I’m about to embark on a 10 day adventure. My younger brother is graduating from NYU and my whole family is going to his graduation (it’s in Yankee Stadium!), and THEN it’s our annual May long weekend “biddie” trip with my girlfriends, that just happens to also be a joint bachelorette party (and I’m one of the bachelorettes!)
With travel often comes irregularity in a number of things: sleep, food and of course, digestion. It reminded me I haven’t done a post on digestion, particularly constipation in quite some time and, even though you might not talk about it, I know many of you are experiencing it.
So, without further ado, here are my 5 tips to relieve (and prevent) constipation:
Food sensitivities or intolerances are not your typical immediate allergies, rather they are a delayed reaction that can take up to 4 days to manifest. The tricky thing with food sensitivities is that they can manifest in the most common of symptoms. For example, bloating, headaches, puffy face (or body), joint pain, acne, and more…
One of the major symptoms of a food sensitivity is an irritated digestive tract, whether that’s constipation, diarrhea, or a yo-yo between the two.
How do you test your food sensitivities? Well, two ways. First of all, you can try an elimination diet, where you remove the common allergens for 4 weeks, and then slowly reintroduce them, one at a time, to understand if they cause symptoms. This is totally doable but requires serious commitment. Secondly, if you’d rather just know exactly which foods it is (and I personally prefer this approach), you can do a finger prick blood test. Unfortunately, it can’t yet be done at your doctor – it’s something you’d have to get your naturopath or nutritionist to order for you.
Not all food sensitivity tests are created equal though, and often you will get results back that are not accurate. I recommend using SteroChrom as the provider, which is one that we offer HEAL clients.
Super important as well is fiber. But, not just “eat your vegetables” fiber. Sometimes it requires more specific types of fiber, like ground flaxseed or psyllium husk. Start by adding 1 TBSP freshly ground flax into your daily routine, increasing it to 2 TBSP total (start small and work your way up). If you don’t see any results, it may be worth adding a proper fiber powder into your routine. like Thorne Fibermend or Metagenics MetaFiber. As with all fiber, start small and work your way up so as not to have a reaction to it.
You know this one, right? 😉 Often times when you’re constipated, you have an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria help digest food, and keep you regular. The best way to do this is with kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and of course probiotics. The Metagenics Ultra Flora Balance works wonders, and I also like HMF Intensive.
This tip isn’t just for lemon water, it’s also for water in general. Without enough water, the stool can’t easily pass through your system.
Aim for around 2L of water/day, maybe more if you exercise and sweat, or drink caffeinated beverages that are dehydrating.
Last, but certainly not least, magnesium can really help. I find for many people Magnesium takes a bit of testing for dosage. As it is a natural laxative (not the kind that has you running to the bathroom – more just loose stools), you have to be careful not to take too much. I would start with 135-150mg, in the evening before bed (it’s also great for sleep problems), and increase until you have loose stools. I like Thorne Magnesium Citramate.
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