Constipation and ideal sausages
A few months ago, our second post about dysbiosis and on how diet and lifestyle affect it, was published. The first post in this gut series was about the FODMAP diet and it’s pros and cons. Now we thought we would dive deep into the subject of constipation. Not being able to go to the toilet regularly can be a torment not only for the present, but also for future health problems. I was going to shed light on the most common reasons why you get constipation and how to get the system running again.
Constipation is one of the most common symptoms of intestinal problems. It basically means that you suffer from a sluggish, hard stomach and have difficulty pooping. Maybe it is only a few dry pieces a couple of times a week, so the stomach is sore and swollen. Many people may feel such discomfort that they start chewing laxatives, which create additional “intestinal loss” and a laxative dependence.
Common causes of constipation?
A weak diet poor in fiber, full of sugar and dairy products are common constipation culprits. Other reasons include changed routines, too little fluid, sleep disorders, lack of exercise, traveling over time zones, certain medications, pregnancy, some diseases, dysbiosis / SIBO and last but not least dysfunctional communication between the brain and intestines via the vagus nerve (which will be a future theme in combination with neurodegenerative diseases).
A common cause that is not so often highlighted, is excessive methane gas production caused by overgrowth of intestinal microbes. Researchers have seen that patients with IBS-C (constipation) had excessive methane gas in a lactulose hydrogen breath test. This is a test that shows the risk of constipation. Although this test may provide some information, we at Nordic Wellth generally do not recommend it, as research shows that it can be relatively unreliable and often leads to inaccurate SIBO diagnoses. Archaea, or archaea, are unicellular organisms that live in the gut and produce methane gas. Like a virome, mycobiome and bacteriome, archaeomes also form part of our human microbiome / intestinal flora. These microbes must be in balance, but in people with constipation there is an imbalance and then the arches can increase in quantity and grow stronger. Now you may be wondering why we need to have methane gas in the gut? Well, it’s to keep other gases like hydrogen in check. However, like other gases, the methane gas wants out and this can lead to abdominal swelling, pain and constipation. When the gases move, the small intestine is stretched and the neurons in the intestine feel this expansion and then you feel pain.
Stress is another factor that affects intestinal motility (intestinal motility is what move the contents forward). Stress can lead to both diarrhea and constipation. Here what matters is the imbalance of intestinal microbes. I have already mentioned that methane leads to constipation, or IBS-C, while if you suffer more from IBS-D (diarrhea) this is caused by hydrogen. You can of course have a combination and an imbalance of both. When you are stressed, the stress hormone CRH is secreted and this affects the integrity of the intestine, increases sensitivity, inflammation and can contribute to autoimmunity. In addition to the stress hormone itself affecting the intestine, the stressed person usually does not live as healthy; you exercise less, eat a poorer diet with more fast food, sugar and semi-finished products, drink less water and sleep less – all contributing factors.
How to get an ideal sausage?
During a consultation, I often talk about the ideal poop – a soft, compliant web that glides out easily. Of course, the key to this brown soft sausage is individual depending on what the biggest root causes are for you! It is not necessarily easy to treat constipation and break a lifelong symptom. The right diet, supplements, exercise and good habits are all pieces of the puzzle for a well-functioning gut.
- Fiber fiber fiber! No matter what type of SIBO you have, there are no shortcuts to the perfect sausage and I usually recommend that you take psyllium fiber and / or chia and flax seeds daily as part of your morning routine. You can also make a high-fiber smoothie with a variety of vegetables to increase the diversity of fiber, which in turn feeds the intestinal bacteria. There are different types of fiber, but if you eat a diet packed with vegetables, fruits, berries, gluten-free groats, beans, lentils, nuts, psyllium, chia seeds or flax seeds, you will get a good variety. Fiber is important as it bulges and softens the intestinal contents so it can easily pass out. However, it feels like Food Pharmacy readers know a lot about this particular topic already, so I’m moving on.
- Alcohol and coffee are not winners in this scenario as they are diuretic. The main occupation of the large intestine is to absorb water from the remaining intestinal contents, which then leaves the body. If there is not enough liquid, your poop will be dry and hard balls.
- This point speaks for itself: remove as much junk food, dairy products, sugar, cakes, sweets, chips, soft drinks and other processed foods, from your diet, as possible.
- Some common diseases that can lead to constipation are IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), diabetes, IBS, underactive thyroid gland and Parkinson’s. I have already revealed that our next post will be about neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia so I do not intend to go into this more than to say that long before a Parkinson’s diagnosis is made the person has for many years, maybe almost a lifetime. , suffered from constipation and other pre-motor symptoms.
- I usually am not so specific in articles with mentioning herbs in SIBO / dysbiosis treatment but today I will make an exception. Real cinnamon, oregano oil and garlic can play a big role in a holistic treatment. If you are unsure and have never been treated with herbs before, you should definitely ask a knowledgeable person for help – just because herbs are natural, it does not mean that they are not inactive.
- Exercise preferably 30 minutes, five days a week. If for some reason you can not do this, at least try to go for a brisk 15 minute walk. Exercise is A and O as the intestinal contents are accelerated and limit the intestinal resorption of water which makes the contents softer.
- Surprisingly, there are some who delay the toilet visit when the feeling kicks in. A delayed visit to the toilet can further dry out the stool and make it even harder.
With these tips, I want to thank you for this time. I hope the information has been practical and helpful.
All Nordic Wellth nutritionists work according to the same model. We have developed well-developed guidelines to ensure that all consultations maintain the same high standard, regardless of which therapist you go to. In addition to solid higher education from England, all therapists are coached by me so that our thinking in the consultation process is homogeneous. This way of working has been very successful for our clients.
With us, you are in good hands no matter where in the country you live.
Live well, be well!
This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.