Constipation Relief

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

I’ve been there and will probably be there again thanks to IBS.

So, for an episode of acute constipation, these are the methods I’ve used to get relief. Make sure you ask your doctor before trying any of these.

1. Magnesium supplements

  • I’ve tried these with good results:
  • Magnesium Citrate apparently works faster to relieve constipation than other forms but,
  • Magnesium Glycinate chelate is apparently 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:


    • 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:

5. Jumping

  • Yep, I said 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.


  1. NIH on Vit C
  2. IBS with Constipation by Aviva Romm
  3. Rebounding by Empowered Sustenance

*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 or GERD.

For more detailed info, check out the resources I trust 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 really helped. Especially when I ate starches or big meals or fatty meals.

Since then, I’ve had times where I can be off the HCL completely and feel fine. Then other times, I’ll enter a period where the bloating, distention and heartburn come back right after or during a meal. I’m thinking these times are a resurgence of bad bacteria in my gut (leaky gut perhaps, or maybe candida). Since bacteria love carbohydrates and starches, this makes sense.

While I try to figure out why this is happening, I’m back to taking Betaine HCL supplements with each full meal. At one point, I got up to eight pills with a meal because anything lower and I’d still get the bloating. Eventually, after another month of going on an SCD diet and including herbal antimicrobials, I’ve been able to reduce my HCL consumption again. With certain meals I can even skip it.

Either way, it really does help. 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)


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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Right now (2015) I’m 32. I’ve had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) most of my life. It got worse in college. I saw many doctors, most of whom said take some fiber or stop eating things that make you bloated and call me in the morning.

My IBS symptoms waxed and waned through my twenties until around the age of 27 when the bloating, the constant stool changes, the occasional pain and the popping of the antacids became way to frequent. AND, my bladder hurt. A lot. There was a burning, poking pain deep in my pelvic area near my bladder that doctor’s couldn’t explain. One thought it was a chronic UTI, so 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 other bladder drugs.

Once I figured out, with the help of my very patient and very smart husband, that I needed to find a doctor that treated all of me and not just part of my symptoms, I began to see improvements. This is where the functional practitioners come in.

We began to treat my IBS with diet, supplements and herbal concoctions, and my bladder pain, which was diagnosed as IC (Interstitial Cystitis), with pelvic floor physical therapy from a professional physical therapist who specialized in conditions like mine.

Throughout the past five years, I experienced a lot of healing. But I’ve also experienced some setbacks: the constipation came back then left again, bloating, skin issues that come and go (rashes, acne type and location), more anxiety. It made me feel like everything I’d tried and been through had been a waste even though I was way better than I was before. considering I wasn’t crying on the couch every evening in some kind of pain.

I started this blog because I realized that healing a chronic issue isn’t going to be easy-peazy and there will be bumps in the road.

And maybe by sharing my journey, 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


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 A LOT of 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 or dealing with a chronic illness is like mountain biking. You huff, puff and slog your way up a hill then coast down laughing with the wind in your hair. Then you start all over again up the hill.

© Cameron Wendt | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It can be exhausting but liberating.

I found out how to really listen to my body and what it is trying to convey. Sometimes I feel like a serious health detective; Always on the case to figure out the causes and resolutions to whatever new health problem I have now.

Because, unfortunately, despite all the healthy changes I’ve made over the past five years, I still have lingering health issues that pop up. Some are big (like eczema and acne), some may be minor (like an evening of heartburn or occasional constipation) and some I want to ignore (like my anxiety).

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 or dip only my toe in first. But it’s a way and 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.


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