Do you want to know how to cure constipation naturally? Then let’s talk bowel habits. Yes, you heard that right. While one’s bowel habits are not something to discuss at the family dinner, talking about them is an essential part of having a healthy body. If we can’t eliminate waste products efficiently, we can’t have optimal digestive health, which means we can’t possibly achieve overall health, let alone lose weight.
What is constipation?
In an ideal world you’d have just as many bowel movements, as many main meals you have in a day. While everyone’s bowels habits vary, it’s safe to say that if you don’t empty your bowels 1-2 times per day, you’re considered constipated.
Many people use over the counter or natural laxatives such as senna leaves to get their bowels moving when they reach a certain level of discomfort, however this can further aggravate the problem by causing lazy bowel syndrome.
With digestive issues being a widespread problem, let’s dive in and discuss what causes it, how it affects your body and how to resolve it constipation naturally.
The Most Common Causes of Constipation
There can be so many potential causes of constipation, but based on my clinical experience working with thousands of patients, here are some of the most common causes:
Healthy gut function is critical for detoxification, immune function, and overall wellness. Your digestive system houses nearly 3 kilograms of bacteria, consisting of good and bad bacteria that forms your gut flora. Dysbiosis is a condition where the gut flora goes out of balance, and you have an overgrowth of the pathogenic bacteria such as yeast, and/or parasites, and not enough of the healthy bacteria to keep your gut happy.
What causes this dysbiosis?
Dietary habits are the most common cause, with the blame on processed foods, high sugar and starchy food intake, regular alcohol consumption, taking over the counter medications, (even the oral contraceptive pill).
Other factors can contribute to poor gut flora such as:
- Antibiotic use
- Increased Use of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, advil, indomethacin, etc) inhibits growth of healthy bacteria and can cause leaky gut, which can cause a bacterial imbalance)
- Leaky gut
- Elevated Hormone Levels (Pregnancy, use of hormone elevating drugs, including birth control and steroid hormones, can all spark an imbalance of gut flora.
- Chronic stress – can elevate stress hormones which can also wreak havoc on the immune system, making you more susceptible to an imbalance of gut flora.
- You will want to stay away from sugary and processed foods as well as foods you know you are intolerant to.
If you suffer from dysbiosis, it’s essential to address it at its source as you have nearly a hundred trillion different bacteria living in your gut. Balancing the bacteria in the gut is one of the most fundamental strategies in restoring digestive health, reducing bloating and resolving constipation naturally.
Many people who suffer from constipation also carry excess body fat. Without restoring healthy gut function, it’s going to be very difficult to lose weight and feel healthy again.
Common side effects of constipation:
- Foggy head /inability to think clearly – Inability to detoxify harmful substances
- Reduced appetite
- Pain in the abdomen
2. Dietary Choices
Yes, you probably already know by now that diet plays an integral role in nearly every aspect of health, and constipation is no exception here. When you consume foods high in sugar, foods that are processed, or continue to eat foods you know your body is intolerant to you run the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth, or as mentioned before dysbiosis. These food choices will slow your digestive function down which can slow down transit time, which means you are less likely to have effortless bowel habits, and more likely to spend more time straining to go to the bathroom.
If the latter sounds familiar, it’s time for a constipation fix and digestive health tune up.
Speaking of a digestive tune-up, fiber plays a role here as well. Those who don’t get enough fiber are much more likely to suffer from constipation. Stock up on veggies, beans, fruits, and whole grains.
3. A Lack of Hydration
Yes, believe it, or not, water plays a role here too. Without enough water, you are much likely to be constipated.
The key here is to stick to plain old water or even unsweetened coconut water if you need a flavor boost.
4. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Of course, I have to talk about exercise, because physical inactivity can be one of the leading causes of constipation. Exercise helps to keep our metabolisms running efficiently, which can help keep constipation at bay.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a common condition that affects many people today, and something that can certainly cause constipation. IBS can be the cause of spasms in your colon, which can then cause constipation by slowing down the rate at which food and other contents will pass through your digestive system.
IBS is closely linked with stress; therefore addressing stress levels is an important step in fixing the problem.
Thyroid conditions affect almost all systems in the body and constipation is one of the most common side effects.
When your body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, your body’s functions may drastically slow down including your metabolism and digestive function, leading to constipation.
How to fix it
Preventing Constipation Naturally
At this point, you probably want to know how to get your digestive health back to optimal function so that you can effortlessly eliminate your bowels every day without the use of laxatives.
If emptying your bowels daily seems impossible for you because you have been struggling with constipation for many years, read on.
With the right dietary and lifestyle changes you can turn things around very quickly.
Here is how one of my clients completely turned her health around and alleviated her constipation naturally through changes we implemented together.
“Bowel movements were something that hasn’t come natural to me for quite a few years.
The use of laxatives and strong black coffee were my tools to have one.
When I did however, it always felt like I didn’t empty properly.
I was constantly fatigued, didn’t sleep soundly, often had discomfort in my belly and also in my ovary area.
I’d developed intolerances to a number of foods and was generally feeling unwell.
I had mood swings on a regular basis along with anxiety….anxiety over nothing!
It’s been 6 weeks with Nik and I am now off coffee, off laxatives, sleeping soundly and feel well for the first time in a number of years.” – Josephine, NSW
It is absolutely possible for you to achieve great outcomes like this.
Here is how you can get started today:
- Rise & Shine Flaxseed Drink: Each morning, start your day with a glass of warm temp water with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and one tablespoon of whole flaxseeds. Drink this each morning before breakfast to kickstart your bowels for the day and alkalise your body. Wait 20 minutes before your first meal.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are excellent for digestive health, and they are easily accessible. Try adding a broad spectrum probiotic supplement to your daily routine to support healthy gut bacteria and help prevent constipation.
- Fermented foods: Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and unsweetened kefir are packed full of probiotics and help feed the healthy bacteria in our gut. Therefore improve immune function, and can reduce symptoms such as bloating and food cravings.
- Squat: Squatting isn’t just great for getting tone legs, it can also help alleviate your constipation naturally. Back in the day when we didn’t have toilets, we had to squat down to do the deed. The simple movement of getting our knees up while going to the bathroom can make a remarkable difference in successful elimination. This company has gone so far to make a product called the “squatty potty” to help restore the natural way we should be positioned when going to the bathroom.
Magnesium: Magnesium acts as a natural laxative by relaxing the bowels and pulling water into your intestines. The water can also help constipation by softening your stools, so you won’t have to strain to eliminate as much. Magnesium citrate is a great option. Take it daily according to the instructions on the bottle.
- Exercise: Getting the blood flowing and the body moving can help stimulate digestive function and thus help you move your bowels. Strive to move your body every single day even if it’s just a walking.
A client of mine who suffered from a “lazy” bowel since birth and had tried laxatives, and colonics to help treat her constipation, has made some remarkable improvements with her bowel habits. Here’s what she had to say about what worked for her to resolve her constipation naturally.
“The honest discussion with Nik, and the new morning ritual of warm water, lemon, grated ginger, touch of cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons of flax seeds and increasing water intake daily that really helped.
It’s been the Flax Seeds that I feel have saved me and my sanity. That, along with Nik’s assistance to heal my poor gut that has taken a beating over the years.”- Catherine, VIC
Check out this video on curing constipation naturally
Your Next Steps to Resolve Constipation Naturally
Try some of these constipation relieving strategies and experiment with what works for you. Get your body moving, drink your lemon flax water each morning, and practice squatting instead of sitting when going to the bathroom. You may be surprised at which one of these tips works best for you.
Still not sure what’s the right approach for you?
Apply to work with Nik here.