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How to Improve 'Stubborn' Bowels
posted on 18 April 2011 | posted in Articles
There are a number of symptoms that are particularly common to many of our clients and this is one of them. Naturopaths are particularly focused on helping their clients to resolve stubborn bowel movements. This is because - as herbalists say - 'Death starts in the bowel'. It sounds rather alarming, but it puts a great strain on the liver if the body has to deal with the reabsorbtion of waste products because they sit in the bowel for days. This toxicity can trigger the immune system to red alert, making the body produce inappropriate inflammation. Symptoms can vary from an irritating pain to major illness.
Many people tell us that they have suffered with the problem for many years. How do you get out of this cycle without reverting to laxative herbs such as cascara or buckthorn?
Here are some steps to try that will help easy bowel movements at least once daily.
- Are you getting enough Fibre? Experts agree for a healthy bowel we need 30 grams of a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibre. It's not that easy to get that amount. For example you'd need to eat around 11 slices of wholemeal bread (proper wholemeal bread) a day to get that amount. Fruit and veg provide a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibre, but you do need a good amount. We advise many of our patients to take some extra fibre to supplement their dietary fibre. Examples of these are formulas that contain psyllium,acacia gum, guar gum, oat bran and apple fibre.
- Balanced friendly bacteria can make all the difference to the consistency of bowel movements and can really make stools easier to pass. Eating yoghurt is great providing that it is ultra fresh and live. The problem is many brands contain a lot of sugar because you need quite a substantial amount to make a difference. In clinic we suggest to some clients that they get probiotics in capsule form.
- Bowel Build is formulated for the digestive system and does contain a small amount of laxative herbs. It also provides some fibre and some digestive enzymes which helps to digest the food before it enters the intestines, which can be a problem for some people who find undigested food in their stools. So it's a mixture that covers a lot of possibilities.
- Every 3 to 6 months, you might consider taking the Healthy Starter Programme or just the Healthy Starter Pack on it's own.
- Another tip that can help is, when you are sitting on the toilet, have some books or a small stool to place your feet on so that you are effect in a squatting position. This helps to stimulate the bowel being in this more natural position.
- Apply a small amount of olive oil to your abdomen and massage in a clockwise direction around the colon. (starting from your right side and going around to your left side). Doing this daily stimlates movement in the colon
- Last but not least - do ensure you're drinking enough water! Fibre absorbs a lot of fluid and your bowel acts like a recycling plant and takes a lot of the liquid from the digestive process back into the body. Having too little fluid intake will make the stools hard as the colon takes out more moisture because the body needs the fluid more than the bowel.
- Other herbs that can be useful are licorice and dandelion and can be found in herbal combinations. Slippery Elm also has a good track record in helping the bowels.
So instead of resorting to laxatives, these options really work naturally with your body to enable it to function well.