Get Your Juices Flowing and Combat Constipation

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Combat Constipationdouble-hearts








As Valentine’s Day nears, I just can’t help but to bring up the discussion of constipation, because let’s face it… It is impossible to feel sexy when you are all clogged-up!

In 1991, 4.5 million people in the US indicated that they are constipated most or all of the time (that’s about 1 in 61 people). Let me reiterate… constipation all or most of time! That’s an awful lot of time to be clogged-up. And how difficult is it to be creative, be vibrant, be creating beneficial change in the world when your body is full of it? Pretty darn difficult.

Constipation results in about 2 million visits to the doctor each year and Americans spend $725 million dollars on over-the-counter laxatives each year! That’s a lot of money being flushed down the toilet! Unfortunately, laxatives are the exact opposite of what people should be doing to deal with constipation. Laxatives are like putting a bandaid filled with broken glass on an open wound and expecting not only for the wound to stop bleeding, but for it to heal all quick and clean-like.

In this video, I discuss getting to the root of your constipation, instead of bandaiding it and making it worse. I also talk about the importance of serotonin as related to our digestion and how all of us, constipated or not could and should boost serotonin naturally. Oh and for the lovers out there, make sure to listen for the tip on how we can get all of our juices flowing.


Now it’s your turn. Have you uncovered what causes constipation for you? How do you stay regular? What works for you to keep things moving?

Discover more on how to promote happy digestion by signing up for our free Digestive Health Video Training Series.


Whatcha think? Interesting?

13 Replies to “Get Your Juices Flowing and Combat Constipation”

    1. I agree Caitriona! 2 million doctor visits just for constipation!!!! And it is self-replicating as people are usually given a stimulant laxative that their body becomes dependent on. So frustrating!

  1. Love your vids Katie. Indeed, what comes in must come out. I once told someone – just based on my own experience – that you can judge the state of your digestion (and ahem, elimination) by looking at your skin. If your body can’t get rid of the toxins, etc one way – it will use another method like through the skin, yes? Fluids for regularity for prettier skin 🙂
    Robine Yohm recently posted..Learning to laugh and the map to healing

    1. Great point Robine! Yes, when one means of elimination gets clogged-up, we better hope our other means are working okay, because otherwise we get in real trouble with inflammation and toxic recirculation. So true about the skin and also frustrating that often when people go to a dermatologist for acne, eczema or psoriasis, there is no focus on the root cause of the skin issue and instead the doctor has them merely medicate the symptom of poor skin which does nothing for detoxification and elimination. Arghh!!!!

  2. I love that you are doing videos Katie. After the nervousness of doing the first one or two they get kinda fun, don’t they? So interesting about the Seratonin connection. Never knew it was created in the gut.That is something I will share with my clients who are on anti-depressants. Also the food combination of complex carbs and protein. All good s**t Katie, thanks!
    Lynn Moore, Inspirational Goaling recently posted..What Are You FOR?

    1. So much of our mental and emotional health is connected to our gut and our digestion. It really is fascinating. Unfortunately, rarely is much effort put into diet and nutrition by psychiatrists when it is all so connected. Thanks Lynn! And yes, videos are getting easier and easier to do!

  3. PortMac, thanks for asking a question on my YouTube channel, but I can’t adequately answer your question in 500 characters there.

    You wrote, “Thanks for the reply…if I stop my osmotic laxative it my poo turns to rock! I will try and increase my fluid intake..any other suggestions?”

    Most important is that you identify the cause of your constipation which you indicated is your neurological condition. Neurological diseases can affect nerve pathways to the large intestine. They can also affect the nerve network within the bowel wall that regulates the intestinal smooth
    muscle. So while working on your constipation symptom, you need to work with a health practitioner on nerve conductivity with your intestines.

    The concern I have with osmotic laxatives is three-fold:

    1) Our body easily becomes dependent on stimulant laxatives which means it no longer has to work to move bowel movements on its own and stops doing that action requiring continued use of stimulant laxatives to achieve successful bowel movements.

    2) Osmotic laxatives stimulate the intestines to absorb excessive amounts of water from the body, basically making diarrhea of the stool for easy passage. The danger is in the fluid that is pulled from the rest of the body; it can cause severe dehydration and depletion of electrolytes.

    3) This process can be slow and gas built-up during the time you wait for the laxative to take effect can cause bloating and cramping (and other IBS-like symptoms).

    To counter issue #2 it is essential if you are doing an osmotic laxative to greatly increase your water consumption and take a multi-mineral and/or electrolytes. I like ElectroMIX (made by the makers of Emergen-C), because it doesn’t contain sugar or artificial sweeteners). Your body can especially become depleted in magnesium, potassium and calcium which are essential nutrients for dealing with neurological conditions and we need to prevent break-down in our bones and to support muscle/tissue development. You might find your muscles cramping-up more often with these becoming depleted.

    You also need to increase the natural production of fluids which serotonin supports. I mention a couple ways to support serotonin production in this video. You also might consider testing for neurotransmitter imbalances to see if you need to support serotonin production even more. Neurotransmitter imbalances are common both for folks with digestion issues and folks with neurological conditions. You can naturally support serotonin production through nutrients, tyrosine supplementation, protein digestion and exercise.

    Also, you may find magnesium supplementation beneficial. Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines which helps to establish a smoother rhythm (can be supportive when constipation is from neurological causes but check with your medical provider first). Magnesium also attracts water; this increased amount of water in the colon serves to soften the stool, helping to make stools easier to pass. The nice thing about this action is that it doesn’t pull fluids out of tissue so it doesn’t have the same negative effect that osmotic laxatives have, though even with magnesium you will want to increase fluid intake to support that action of the magnesium. Plus, from the osmotic laxatives you are likely low in magnesium (along with the other electrolytes). I like the CALM brand of magnesium which also includes calcium. Certain forms of magnesium work better than others for constipation.

    If you plan on going off the osmotic laxatives, you would need to step it off slowly as your body will be dependent on them. And don’t forget to up your fluid intake, exercise and get plenty of fiber. Oh I should mention, that when I say fluids, I mean water–not coffee, not soda, not even tea. Water with lemon, lime or apple cider vinegar would be fine though.

    Before making changes, make sure to check with your medical provider first. Of course, this is just meant as information not diagnosis.

    1. Thanks Katie…you went to a lot of effort !
      Since taking daily osmotic laxative my bowels have never felt so good. I do not get bloating however, when my move my bowels it “explodes” so a toilet brush is often needed.
      I take magnesium every day and calcium…I have very early stage osteoperosis due to previous steroids to help control my condition….fortunately the situation is stable. I exercise almost every day and watch my weight. I eat well! The laxative seems to be preferred by the doctors because the alternatives being piles etc is worse..I do drink a lot of water sometimes but have bladder and prostate problems and sometimes cannot afford to be running back and forth for a wee.
      I do have all sorts of blood tests and function tests etc and results are good.
      I recall a specialist telling me that whilst laxatives may not be the best…in my case the alternative is worse.
      The neurological disease I have is very rare and management is trial and error. Fortunately in Australia if you are in a health fund and most people are then there is very good access to medical facilities…in fact if you are poor then there can still be good access, just depending.
      Before I started the laxatives I had a high fiber diet and the fiber actually made me worse …the constipation was a shocker….I tried colonic irrigation and that worked…I was having it two or three times a week but the problem was I would not poo between sessions.

      1. Thanks so much for the clarification Port Mac. You have a difficult situation indeed. You are lucky you are in Australia as it sounds like the care there is soooo much better than in the states here. I’m curious, have you tested for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth? I mention that because often in that situation fiber makes the problem worse.
        Katie Bauer recently posted..The 10 Second Secret to Igniting Your Digestive Fire

    1. That’s great David! With intense exercise the body is focusing on muscle building and rebuilding. The heart rate increases to pump more blood to the muscles and oxygenate them. Likewise, our digestion slows down so that all energy output is focused on our muscles. With diarrhea, food can be moving too quickly through our digestive system and too much water is being absorbed. With intense exercise, it makes sense that your digestion is being forced to slow down and fluids are being used to support your muscles instead of being absorbed by your bowel movements. Congrats!
      Katie Bauer recently posted..The 10 Second Secret to Igniting Your Digestive Fire

  4. Thanks for the great video! My son (11) has suffered from encopresis, or holding, for about 5 years. I can see how his constipation is so related to mental/emotional. It’s good to know that exercise helps produce seratonin. I also wondering about taking 5HTP to boost seratonin. Might that help?

    1. Hi Jessie, thanks so much for sharing about your son’s situation.

      Yes, definitely! Our body produces serotonin from 5-HTP and 5-HTP is produced from the amino acid, tryptophan. Unfortunately, tryptophan, of all the amino acids is found in the smallest amounts. It is provided in foods like turkey, beef, pork, dairy, chicken and eggs (and a very, very small amount in nuts, seeds, bananas and pumpkins for vegans), but competes with the other amino acids which are in higher proportion. Wild meat is definitely highest in tryptophan and grass-fed animals, but corn-fed animals are really, really low in it. Add to that the number of people that don’t digest their proteins well and it makes sense why anti-depressants are prescribed so often. So yes, often it can be best to directly supplement with 5-HTP as a natural means of boosting serotonin.

      One thing to be aware of is that we require calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and B vitamins to convert 5-HTP to serotonin, so you want to make sure that your son is getting enough mood supportive nutrients.

      The reason I like exercise (alone or with 5-HTP), in combination with eating the right foods and supporting digestion is because only during exercise does tryptophan get to stop competing with all the other amino acids which are circulating in much higher amounts. During exercise our body uses all of the amino acids except for tryptophan for muscle repair, which means that tryptophan is left without competition to make it to the brain and get converted into 5-HTP and then serotonin. Also, this conversion happens quite fast when there is nothing to compete with it which is why exercise so quickly results in an improved mood (of course only when eating tryptophan containing foods and digesting them properly).

      But of course, exercise isn’t always an option to keep serotonin levels up and for someone with a low trytophan-containing diet, exercise won’t help that much. Though there is a small percentage of people that supplementing directly with 5-HTP doesn’t work for and for those folks, they may need to supplement with the amino acid tryptophan. Saint John’s wort can also boost serotonin for those that 5-HTP and tryptophan don’t work for (such is common in cases of autoimmune hypothyroidism), but for some people can make depression worse. Also, SAM-e can be beneficial but takes at least a month to show any affect.

      I would love to hear how it goes for your son and if boosting the serotonin levels for him helps his holding. Thanks for dropping by!
      Katie Bauer recently posted..You Must Judge a Book By Its Cover: Why Being Judgmental is Critical to Your Health

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