Haven’t had a bowel movement in a few days or even a week? Or if you can poop, it’s still a struggle, painful, and just pebbles. If this is you, you’re not alone. More than 4 million people struggle with constipation symptoms. You may wonder, “But what’s causing my constipation, and what’s the best constipation remedy that’s NOT laxatives?”
Yes. Even if you have a bowel movement, you could still be considered constipated and experience constipation symptoms. Being constipated typically means that you:
are not having a bowel movement daily
have a difficult time passing stools
your stools are hard and dry
have the feeling that you’re not passing all the stool
If you want to know the best constipation remedy that is natural and gets to the root cause of your stalled bowel movements, you need to understand the underlying cause of your constipation.
Dehydration (more common than you think)
Food sensitivities (gluten, dairy, soy, etc)
Lack of fiber intake due to a diet filled with processed foods
Gut dysbiosis (bacterial imbalances)
Hormone imbalances– Thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, etc
Lack of HCL (stomach acid)
So, what’s the big deal if you’re constipated or not? Well, having regular and healthy bowel movements is needed for optimal health. This is your body’s sign that digestion is functioning properly, meaning that nutrients that you ingest are getting absorbed AND bowel movements are how your body detoxifies. Harmful toxins, excess hormones, viruses, and parasites are eliminated from your body through your stools.
Even if your liver is processing and packaging toxins, if your digestion is slow or even halted, there’s no way for those toxins and excess hormones (like estrogens) to get OUT of your body.
When you are constipated, these toxins and excess hormones can become reabsorbed back into your bloodstream and contribute to your “toxic bucket,” causing damage to your cells and biological pathways and leading to hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance.
There are different types of laxatives that work in different ways.
Stimulant laxatives: These stimulate your digestive tract walls to contract, speeding up bowel movements.
Stool softener laxatives: These reduce the surface tension of stools, allowing them to absorb more water, and making them softer.
Osmotic laxatives: These draw more water into your bowels, making it easier to pass stools.
Bulk-forming laxatives: These act like fiber to encourage bowel movements.
Your first thought, when you’re constipated, may be to reach for laxatives. In fact, your provider may have actually told you to take them, but y’all that is not a realistic, long-term solution. This “quick fix, band-aid approach” may worsen your constipation by reducing your colon’s ability to contract. Using laxatives can lead to:
Electrolyte imbalances: laxatives can cause calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and sodium to get out of whack. This is concerning since electrolytes regulate many body functions that impact your heart, nerves, and muscles.
Dehydration: laxatives can deplete your body of water, making constipation even worse and can even cause bloating from retaining water to compensate for all the water loss.
Vitamin & mineral deficiencies: Some laxatives can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins or minerals. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies, causing a plethora of additional symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and worsening constipation.
If you are tired of dealing with bloating, stomach pain, and being backed up, it’s time to address your constipation at the root. Laxatives are just a quick fix but don’t fix the underlying issue and could actually make it worse.
This will keep you grabbing for laxatives more and more, exposing yourself to the dangerous side effects of laxatives and never actually getting to the root cause.
Instead, try these best constipation remedies for long-lasting constipation relief!
How stressed are you? Many times, constipation is caused by high amounts of stress. When you’re stressed all the time, your cortisol levels can increase, activate your fight or flight response, and impact your gut through the gut-brain axis. When this happens, certain non-life-saving functions are put on the backburner, like reproduction (and hormone production) and digestion!
Incorporate stress management into your daily routine and be honest with yourself about how to realistically reduce your stress. Don’t overbook your schedule, take time to relax and have quiet time, meditate, pray, journal, and talk to a loved one or therapist for relationship-related stress or trauma.
Ditch processed foods and focus on fueling yourself and your family with organic, whole foods. Processed foods are filled with chemicals and junk and are known to be low in fiber. This can surely lead to constipation. Eating beans, greens, protein, healthy fats and veggies will provide your body with the necessary fiber and nutrients to encourage digestion.
I know how busy life can get, especially with raising little ones! For me personally, I will prep food a few days in advance to save time. I also love crockpot meals to save time. Here are also some good healthy snacks for on the go or travel.
The average American doesn’t drink enough water. And guess what? Dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation. This is because if you don’t have adequate amounts of water in your body already, your large intestine will soak up water from your food waste, leading to dry and hard stools.
Drinking more water is one of the best constipation remedies for people who are dehydrated and is the easiest way to relieve constipation. Extra water in the gut helps loosen hard stools so that they can move through your digestive tract more easily and help fiber do its job.
I highly suggest investing in a high-quality water filter to hydrate your body without adding more toxins and microplastics to your body (making constipation and symptoms worse). I love and recommend Aquasana.
Regular exercise can help reduce the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. Since your food moves faster, there’s less time for your body to absorb water from the food, preventing your stool from getting dry and hard.
Magnesium helps to draw water into the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. If you don’t have enough magnesium, the food bolus becomes dry and hard, inhibiting it from moving down your digestive tract and leading to constipation.
My other go-to recommendation is Colon X by Xymogen (code: tdukes) You will only need one, truly!
If you’ve tried these tips above and still can’t find relief, there could be a more serious hidden cause of your constipation. The best constipation remedy for you could be to address imbalances, dysfunctions, and infections located in your gut.
In order to do that properly, you will need a stool test and a personalized protocol. The stool test could reveal that you have parasites, infections, bacterial overgrowth, or other underlying issues that are contributing to your constipation.
If you have tried laxatives, rely on them, or have been told to take them, I promise there is hope, and I want to help you! Join the Get Your Gut Right program, and I will send you a stool test and a rapid relief protocol of 6 supplements to get started on right away!
If you need access to a stool test, a gut health expert, and personalized protocols, the Get Your Gut Right program might be the right fit for you. This is a very comprehensive program that also focuses on nutrition, detox pathways, the nervous system, clean environment, and more. Click HERE to learn more.
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