10 Steps to Eliminate Constipation

10 Steps to Eliminate Constipation

1. Increase Fiber– Our ancestors from the Paleolithic era ate 100 grams of fiber per day on average. The standard American diet falls way short at approximately 15 grams per day.  Current recommendation is 35 grams per day. The solution is to increase the amount of plant material you consume, eat more legumes, add flax meal to smoothie

2. Supplement with Magnesium– Most people are deficient in magnesium because of depleted soil. Magnesium is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. Natures Calm is a great supplement for this. It’s a powder that you mix in water. As an added benefit, it can help you sleep better.

3. Drink More Water– I recommend keeping you urine straw colored. If it starts getting darker, drink a full glass of water. Dehydration hardens stool and slows movement.

4. Eat Ginger– This awesome spice regulates acidity, increases peristalsis (bowel contraction), and increases transit time (delivery to the toilet)

5. Increase Healthy Fat Intake– Increasing healthy fats in your diet has a laxative effect. Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, eggs, grass-fed butter or ghee.

6. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar– Drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 15 minutes prior to eating jump starts the stomach into digestive mode.

7. Squatty potty–  In the squatting position, gravity does most of the work. The weight of the torso presses against the thighs and naturally compresses the colon. Gentle pressure from the diaphragm supplements the force of gravity. Squatting relaxes the pubic muscles, allowing the anorectal angle to straighten and the bowel to empty completely.

8. Avoid Opioids– Are you taking pain medication? Hydrocodone, Demerol, Fentanyl, Codeine, Oxycodone? These are known to cause constipation.  It’s best not to rely on these drugs long term as they are highly addictive.

9. Eliminate Certain Foods– Gluten and Dairy contain opioid type compounds. Once again, they cause constipation.

10. Be Aware of Your Diet– I probably should have started with this! Eating a whole food diet and cutting your processed food out is where you should start. Obviously, a whole food diet contains more fiber, which helps. Some people have food sensitivities that they are unaware of. These can also cause constipation.

I recommend starting by changing your diet, and following the steps above. If that doesn’t work then more investigation is needed. Remember, getting to the cause is key. If you have any questions feel free to email me anytime!

Yours in health,

Dr. Dougherty

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