What Is Constipation*
Constipation usually involves having infrequent bowel movements (less than 3 per week); hard, dry stools, and straining to have a bowel movement.
Constipation can also be defined as never feeling like you've had a complete evacuation when you do have a bowel movement.
Constipation is considered a symptom of another underlying issue (such as poor diet, unbalanced bacteria in your gut, or anal stenosis - narrowing) rather than a disease.
Natural Treatment For Constipation*
If you've been suffering from daily discomfort due to constipation, it's understandable that you're in a hurry to have it go away - and the faster, the better! The good news is that even if you've been living with constipation (for what seems like forever), it is possible to heal it.
If you would like to get started right away by learning how your diet affects your bowel motility (how quickly food matter moves through your intestines) and also how to use food to prevent constipation and support a healthy gut flora (good bacteria), then sign up for my free Report (a book excerpt from Listen To Your Colon) Relieving Constipation Through Diet - in the pink box on the left.
Different Types of Constipation
Before looking at treatments for constipation, it is important to first identify which kind of constipation you have. Through the course of my research, consultations with clients, feedback from readers, and my own struggle with constipation, I have come to identify two different types of constipation. Since I have not come across any labels for these in the medical literature (or perhaps I just didn’t read widely enough!), I have made up my own labels to distinguish between these two different types of constipation. I call them peristaltic constipation and stenosis constipation. Of course, while most people seem to suffer from one or the other, there are people who suffer from a combination of the two. Let me outline the differences so that you can deternine which one (or combination) you have:
1. Peristaltic Constipation
This type of constipation can consist of many different symptoms or factors, but the defining elements are as follows:
You just don’t often (or rarely, never) feel the urge to have a bowel movement. You can have stool building up in your colon for days, but no urge or urgency to poo.
If you've been constipated for a long time, this build up of stool may not even be uncomfortable anymore.
When you do have a bowel movement, your stool is large and fairly wide. Even if it is in hard balls, the diameter is larger than half an inch.
Colonic massage can really help get your bowels moving and assist your body's peristaltic mechanism. Watch my video on Self-Administered Colonic Massage and learn how to do this in the comfort of your home:
2. Stenosis Constipation
I came up with the name for this one based on the medical label of anal stenosis (narrowing, tightness or stricture of the anal canal). Stenosis constipation means that you experience one or more of the scenarios below:
You often feel the urge to defecate. In some cases, the urge can be frequent or continual. You may even feel the stool pushing against your anus, but when you try to poo, it is very difficult to pass stool and sometimes, or often, nothing comes out. When you do manage to poo, your stool can be any width, length or consistency.
If you've had this type of constipation for a long time, then your urge to defecate may have greatly lessened, if not disappeared (remember the bowel is easily trained). However, passing stool is still extremely difficult and your anus/rectum can spasm and be very tight or narrow.
When you manage to pass stool, the stool can be very thin, sometimes only the width of a flattened pencil. You strain and push mightily and it may feel like you’re passing a huge stool, but when you look in the toilet there’s only a very narrow or small amount of stool. Stools can be soft, hard, balls, or cylinders, but rarely larger than 1/4 inch – 1/3 inch in diameter and the maximum diameter is not usually more than1/2 inch.
This next video will show you different defecation positions to use, depending on whether your have Peristalsis Constipation or Stenosis Constipation, to make your bowel movements easier and more comfortable:
For long-term constipation relief, you have to look at the factors that contribute to constipation, and then make the necessary changes in each area.
Some common constipation causes are:
• Poor diet - not enough healthy fats, the wrong type of fiber, too much meat or pasteurized dairy, etc.
• Stress and emotional factors - including depression and anxiety
• Unbalanced gut microflora - not enough good bacteria, Candida infection, parasites, etc.
• Drug and supplement use that cause constipation - narcotics, some antidepressants, iron, zinc. etc.
• Laxative or enema overuse
• Low water intake or dehydration
• Nutrient or mineral deficiency - low potassium or low magnesium
• Poor bowel habits - rushing, not listening to your body's signals to go, poorly scheduled day, incorrect defecation position
• Digestive disorders - IBS, IBD, spastic colon, etc.
• Spasming intestines or spasming rectum
• Anal or rectal stenosis - narrowing of the anus or rectum, often due to a build-up of scar tissue
• Internal hemorrhoids (can block stool), external hemorrhoid or anal fissures that make defecation painful
My book, Listen To Your Colon: The Complete Natural Healing Guide for Constipation, walks you through each of these constipation causes with step-by-step instructions on how to deal with them.
Although it's very important to treat all the root causes of constipation - expecially if you suffer from chronic constipation - if you just have intermittent or occasional constipation, then my free eBook (see pink box on the left side) along with this easy constipation home remedy may be all you need:
- Take 1 tbsp, sprouted organic ground flaxseed and raw organic sprouted chia powder (available locally and online at various sites) 1 - 3x/day to soften your stool and also act as an "intestinal broom" to sweep out toxins and old fecal matter.
- Take 1 Healthy Trinity capsule per day for two weeks, then take 2 Healthy Trinity capsules per day for one month, then 1 Healthy Trinity capsule per day ongoing.
- Take magnesium citrate before bed (250 - 1000 mg as needed - start low and build up if needed). Use Natural Calm if you want to take it by itself, or get magnesium citrate capsules to open and empty into a smoothie or whey protein shake. Add potassium citrate if you find it hard to relax your rectum (100 - 200 mg per day).
- Use a Squatty Potty (recommended) or child's stepping stool to raise your knees higher than your hips when you have a bowel movment; so your rectum can straighten and open.
If you would like to get started right away by learning how your diet affects your bowel motility (how quickly food matter moves through your intestines) and also how to use food to prevent constipation and support a healthy gut flora (good bacteria), then sign up for my free Report (a book excerpt from Listen To Your Colon) Relieving Constipation Through Diet - in the pink box at the top left side of this page.
For long-term or serious constipation where impaction is present (hardened stool deposits that are stuck to the intestinal wall) you will need to use some of protocols in Listen To Your Colon. These include special enemas, herbal cleanses, or colon hydrotherapy followed by a probiotic retention enema.
Constipation Treatment Summary:
• Determine the type of constipation you have (peristaltic or stenosis)
• Uncover the cause(s) of your constipation and heal the emotional contributors
• Treat underlying conditons such as anal stenosis, laxative abuse, IBS, IBD, etc.
• Take high dose probiotics - Natren Healthy Trinity
• Try self-administered colonic massage
• Practice proper pooping positions (use a Squatty Potty or stepping stool)
• Avoid constipation causing foods
• Use a stool softener, or "intestinal broom"
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
Full instructions on how to treat all of the above are in my book, Listen To Your Colon.
Jini's Gut Guide
Listen To Your Colon Book Excerpt: