Have you ever been too embarrassed to talk to your doctor about problems with constipation?
Constipation is the irregular bowel movement and the difficulty in the passage of stools. It can often last uncomfortably for at least several weeks. This condition is usually determined when a person has less than three bowel movements a week. Read on to know more about this condition.
What is constipation?
If the digestive system moves the stool slowly and you can’t do anything to speed it up for elimination, it eventually loses water and becomes dry and hard. This makes it even more difficult to eliminate. Want to know more about your constipation? Schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation with Dr. Celaya.
How do I know that I have constipation?
Aside from what was previously mentioned, you need to look out for some other signs and symptoms for the next few days, such as the following:
You might need assistance to completely empty the rectal part. Some of these techniques involve pressing on the abdomen or using a finger or an enema to get rid of the stool stuck inside the rectum.
You might feel that your rectum may be blocked. In some instances, you may even feel that this is the cause of difficulty in passing stools.
Your stools may be hard or lumpy.
You might feel the sensation of incomplete voiding of the stool.
You have to strain just so you can have your bowel movements.
What foods should I avoid to encourage better bowel movement?
The following are just some of the foods that you need to avoid at all costs:
Constipation can be a sign of gluten intolerance. Visit my website to learn more about appropriate testing. LINK HERE
Dairy products like ice cream and cheese cause constipation because of their low-fiber and high-fat content. Even whey protein drinks can contribute to constipation.
Fried and greasy foods like onion rings, French fries, and potato chips can significantly slow down your digestive tract.
Meat alone cannot cause constipation. However, if you happen to eat it more often than fiber-rich foods, that will surely give you the problem because the stomach has to spend more time processing and absorbing it.
Avoid anthranoid-containing herbs and herbal teas that create a laxative dependence on these stimulant laxatives such as senna, cascara sagrada, and even aloe vera (to name a few). These can also result in melanosis coli where the cells in the colon’s lining turn a dark-brown pigmentation due to damage and apoptosis (a form of cell death).
Avoid foods that make you bloated or let you retain water for longer periods of time.
How can I address and prevent constipation?
Before trying over-the-counter laxatives, stool softeners, glycerin suppositories, or synthetic or processed fibers such as Metamucil or Citrucel, try the following, more natural steps to help your elimination get back on track and avoid constipation in the long run:
Castor oil is a well-known laxative that you can consume on an empty stomach. Consuming about 1 to 2 teaspoons in a day will do for chronic cases of constipation.
Magnesium citrate and Triphala supplementation in the evening can help morning elimination.
Digestive support from stomach acid (hydrochloric acid-HCL) and digestive enzymes are critical for digesting food. I find a deficiency of both to be very common in many patients. Digest, my digestive support product, contains both HCL and digestive enzymes.
A good probiotic is also very important for digestion, no matter your age. Making sure you have the proper microbiome keeps the good bacteria high, which, in turn, keeps the bad bacteria at bay.
Drink fresh green juices like spinach, celery, and kale to help peristaltic action. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to make fresh juice, try my GREEN DRINK
Make a small amount of fresh beet juice for cleansing and add it to a base of fresh cucumber, celery, kale, spinach and apple juice.
Make sure to incorporate lots of vegetables and fruit into your diet every day. Super important!
Raisins are rich in tartaric acid that can help mobilize stool. Just consume 4.5 ounces of these in a day to see the difference.
Just like apricots and cherries, prunes help trigger the intestines to contract more regularly.
Supplementing with fiber such as acacia, flaxseed, chia seed and psyllium husks are all beneficial options. If you’re not used to it, introduce it bit by bit in your meals to prevent bloating. Make sure you drink plenty of water with fiber.
Drink lots of water, as well as fresh juices and herbal teas!
OTHER THINGS TO HELP
Never ignore your urge to pass your stool.
Maintain an active lifestyle as much as possible. If you can, perform exercises at least 30 minutes a day for a minimum of 3 times a week. You can perform some gentle exercises any time to mobilize toxins.
Make it a point to create regular schedules for your bowel movement. The easiest way to do this is to encourage a bowel movement after a meal.
Incorporate relaxation techniques into your lifestyle.
Encourage the squatting position for full elimination. Using a small chair to raise your feet a bit while you’re sitting on the toilet may actually help you do this.
Never try to suppress your urge to have a bowel movement.
While having occasional bouts of constipation is perfectly normal, you should not wait before it worsens before you do anything about it. If you let it run its course without identifying the cause of your condition, there might come a time when you may have other problems related to constipation. Therefore, don’t hesitate to seek help if you think you’re getting this condition more frequently. If you would like to get to the root cause of your constipation, you can schedule for a free consultation with Dr. Celaya.
You could be developing an autoimmune disease, one of the most common diseases today, and are not aware of it. This is because autoimmune diseases sometimes start off as “silent” autoimmunity. This means your immune system is attacking tissue in your body but the damage isn’t bad enough to cause symptoms yet.
Autoimmune disease is more common than cancer and heart disease combined, and that’s just the diagnosed cases. Many, if not most, cases of autoimmunity are happening without a diagnosis.
This is because medicine does not screen for autoimmunity until symptoms are advanced and severe enough for a diagnosis and treatment with steroids, chemotherapy drugs, or surgery.
Autoimmunity: The disease for the modern era
Autoimmunity can affect any tissue in the body or brain. It occurs when the immune system attacks and damages tissue as if it were a foreign invader.
Common autoimmune diseases include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and psoriasis. More than 80 different autoimmune diseases have been identified so far.
Autoimmune disease affects 1 in 5 people, the majority of them women. It is believed women are more commonly affected because of their hormonal complexity. Although autoimmune disease is very common, the statistics do not tell the whole story.
Autoimmunity can happen long before diagnosis
Autoimmunity can begin long before damage is bad enough for a disease to be diagnosed. Many people can go years, decades, or even an entire lifetime with symptoms but never have damage bad enough to be labeled disease.
As an example, autoimmunity against the pancreas can cause blood sugar issues long before the development of type 1 diabetes. Additionally, about 10 percent of people with type 2 diabetes, which is caused by diet and lifestyle, also have pancreatic autoimmunity. This is called type 1.5 diabetes.
One of the most common autoimmune diseases is Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Patients may need to gradually increase their thyroid hormone because although they were diagnosed with low thyroid, the autoimmunity was overlooked and left unmanaged.
Or a patient may have an autoimmune reaction that has not been recognized as a disease. For instance, autoimmunity to nerve cells may produce symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis (MS), which is an autoimmune reaction to nerve sheathes. However, because the autoimmunity is not attacking nerve sheathes specifically, the patient cannot be diagnosed despite MS-like symptoms.
Autoimmunity can attack anything in the body
People can also have symptoms that suggest many types of autoimmunity. Although symptoms vary depending on which tissue is being attacked, many autoimmune sufferers experience chronic fatigue, chronic pain, declining brain function, gastrointestinal issues, hair loss, weight gain or weight loss, brain fog, and more.
Fortunately, functional medicine offers lab testing that can screen for autoimmunity against a number of different tissues. We also use strategies such as an anti-inflammatory diet, blood sugar stabilizing, gut healing, addressing toxins, and habits that minimize stress and inflammation.
Ask my office if autoimmunity may be causing your strange and chronic symptoms.
Although the autoimmune paleo (AIP) diet is a well-known foundation for managing chronic health issues, some people are dismayed to find embarking on it makes them feel worse. What gives? The sudden change in diet can temporarily upset your chemistry and reveal hidden health problems.
If you have been accustomed to eating gluten, dairy, grains, sugars, and processed foods, going cold turkey off those foods is a radical shift. Likewise, adding in lots of vegetables can also shock a digestive system unaccustomed to ample plant fiber.
Most people feel significantly better on the AIP diet. If you’re not one of them, however, don’t give up on the diet. Instead, look for the underlying reason why.
Feeling temporarily worse on the AIP diet
Following are common adverse reactions to the autoimmune paleo diet. Knowing why you react negatively can further help you on your wellness journey.
Low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar and adrenal fatigue can worsen on this diet. This is usually caused by not eating enough or frequently enough. The general recommendation is to eat every two to three hours, however, some people may initially need a bite or two every hour until blood sugar stabilizes and they can go longer without eating. Avoid sugary fruits and investigate what else may be taxing your adrenal function, such as brain-based issues, autoimmunity, or chronic infection.
New food sensitivities. When gut damage is bad and inflammation high, it’s possible to develop food sensitivities to new foods on the autoimmune diet. This is very frustrating for people as the diet is already so limited. This can be a complex situation that requires concerted effort to tame inflammation and repair the gut.
Opioid withdrawal reactions. Opioids are morphine-like chemicals made by the body that reduce pain and create a feeling of euphoria and well-being. Some people become dependent on foods that release opioids in the brain, namely gluten, and dairy. They can initially experience depression, anger, lethargy, and agitation on the autoimmune diet. For those with serious opioid addictions to gluten and dairy, withdrawal can be intense.
Brain chemical imbalance. A diet high in processed carbohydrates affects brain chemicals that influence our mood, particularly serotonin and dopamine. Suddenly switching to a lower carbohydrate diet can disrupt the balance of brain chemicals and cause temporary changes in mood, behavior, and personality. You may need to gradually lower carbohydrate consumption if so.
Insomnia and anxiety. Some people report irresolvable insomnia and anxiety if carbohydrate consumption is too low. If these symptoms persist long after an adjustment period, you may simply need to use trial and error to find the carbohydrate “sweet spot” that lets you sleep but also keeps blood sugar in check.
Difficulty digesting fiber. The AIP diet is heavy on vegetables. For those with compromised digestive function, this can overwhelm the gut. Concerted gut repair nutritional therapy can ease you into a higher fiber diet.
Histamine intolerance. This is a reaction to aged or fermented foods that causes myriad symptoms, including rashes, runny nose, or headaches. Avoiding these foods for a while can help the gut heal so you can eat them later.
Yeast and bacteria die-off reactions. Going cold turkey off processed carbs, gluten, and dairy can cause a sudden and uncomfortable die-off of harmful yeast and bacteria in your gut. This is especially true in the case of poor liver detoxification and constipation. Supporting the body’s pathways of elimination can help.
These are a few of the issues that can arise when you switch to the autoimmune paleo diet. Don’t forget to consider the grief and anger you may feel about missing your favorite foods. However, if you weather the transition and ferret out sources of discomfort, your newfound health will more than makeup for the rough legs of the journey.
If you still can’t shake feeling worse on the AIP diet or want to know about your health, you can sign up for a free 15 consult with Dr. Celaya.
Have you ever wanted to know everything there is to know about your thyroid? This 7-part video series will cover thyroid lab testing, nutrition and infections that affect the thyroid, toxins, thyroid hormone conversion, lifestyle, and adrenal interplay.