Constipation is a common and uncomfortable problem for many people, affecting nearly 20% of American adults. Chronic constipation can lead to a significant decrease in quality of life with surprising symptoms that seem unrelated, including lower back pain, anxiety, and fatigue.
While it’s normal to have occasional trouble going to the bathroom, especially if you are stressed or dehydrated, chronic constipation can be devastating, and deadly.
Fortunately, you can enhance elimination, prevent constipation and help your bowels move more easily with effective natural remedies including targeted nutrition, stress reduction, exercise, warm liquids, smoothies, CBD, and Commit to the Cleanse your digestive system.
Constipation and Lower Back Pain
If you have fewer than three bowel movements per week, or if bowel movements are hard, dry, or painful and have difficulty passing, then you may be chronically constipated. In addition to bathroom discomfort constipation is associated with bloating, gas, and inflammation which impacts the entire body, including nerves in the lower back.
When the bowels are constipated, the large intestine and rectum become distended (‘overfull’) with stool. We can’t actively sense this internal pressure but a it puts pressure on the nerves in the lower back, causing pain. Straining to have a bowel movement, bloating and gas also puts pressure on the lower back muscles, which can become stiff and painful. It’s not always obvious that the experience of back pain and constipation, are related.
The risk of constipation increases with age, with the highest risk being for people over 65, and women report double the amount of constipation experienced by men. A combination of low-fiber diets, dehydration, eating animal products, lack of movement and stress are all impacting our ability to effectively excrete waste from the body.
Causes of Constipation
Functional digestive disorders, such as chronic constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), are a group of conditions that stem primarily from the food we eat and our lifestyle choices:
- Food, high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and synthetic additives, makes it harder to produce normal bowel movements and inflames the bowel.
- Dehydration results in water being taken out of the gut to hydrate the rest of the body, this makes it harder for substances to flow and move out, it also reduces digestive function.
- Stress alters hormone and neurotransmitter production, and directly influences muscle tension, inflammation, enzyme production, and overall digestive function.
- Inactivity reduces blood flow, weakening muscles within the digestive tract and causing stagnation in the bowel.
- Fiber is an essential element in maintaining gut health as it feeds the good bacteria that digest and process your nutrients.
- Magnesium is also essential for normal muscle function. Insufficient magnesium can make muscles tense and reduce your ability to cope with stress.
- Straining while using the bathroom or sitting in an uncomfortable position on the toilet, can contribute to bowel movements that don’t feel complete.
- Insomnia or low sleep quality, including travel between multiple time zones, can mess up the regularity of the rhythmic digestive system.
Natural Constipation Relief
Here are seven ways to naturally support and retrain comfortable elimination:
- Eat More: High-fiber foods
Include more approved raw fruits, vegetables, garbanzo beans, and ancient grains in your diet.
Apples, berries, avocado, and approved greens add essential plant cellulose and fiber which feeds good bacteria and scrubs the inside of your bowels clean, they are also rich in magnesium. Smoothies are an easy way to consume more raw nutrients in a quick, convenient, and tasty drink.
- Eat More: Laxative Foods
Figs and plums are renowned for their ability to make you move. These fruits are high in fiber and antioxidants and work as natural laxatives and when consumed regularly will help prevent constipation. Avoid bananas as they can slow bowel movements. Sea Salt also supports elimination with its high dose of minerals. Coconut oil also has a slightly laxative effect and supports bacterial balance.
- Squatting not Sitting
Squatting while using the toilet is considered a more natural ‘traditional’ position and squat toilets are common in parts of the world. Studies have shown that squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle and straightens out the colon, making it easier to pass stool with less straining. The rectum straightens out more when you squat, putting less pressure on lower back muscles. Installing a squat toilet, or simply using a stool to elevate your feet can help eliminae your bowels with less tension and ultimately help to prevent constipation.
- Reduce Stress and Relax
The hormones signaling stress (cortisol and epinephrine) slow digestion, increase appetite, elevate blood sugar, and disturb elimination. Sudden intense stress, like a shock or fright, can cause immediate diarrhea while prolonged stress makes gut muscles rigid and retain waste. CBD reduces inflammation and relaxes both the mind and body, it helps muscles in the bowls soften and regulates digestion through the endocannabinoid system. Combine CBD with targeted nutrition in this constipation relief smoothie.
- Stimulate and Hydrate:
Warm liquids help ease waste through the digestive system (like washing up with warm water). The warmth also activates digestive enzymes increasing efficiency, especially if it's cold outside. Hot water with a squeeze of key lime is great first thing in the morning to hydrate you and wake your bowels up. Ginger tea is warming and anti-inflammatory, Dr. Sebi's Bromide Plus also aids healthful digestion and Hemp and Chamomile Tea is the perfect way to wind down and relax with a warming, and soothing, gut-calming hot beverage.
- Get More: Movement
Physical activity can help improve digestion by increasing muscle activity in the intestines. Incorporating exercise, particularly in the morning, can stimulate the digestive system, reduce stress, and improve overall mood. Rebounding on a mini-trampoline can be especially beneficial in stimulating the bowels and lymphatic system. Other forms of light exercises, such as stretching, walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, or dancing can also support the internal 'massage' that enhances bowel function.
- Cleanse it Out!
If your sink was clogged you would unblock it. But if it kept getting clogged you would know there was a bigger issue. Chronic constipation can be eased with the methods described above, but at some point, you need to tackle the underlying imbalance. Waste accumulates in the gut and we can’t see or sense it, but we can feel the low mood and lethargy it causes. Support your insides to get clean and remove the mucus, toxins, plaque, molds, and yeast hiding in your gut.
Commit to the Cleanse and resolve the roots of constipation!
Start the year off right by taking care of your colon and eliminating toxins and waste from the previous year.
Chelation 1, containing Cascara Sagrada, can stimulate gut health and remove excess mucus.
Chelation 2, featuring Mandrake, Prodigiosa, Rhubarb, and Cascara Sagrada, helps improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and support weight loss.
Bromide Plus, with its blend of Sea Moss and Bladderwrack, provides essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and iodine to nourish your cells.
Viento, containing Bladderwrack, Blue Vervain, Chaparral, Flor de Manita, and Guaco, can help curb cravings, boost energy, and support overall health.
Commit to Cleanse with herbs that detoxify and rejuvenate your body.