Keeping Constipation Away

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My last post talked about how I relieve acute constipation, because sometimes, despite best efforts, your colon doesn’t want to play nice.

The best course of action is to prevent your bowel movements from becoming too hard to pass.

Here are the methods I use to keep my colon as happy as possible.

  1. Probiotics
      • Probiotics can be controversial and counterintuitive to people with IBS and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I’m going to talk more about my experience with different probiotics in another post.
      • The only one that has had any meaningful impact on my constipation is Prescript Assist.

  2. Prebiotics
    • Prebiotics are food for the probiotics. These can be even more controversial for people with IBS and SIBO because they are in the FODMAP group.
    • This can include fiber supplements like Acacia, Inulin and Arabinogalactan. I’ve tried all. I’ll talk more about them in another post.
    • Other types of prebiotics are sprouted legumes, sprouted grains, cooked and cooled potatoes and more. Check out this link for more info.
    • What I’m currently eating:
      • Soaked and cooked quinoa, white jasmine rice, red potatoes and sometimes green banana flour when I bake something.
      • I still have to be careful with the amounts I eat. I can’t eat more than 2-4 oz of any of these in one sitting and I’m still avoiding any of them during dinner meals to give my gut a break, and also so I have room for dessert! HA!
  3. Daily Magnesium Supplements
      • I take around 200-300 mg of Magnesium Glycinate daily (mostly at night).

    • If my stools have become too soft (variable poops are the highlight of my type of IBS…) then I cut back or stop the magnesium supplements until my poops normalize again.
  4. Exercise
    • Weightlifting, running, walking, jump rope, yoga, bike riding. I try to keep moving and not sit too much. I don’t go overboard though, because it’s bad for my adrenal glands to exercise too much.
  5. Fat
      • I make sure to always have enough fat with each meal, especially if I’m eating carbohydrates. That includes, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, beef tallow, or palm oil.
      • There are many reasons why fat is important, you can read about that here on Empowered Sustenance.

 

My process changes all the time depending on how my gut is doing, but the things I listed here are usually what I fall back to. Hope it helps someone else out there.

Heal on my friends, heal on.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon to help support this blog. Thanks!*

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Constipation Relief

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Constipation is uncomfortable, painful, and weird to talk about. It’s awkward for me to write this post, but…we all poop! Unfortunately, some of us have a harder time. So, when all the fiber in the world isn’t helping, what do you do? Besides checking in with your doctor.

For an episode of acute constipation, these are the methods I’ve used to get relief.

1. Magnesium supplements

  • I’ve tried these with good results:

        • Magnesium Citrate works faster to relieve constipation than other forms.
        • Magnesium Glycinate is absorbed better than other forms.
        • I’ve taken both in one day, spread out and they’ve both helped.
        • For an every day maintenance dose, I take what the bottle recommends or what Chris Kresser or The Perfect Health Diet says. But for acute constipation, I’ll up the dosage a little. The highest I’ve taken throughout one day is 800mg, but definitely ask your doctor or pharmacist before trying this. Everyone is different and under different circumstances and won’t react the same.

2. Vitamin C Supplement

        • When I take it in conjunction with the magnesium, it can enhance the potential laxative effect. A lot of the vitamin C’s, even the buffered ones, hurt my stomach, unless I take them with A LOT of water or separate the dosages throughout the day.

 

          • This is one of the ones I have to spread out:
          • These don’t hurt my stomach but don’t pack as much of a punch:

            and

          • The dosage depends. For an acute fix, I’ve taken 2-3grams with good results. Kresser and PHD say similar things.

3. Prunes

        • If the magnesium and vitamin C don’t do it for you, you could try dried plums. I’ve tried it and though it got things moving within a couple hours, the bloating was pretty annoying (thank the SIBO/IBS).

4. Suppositories

This is for when I’m really desperate for relief. For when the pressure, cramps and need to push is there, but the stool is impacted or just too hard. It’s weird and uncomfortable, but I get relief within 5-15 minutes! So worth the weirdness.

        • The one that works for me, is easy to handle and has given me no side effects, is this one:

or

 

5. Jumping

        • Yep, jumping. Like a kid on a trampoline or an overly excited dog. Bouncing on the balls of your feet, running, jogging, using a trampoline, jump-rope, squat and jump, skipping. Whatever gets your body to go up and down can actually help your colon move things along. See the resource at the end of post for more info.
        • I usually bounce or do a light in-place jog or actually run outside. Don’t have to get sweaty, but just enough to start breathing harder. I do this as often as I remember throughout the day, and I usually see results.
        • Either way, I’m getting some exercise, so win-win.

Things I avoid:

1. Senna

        • Unless you’re backed up and have no urges, no feeling of having to go, you could try senna tea. When I tried the senna tea, it made the cramping and urge to go so much worse, but did NOTHING to help the softening of the stool.
        • I do NOT recommend Senna, but everyone is different and it might work for some people.

2. Other oral laxatives:

        • I’ve only tried Miralax and it’s horrible. Gave me terrible bloating and indigestion. Plus, it has unhealthy ingredients.

My best advice is to avoid getting to the constipation stage. If I notice my stools getting harder, lumpier and less frequent, I get to fixing it right away. The longer I wait, the more chance of an uncomfortable, acute constipation episode.

Next post will be about the things I’ve tried to help regulate my stools in the long term.

Sources:

*This post contains links that lead back to Amazon to help support my blog. Thanks!*

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Betaine HCL for Bloating and Heartburn

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If you haven’t heard of Betaine HCL (hydrochloric Acid), here’s the gist: It’s a supplement taken by those who have a hard time digesting meals. It stimulates and helps your stomach acid do its job. It can also be helpful for people with heartburn, which sounds counterintuitive, but mainstream medicine has it wrong.

For more details, check out the resources at the bottom of this post.

Part of the process of healing my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) included taking Betaine HCL supplements. During my initial healing year, when I still had way too many digestive issues, HCL helped. Especially when I ate starches, big meals, or fatty meals.

Since then, I’ve had times where I can be off the HCL completely and feel fine. Other times, I’ll enter a period where the bloating, distention, and heartburn come back right after or during a meal. These times are a resurgence of bad bacteria in my gut (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).

While I try to figure out once again what went wrong, I’m back to taking Betaine HCL supplements with each full meal. At one point, I got up to eight pills with a meal.

It probably won’t help everyone (didn’t help my husband when he had some digestive issues). But, if you’re still struggling with ups and downs of healing your digestive system, think about trying some Betaine HCL. Definitely ask your doctor about it.

Here are the ones I’ve tried with good results: (These link back to Amazon, which helps support my blog)

Resources:

1. Chris Kresser on GERD

2. SCD Lifestyle: How to Supplement with Bentaine HCL for Low Stomach Acid

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A Little More of My Story

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I’ve had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) most of my life.

My IBS symptoms waxed and waned through my twenties. The only thing doctors told me were: take more fiber, enjoy this acid blocker for the rest of your life and stay away from broccoli. It all culminated at the age of 27 when bloating, erratic bowel movements, pain, and heartburn escalated to red levels. On top of that, my bladder began to hurt. A lot.

There was a burning, stabbing pain deep in my pelvic area near my bladder that doctor’s couldn’t explain. One doc diagnosed it as Chronic Urinary Tract Infection. He put me on months of antibiotics which ruined more of my gut flora than I could have imagined. The other doctor wanted to stuff me full of pharmaceutical overactive bladder drugs, with no results.

So, I said good-bye to mainstream doctors and went in search of alternatives. This is where the alternative and functional integrative practitioners come in. They are licensed health professionals that help you treat your whole body, not just one symptom. And they never resort to covering up one symptom. They always get to the heart of the problem.

With the help of an integrative medicine practitioner, a bunch of blogs and some books, I began to treat my IBS with diet, supplements and herbal concoctions.

With the help of research and a pelvic floor physical therapist, my bladder pain was diagnosed as IC (Interstitial Cystitis) and subsequently treated with other supplements, herbs, and 2 years of pelvic floor physical therapy.

Throughout this alternative healing journey, I experienced profound healing. Both my IBS and IC symptoms reduced by about 80%. No, that’s not perfect, and yes, I have had many setbacks, but healing a chronic issue is a rocky journey. Staying healthy is an everlasting one. At least I now have options that mainstream medicine never gave me.

I started this blog to share my journey, so that maybe someone else will benefit or perhaps share their own insights to help me.

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Diets for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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To curb the symptoms of my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I’ve tried the following diets:

1. Paleo

2. Modified Paleo (The Perfect Health Diet) PHD-cover-front1-198x300

3. Low FODMAP

4. SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet)

5. A combination of all of them

Click on the links above for more info on what these diets entail. There are probably more diets to try, but I’ve had good and bad results with all of these.

*This post contains affiliate links to help support my blog. Thanks!*
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The Road To Healing is Hard

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I have tried many ways to “cure” my health issues. Both modern and alternative medicine. The ONE thing I can say for sure, is that no singular treatment will work for everyone.

The path to healing a chronic illness is like mountain biking. You huff, puff, and slog your way up a hill, hit the crest and coast down laughing with the wind in your hair until you start all over again up another hill.

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© Cameron Wendt | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It can be exhausting but liberating.

I found out how to really listen to my body, how to become my own health detective.

Because, unfortunately, despite all the healthy changes I’ve made, my chronic health issues can and do flare up.

But the point is, I’m not giving up. I’m not going to ignore it or cover it up with a pill or cream. And yes, I’ve gotten discouraged, depressed, and angry because if it isn’t one thing it’s another.

But I have a motto; There’s always a way and you’ll figure it out.

The way may be unconventional or hard, and I may resist at first. But it’s better than a empty void of hopelessness.

And just like my immune system is constantly battling things, I must also constantly help it battle things.

So heal on, friends. Heal on.

Have this chubby penguin of determination to inspire you! #cute #penguin #motivation #inspiration #determination #animation #gif #chibird #art

A video posted by Official Chibird ⭐️ Jacqueline (@chibirdart) on

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