Constipation… Yes, I said it!

Constipation is a problem for most people.  Even when people come in to get treatments for back pain or migraines, most people also, reluctantly, admit to a constipation problem.  But, there are many that won’t admit to a constipation issue because they go every two or three days and say, well that’s normal for them.  Let me just say, just because it seems normal to you doesn’t mean it is or that it is a good thing.  If you eat 2-3 meals a day you should be going twice a day.

When you have constipation, it’s a sign that you are not processing your food well or that you are not eating real food.  This problem could go one of two ways. Let me break it down.

If you eat fake food, that’s enough to give you constipation.  Processed chemicals are not food.  Let me clarify, a frozen entrée that you nuke for lunch is not food.  That frozen meal is so processed and loaded with chemicals.  This is not food.  A breakfast bar or a bowl of Lucky Charms is not food.  A run thru the drive thru is not food.  I’m sure that you have heard that fast food burgers (at the big arches) have little meat in their burgers.  Don’t think the fries are potatoes dropped in oil.  There’s more to fries than that.  And don’t get me started on the other items!  And what about the “Eat Fresh” place.  You walk in and order a sub your way.  Well the meat is processed, the cheese is processed and can we talk about the “fresh” bread.”  The bread is not your grandma’s bread.  This bread may be baked on site, but the dough is made in a factory with too many ingredients/chemicals to comprehend. This sort of diet is enough to give you constipation.

The second issue is your body’s ability to process the food.  You may claim to eat the Cadillac of all diets, but still have problems with constipation.  Constipation is a symptom of not breaking your food down properly.  If you can’t break the food down as it should be, it doesn’t transit through the system properly.  It could stall out in the intestines, especially if you have whole food chunks in your lower intestines. The problem with the stalling out is that the body will continue to resorb water from the intestine and that only makes things dry out if you will.  Trying to pull a boat down a dry river bed is never fun!  A sort of side effect that goes along with this is that if you are not processing your food properly, then you are not getting all of the nutrients from the food you eat.  So, if you are taking great care to eat real whole foods, you may not be reaping all of the benefits of the diet.  Bummer, right?!  So what do you do?

Follow my 5 Step Plan

1. Increase Daily Fiber.  This begins with eating real whole food.  Start cutting back on anything processed.  Women should get around 25 grams of fiber a day and Men should get 38 grams.  However, the average intake is 15 grams.  Eating real whole foods will increase your fiber intake, but here is a list of fiber rich foods.

Apple (4.4 gm) + 2 Tbsp Sunflower Seed Butter (4 gm)

2 Medjool Dates (3.2 gm) + 2 Tbsp Sunflower Seed Butter (4 gm)

Sweet Potato (4 gm)

1c. Raspberries (8 gm)

1 Cantaloupe (5gm)

1 serving of Broccoli (3.8 gm)

1/2 Pineapple (3.5 gm)

*Any & all melons will increase transit time with their fiber & water combination

2. Take Digestive Enzymes with your food.  You will need a broad sprectrum plant based enzyme supplement with therapeutic levels of activity.  This will help you to breakdown the food you eat so that it can be eliminated properly, plus you get more nutrition from your food.

3. Take a Probiotic.  I recommend taking a probiotic at bedtime every night.  It helps to balance the pH of your gastrointestinal tract, and it helps to populate your gut with healthy bacteria. There are many different single strain and multi-strain probiotics available.  I would consult a qualified health professional to get the right one for you.

4. Get Acupuncture.  We call it Qi stagnation or Disharmony of the Middle Jiao. Basically the gut isn’t working properly.  Acupuncture can help to get things moving and flowing. I’ve had many people that have to stop by the restroom on their way out. I’m just sayin’ it works!

5. Exercise.  People always say ugh!  Well, it is a good way to get the qi flowing. When the qi and blood are moving, everything else moves with it. Sedentary people have sedentary qi and blood and that not only affects your circulation and muscle but also your bowel movements. So get moving to get moving.

Bonus Step.  Take ReleaseZyme, on occasion.  I don’t love for people to take things on a regular basis to help with constipation.  If you are doing all of the above, you should be good to go.  However, it may help to take ReleaseZyme at the beginning to get things going.  The difference between some movers & shakers and ReleaseZyme is that it is a combination of herbs with enzymes.  The enzymes will help to breakdown the clog, so to speak, while the herbs get things to flow.  I recommend taking this at bedtime once or twice a week to start.  It is a good medicine cabinet remedy to have on hand for those times you fall off the wagon with Steps 1-5.

This should get you moving and feeling free & light!

Be sure to leave questions or comments below.

This entry was written by Dr. Shelly Masters , posted on Tuesday April 01 2014at 02:04 pm , filed under Acupuncture, Health News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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