Conquering Constipation

If you are dealing with constipation, you should start with the basics: eat a whole foods diet, avoid processed foods, and drink lots of water. Often doing a Cleanse and taking a good probiotic is helpful.

However, if you have tried all this and still can’t get things moving, here are some other tools we use at the Wellness Center.

1. Magnesium

Taking magnesium at night can be very helpful. Dr. Lipman recommends a high dose of 1000 to 1500 mg of magnesium. Not only will it help with constipation, but it also helps to calm down the nervous system and give you a good night’s sleep. We’ve had great results with the Liquid Calcium Magnesium by Integrative Therapeutics. Many of our patients also like the Natural CALM by Natural Vitality, which is easy to find at Whole Foods or a health food store.

2. Triphala

Triphala can be a lifesaver too. This Ayurvedic herbal supplement has a gentle cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body, but without causing irritation in the colon. This is not like other laxatives that can be depleting and cause cramping–instead it has strengthening and gentle properties.

3. Increase Fats

One trick that can be really helpful is to increase the fats in your diet. Some ideas to increase your healthy fats: add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning smoothie, have avocado in your salad, use olive oil and lemon as a salad dressing, take fish oil  supplements and/or eat fatty fish like salmon and sardines.

Chia seeds have omega 3 fatty acids and lots of fiber which can be great for digestion. You could try simply adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your glass of water, or you could add them to a smoothie as well.

4. Yoga Poses for Constipation

Certain yoga poses, especially the twists, are known to aid detoxification and stimulate digestion. You can try this Seated Twist and here’s a good roundup of yoga poses for constipation.

5. Colonics

I would also encourage you to explore colonics, especially for chronic and persistent constipation. A good colonic therapist can be a valuable resource as they are so experienced with digestive issues. Many people are squeamish about colonics but they should not be painful, and can be a helpful tool for the relief of stubborn constipation.

6. Drink More Water

Finally — it should go without saying — but make sure you are drinking lots of water! Water with lemon is great for detoxification in the morning. Especially if you are drinking any caffeine, make sure to get an extra dose of water!

Proper elimination is so important, so if you’re having trouble, don’t give up. It’s worth it to keep tweaking your diet, lifestyle and supplements until you get your digestion on track.