improve protein digestion. I have had many clients for whom this has made a world of difference to their bowel movements and other digestive symptoms.
HCL Guard+ is a powerful trio of ingredients (betaine hydrochloride, pepsin, and intrinsic factor) that can help support the complete digestion and absorption of nutrients. In addition, it also contains organic ginger root which helps with stomach muscle contractions (peristalsis and migrating motor complex – MMC).
You can learn more about digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL in my Digestive Enzymes vs Betaine HCL: Which One Do You Need blog.
TUDCA is a water soluble bile acid that’s naturally produced in the body. When taken as a supplement, it helps stimulate the release of bile into the digestive tract. This not only supports the body’s natural detoxification processes, but helps keep you regular. Good bile flow is essential for a happy gut!
CellCore’s Advanced TUDCA is also formulated with carbon technology that supports cellular repair and the body’s natural ability to detoxify.
You might have tried a probiotic before and found that it wasn’t helpful for you. This could be because you were taking the wrong one.
Each probiotic ‘strain’ (the little number at the end) has a different effect on the body. Some have been found to be especially helpful for constipation like BioGaia Protectis.
BioGaia Protectis is as a probiotic containing Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 that has been tested in more than 130 clinical trials and proven effective and safe for both children and adults. It can be very helpful for constipation and has been shown to reduce methane production, which makes it a great option for people with methane dominant SIBO or Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowth – IMO (E-Mo) – where methane-producing archaea are found in the intestines. Methane is a well known contributor to constipation.
Magnesium citrate taken with each meal and before bedtime can help loosen your stools by drawing water into the intestines, making elimination easier. You need to increase the dose until you get the desired effect (usually called taken to bowel tolerance).
Whilst magnesium oxide and citrate are the most frequently used ‘go to’ for constipation support, Magnesium-HP also helps with hard stools. It was created with sensitive tummies in mind and also contains high amounts of glycine which is very helpful for gut health. If you’ve been looking for a more gentle approach to constipation, try 3 x Magnesium-HP before bedtime. You’ll also get the added benefits of increased feelings of relaxation and sleep support.
6. Vit C
High doses of Vitamin C can also help with improving gut motility.
7. Poop Pack
The gentle yet powerful herbs in Bowel Mover (our most popular product for constipation), together with Advanced TUDCA and Magnesium HP in the Poop Pack will equip your body with the nutrients it needs to support and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, stimulate bile flow, promote the elimination of intestinal buildup and help unwanted elements “move along”.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE SOLUTIONS FOR CONSTIPATION?
I share more of my favourite constipation solutions in our ‘End Your Constipation Frustration’ on-demand webinar. I co-hosted this 2-hour webinar with Leisa, where we share cutting edge information about how to finally end your constipation frustration. You can now gain instant access to the recording and finally end your constipation frustration, right now!
IS THERE AN UNDERLYING ISSUE?
For some people, there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
There are several gut conditions that can cause constipation: SIBO, IMO, parasites, Candida, leaky gut and an imbalance in your gut bacteria, to name a few. Identifying and treating these can make a tremendous difference.
**Other underlying conditions to consider: hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s), hormonal imbalances and adrenal issues.
OTHER THINGS THAT CAN HELP
Here at Nourishing Therapies, we LOVE enemas – both water and coffee enemas! They have so many benefits!
The average person can have up to 5kg of old fecal matter in their colon even when having a bowel movement every day. The accumulation of waste on the walls of your colon also creates the perfect breeding ground for parasites, yeast, bad bacteria and viruses. Enemas have been used as a healing tool for the last 100 years. Coffee enemas are considered one of the best ways to cleanse the liver and support detoxification.
Our Stainless Steel Enema Kit is a great way to get started. Not only do water and coffee enemas instantly relieve constipation, they help to tone the colon and improve elimination over time.
YOGA AND EXERCISE
Any form of movement and exercise can be very useful to improve bowel movements.
There are many gentle yoga postures that can be very useful to stimulate the elimination of waste from the body.
All of our digestive functions are under the control of our autonomic nervous system, which is composed of:
The Parasympathetic System, aka the relaxation response, or ‘Rest and Digest’. When in this state… digestion is functioning optimally!
The Sympathetic System, aka fight or flight response. When in this state… digestion stops to leave us with enough energy to run away!
The parasympathetic system is activated when we stimulate the vagus nerve.
Because of the pathway of the Vagus nerve, long deep breathing is one of the best ways to activate it.
Try a simple breathing technique where you lengthen your exhale to see if you can not only improve your bowel movements… but also feel calmer and more in control
SELF BELLY MASSAGE
Self-belly massage is a fantastic way to stimulate your whole digestive system and can become a part of you usual self-care ritual. Find a quite and comfortable place to lay on your back and using some coconut oil (and a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil) simply massage all around your abdomen. Pay particular attention to any places that feel ‘tight’ or ‘stuck’. You might be amazed to discover how much tension you’ve been holding in your gut!
WANT TO KNOW EVEN MORE?
You can take a very deep dive into all of these subjects and more in our Happy Gut At-Home Program, where we offer a truly holistic approach to dealing with complex gut issues… including constipation.