It’s crazy what we get used to: that pile of books that have been sitting next to your bed for years, the notification of 10,934 emails on your phone, and the fact you haven’t pooped in 48 hours.
Yes, that’s what this is going to be about.
I have the humor of a 12-year-old, so for shits and giggles see if you can find 5+ bowel movement puns in this email (starting… now!).
So many of my clients think they are “normal” poopers but apparently, this isn’t something we talk about that often. Yes, everyone’s a bit different, but I’m going to drop a load of basics here for you.
To be a “normal” pooper:
- You should have a bowel movement at least once per day (ideally moving 12 inches of stool per day)
- It should be fully formed (aka not loose, not rabbit pellets) and smooth (not like clustered together balls)
- It should pass easily
- It should be one consistent color (unless you’re taking supplements that might change stool color, such as activated charcoal)
- There should not be any undigested food visible (I’ll give you corn, but let’s think deeply about this)
If you aren’t having a bowel movement daily, or if your stool is hard to pass (causing discomfort, small tears, or hernias), or if you’re passing rabbit pellets, I’d say #youconstipated.
Sometimes constipation is a sign of something more serious like thyroid disease, gut dysbiosis, or something else, but for most of us, we stay constipated for just a few (manageable) reasons.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Your body uses water to do everything! About 60% of you is just water. Water helps you regulate your body temperature, it cushions your joints, and it helps you digest and expels your food.
When waste is moving through your body, your large intestine pulls fluid from your soon to be poop, and when you aren’t hydrated enough, the intestines pull extra water, leaving your poop hard or pebbly and no fun to pass. What a pain in the butt (I’m sorry I can’t help it). Make sure to drink at least half your body weight in purified water daily.
Being Magnesium Deficient
Magnesium is needed for hundreds of reactions in your body, but because our soil has been depleted we aren’t getting very much of it. For constipation, magnesium citrate is an osmotic laxative. Translation: it helps to pull water into your intestines making your poop softer and easier to pass.
Take it at night for a morning movement. If you don’t have a bowel movement the next day, add 100mg tablet the next night. Continue to do this until you have a BM in the morning.
This is the brand I strongly recommend and sell to my own clients (as well as take myself)!
Not Getting Enough Fiber
Vegetables are important but hear me out. They do a lot of things, but something I know they doodoo is keep things moving with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is necessary to bring in water and create bulk to the stool which makes the stool pass through the colon faster and easier. Soluble fiber is the food that feeds your gut bacteria.
While we have a lot to learn about the 100 trillion bacteria living on and in us, studies are showing that a healthy, diverse microbiome (think ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, yeast residing in your gut) helps gut motility, i.e. it helps get the stool out. If you have trouble getting enough veggies, you can always use a fiber supplement.
Movement on the outside gets you moving on the inside. When you workout you’re breathing harder and your heart is beating faster which stimulates the movement of our intestines. Moving things along more quickly means that there is less time for the colon to absorb water, and as we discussed above, softer poop is just easier to pass and a heck of a lot more comfortable.
When we’re stressed, our body prioritizes flight or fighting (sympathetic nervous system) over digesting (parasympathetic nervous system). For some of us, this means the body wants to get rid of whatever is in the colon (so stress gives you the runs), but for others, this means constipation because digesting at that moment is not imperative to your immediate survival (so stress makes you full of it). And, of course, many of us are stressed all the time which means we are constipated all the time.
You got to chill Hunny Bunny. Consider taking my 4-week online course called End Emotional Eating. There are 4 guided meditations in there that will help you stay grounded while helping improve your relationship with food.
Poor Poop Posture
If you haven’t seen the Squatty Potty ads, please watch it right now so you can laugh/learn/come right back to this blog and keep reading. I’ll let them do the explaining, but basic anatomy shows how impactful it is when your alignment between hips and knees is in a “natural” pose. I have one of these in every bathroom of my house! It’s worth its weight in brown, I mean, gold.
If you want to get your geek on about constipation even further, check out some of these resources:
PS - Here’s 20% off your magnesium citrate, because, every little turd counts. Use the code: 20off