Lets talk about your gut today.
It's really important to have a regular bowel movement (I'm talking once daily and feeling emptied) for your overall health and even more so when you are suffering from various hormonal imbalances.
When you're constipated, the metabolised hormones re-enter the body, Its toxic and inhibits the endocrine glands from producing more "fresh" hormones. You accumulate harmful estrogens and become really low on progesterone. It can cause PMS, PCOS, harsh menopause symptoms, belly fat, infertility and even breast cancer!
Constipation is on top of the list when it comes to digestive issues women experience, so let me assure you it's not just you.
In desperation many women often resort to laxatives, not realizing that these can perpetuate the constipation cycle, which often has multiple causes.
I always say you can lose weight by balancing your hormones.
And you can balance your hormones by healing your heart and your gut!
I see a lot of clients who suffer from constipation. So many just accepted the idea that they have IBS diagnosis or just learned to live with this terrible symptom. If you dont want to live with chronic constipation and be labeled as IBS person I help you to find an underlying and very treatable condition. Here are the three most common constipation root cause.
I am not going to tell you to just drink more water, exercise or eat more fiber to get your bowels moving. I used to have long term, recurrent constipation that persists in spite of doing all the right things and trying every home remedy there available. Does it sound familiar?
So here are definitions for them:
Constipation dominant IBS:
So, confused as to why we have to have two separate definitions for basically the same symptom set. They just confuse people, making them to accept the label and stop looking for a root cause.
I've seen women who have been told they have IBS and they just accept it and struggle to manage it not realising they had a gut infection or some underlying root cause for that which can be a gut infection or emotional trauma or even childhood trauma or a combination of those.
They should not have had to put up with constipation for all these years.
Remember that a symptom is the outcome or result that you notice. Like constipation. A root cause is the reason that it is occurring. Constipation is a symptom and it has a root cause. You can’t fix constipation by identifying that you have constipation. You can only fix constipation once you identify WHY you have constipation.
Using laxatives is a great example of only temporarily suppressing the constipation symptom. And while you may notice some improvement, your constipation will likely stay the same otr get worse unless the underlying root cause is found and treated.
Asking “why?” can start to get you closer to the real cause of your constipation, and closer to a solution that works for you:
I really hope that this example illustrates the point that if you stop at the first "Why?" You might be eating a restricted diet forever, or taking laxatives forever, constantly trying to manage symptoms as your health declines. Only once you start to ask better questions can you get the answers you need to finally understand and heal your constipation symptoms.
They are caused by pathogens, the most common being:
Travel, food poisoning, pets or an outbreak in water supply can all give you a nasty bug. Unfortunately, pathogens are just a normal part of life it’s whether your immune system is strong enough to fight them off that really matters. It’s why we have stomach acid, good bacteria in our gut and an immune system to fight back and keep these ‘bad guys’ at bay. But, if you are stressed, intoxicated, fatigued, have food sensitivities etc, your immune system is likely to be compromised, increasing your risk of a gut infection.
Prior use of antibiotics (often used to kill another gut infection) is also a very common cause of gut infections, particularly Candida or overgrowth like SIBO.
While most people associate a GI bug with diarrhea, constipation is a common symptom that is less noticeable but tends to last a lot longer and cause more chronic side-effects. Pathogenic bacteria can give off neurotoxins to ‘paralyse’ the muscles around the intestines, slowing peristalsis (intestinal movement) so that the organisms don’t get removed with the stool as easily as they may have before.
Small Intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is characterised by an increased number and/or abnormal type of bacteria in the small intestine. Because these bacteria generally live in the large intestine, they are mostly species that ferment carbohydrates into hydrogen gas (H2) or archaea (not technically bacteria) thatproduce methane gas.
While both hydrogen and methane types typically result in abdominal bloating and distention, as with IBS sufferers, SIBO types are divided into one of three different categories; diarrhoea-dominant, constipation-dominant or alternating variations of both. Hormonal imbalances like hypothirodism can slow down your digestion causing a perfect condition for bacteria “get stuck” in the small intestine.
Food sensitivities and inflammation
Clients with food sensitivities commonly present with many of the common IBS symptoms, including constipation. Lots of times we can blame gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts, amongst others. These include true allergies (IgE-mediated immune response) or more mild intolerances (IgG-mediated immune response) as well as enzyme deficiencies that can lead to conditions like lactose or fructose malabsorption.
When you're stressed, it actually causes spasms in your gut. How those spasms impact what comes out of your body (or not) depends on where they happen. If the spasms are widespread, your whole colon is contracting, everything will move along quickly, and you’ll experience diarrhea. However, if the spasms are only happening in one area, it can hold everything up and aggravate constipation. Chronic stress can cause chronic constipation because it puts you in a fight and flight mode causing compromised digestion . you cant digest your food if your body thinks you are in danger and have to run from (imaginary) tiger.
Testing! It’s so important to test so you know which of these constipation root causes is responsible for your IBS-C or Functional Constipation diagnosis. Once you know what they are, you can treat and heal. The most common testing I complete for my clients who suffer with IBS-C or Functional Constipation are:
Stool testing for gut infections
Full hormonal panel
Dry blood spot testing for food sensitivities
Breath testing for SIBO
And once you have the answers, you can find your solution and live symptom free!
This week, the key takeaway is that there is always a reason you don’t have regular bowel movements. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have Functional Constipation or IBS-C without also identifying the actual root cause of your symptoms; something you can actually treat.
And while you’re finding the root cause, you can use the strategies in my 10 Day Detox Guide to get things moving and ease the symptoms.
Looking for personal advice specific to your problems?
There is a way to free yourself from these symptoms, so don't give up!