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Constipation Protocol

Constipation Protocol

Most people I come across don’t really know whether they’re constipated or not.  Some will say they’re not and then reveal they only open their bowels 2-3 times a week and that it’s ‘normal’ for them.

To ease understanding therefore, I thought I’d give you two questions to determine whether you are or not constipated.   Then I’ll move on to what to do about it – if you are.

Constipation defined

Q1: Do  you have one to 2 bowel movements absolutely every day, with only very very occasional missed days (perhaps when you travel)?

Q2: Do these movements feel complete and easy to pass?

If you answered yes to both questions: congratulations, you are not constipated, keep up the good work!

If you answered no to either or both questions:  listen up, as you are most likely constipated.

Based on my experience over many years, helping clients to get rid of their chronic digestive conditions, I define constipation as not having one to 2 daily bowel movements, or having some incomplete, hard to pass movements.  These also include ‘pellet-like’ stools.

Why daily movements are important

Your body is equipped with a wonderful set of organs and processes that help your cells to eliminate the toxins you accumulate on a daily basis.  The elimination processes are crucial to your survival – particularly given the high levels of toxicity and pollution now present in our environment. The liver is the main actor and conductor of these daily cleanses, but the toxins processed through your liver and other organs need to be eliminated constantly. The elimination routes thesse toxins will be processed through include your lungs (through breathing), your skin (through the pores), kidneys (urination) and your colon (bowel movements).  Should any elimination route(s) be blocked or not efficiently working, toxins will accumulate in the other organs, and liver, and may put more pressure on the other ‘routes’.  This may cause an overload that can appear as skin conditions, urinary infections, liver congestion,  chronic bloating,  toxic headaches,  etc.

Therefore eliminating through daily bowel movements will help your body to feel lighter, more energised, less toxic.  You will be less likely to develop other gut conditions, such as IBS, bloating and other symptoms.   Your skin will also be healthier,  your head clearer, your blood sugar more stable.

Constipation can also lead to more haemorrhoids, anal fissures,  rectal prolapse (from too much pushing), or faecal impaction where a blockage forms in the colon that usually requires mechanical clearing (through enemas, colonics etc).

How to reverse constipation

I always say to my constipated clients, even the most credulous:  You WILL have poos and punch the air with a YAY! every time you have your daily movement or two.

However unlikely it seems, it works every time and these are the areas we focus on:

  1. Hydration: Dehydration is by far the most common and simplest cause of constipation in most people I treat. It’s very cheap, simple and the impact of good hydration can be felt almost immediately. What’s not to love? Here’s how to rehydrate properly: read this
  2. Fibre: (20-30gms/adult/day up to 50 then 25-35gms/day for 50+) Essential to help get rid of constipation and also crucial in the prevention of some digestive cancers, reduce hunger and help fight obesity and overweight. Fibre gives form and bulk to your stools so that you feel the need to pass stools daily. Fibre is found in most vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, pulses, seeds and some nuts.
    For constipation: add as many portions of raw vegetables (and some fruit) every day as you possibly can – ideally at every meal and some snacks. The moisture in the raw produce will help keep your colon well hydrated and will help to ‘pass’ the extra fibre in your diet.

Read about how to safely increase your fibre intake here

  1. Good fats: Fats provide lubrication for your stools. They help move your bowels, particularly if you eat more fibre and feel a little ‘stuck’ with it ie – not eliminating enough or not feeling complete. So good fats are absolutely essential and cannot be left out of this constipation protocol. NOTE: If you worry about weight gain, don’t. Good fats are utilised as energy in your body, give you that satiety feeling after a meal and will help you eliminate better, so in fact, increasing good fats will help you maintain or lose some weight.How: increase the use of good fats every day – coconut oil, ghee, olive oil (unheated but on every food after cooking), seeds, nuts, nut butters (avoid peanuts), eggs, oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, fresh anchovies, sardines), goose and duck fat on roast vegetables and if you tolerate dairy, grass-fed/organic unsalted butter.  Read more about fats here
  2. Move more:  I am not talking about exercise! Movement every day – on the hour – will help provide flow to your gastric juices. This is an important part of having a healthy gut, as sedentary people who sit for long periods of time are far more likely to be constipated (and suffer from subsequent hemorrhoids/fissures) than their more active counterparts.
  3. Breathe deeply: This will help to provide oxygen to your gut – hence helping you to produce more digestive enzymes, acids and relax the muscles of your gut and sphincter. This will all contribute to easier and more frequent movements.Watch this short ‘breathing’ video 
  4. Go when you need to! Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement for two very important reasons: 1. When you stop yourself from going, your stool will travel back up from the rectum into the colon and the water from the stool will be re- absorbed into the colon, leaving a dry, hard stool. 2. Your brain will also lose the ability to recognise your need to defecate as the nerves in your rectum become damaged and less responsive.

 

Want to discuss your gut issues? Book a FREE 30-minute video consultation.

Brighton (UK)-based and international Nutritional Therapist & Health Coach

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Nathalie Sansonetti

BA, MA, DNn, Dip AIT, HCI Certified Coach

Join more than 800 people I have helped with their health and nutrition needs. You can trust my qualifications and experience to achieve the same results for you.

  • Nutritional Therapist (10+ years)
  • Accredited Health Coach (Health Coach Institute)
  • Emotional Freedom Therapy/Matrix Re-imprinting Practitioner 
  • Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners, Member
  • UK Health Coaching Association, Member

The information on this course is not intended to replace medication or advice from your general practitioner (GP), medical doctor or specialist and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information based on the research and experience of Nathalie Sansonetti and her work as a Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach. N.Sansonetti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.