IBS constipation (IBS-C) sucks! I’ve been there, straining so hard you see stars on the toilet or looking and feeling like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner for the 3rd time this week even though your half eaten salad is still in front of you.
Most people never seek professional medical help, they hear from a friend to “try more fruits and vegetables” or “take Miralax.” Maybe they go to a doctor who tells them it’s in their heads or they just need more fiber.
I tried these and many more common IBS relief methods, and can tell you they are only temporary band-aids that usually do more harm than good. I’m hoping that you won’t waste as much time as I did trying to figure out your ISB-C! I’m going to explain how I overcame my IBS-C and you can do it with a few natural changes.
Why You’re Not Pooping as Often as You Want To
There are several factors that could be at play, most of which are still not well understood, hence the fact that the mainstream medical community commonly prescribes things that don’t actually fix any of the root causes of constipation. I want to focus on two known components of constipation: the first is gut bacteria and the second is digestion speed.
Poop is 50-70% dead bacteria. In my opinion this tells us two things: the first is that the amount of good bacteria we need in our system is important (generally more is better) and second the proper mix of bacteria is important (more of the good kind & less of the bad).
The speed at which you digest is not controlled consciously. After chewing your food, everything else is supposed to happen in harmony (on auto-pilot). For those of you (including me) with IBS-C, something is screwing this up. So, the question I often wondered was: what am I doing that is causing my digestive problems? Well, there are many factors that could be at play speeding up (stress and digestion) or slowing down (brain or nerve damage/problems) digestion. But what if I am asking the wrong question?
What if the correct question to ask is: is my digestion structurally sound? Could it do its job if everything was optimal? Absent of any external forces, my digestion should proceed at the proper speed. So, that begs the question, during perfect digestion what controls digestive speed? Our current understanding is the stomach acid strength or pH is the biggest contributor. What that means is if it is low, high, or not working correctly, then your digestion is basically doomed before you even take a bite of food.
How to Conquer Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Overcoming IBS naturally takes a few steps. You may need to stop some current habits and/or add some new ones. The best piece of advice I can give you is to start taking action (oh and forget any “magic pill” ideas… they don’t exist). It’s easy to be overwhelmed by too many conflicting opinions or choices. But the only sure way you will overcome your Irritable Bowel Syndrome is to try a treatment and evaluate it for yourself. Take what works, adopt it, and leave behind what doesn’t. If you stay true to taking action, in short time you will be regularly pooping with ease.
If you are ready to take control of your IBS-C and get relief from the cramping, bloating and pain, the steps are laid out below. They work best when combined together, but at the very least you should pick one habit to stop right away and one new habit to implement in its place.
Stop the Top 3 IBS-C Triggers
1. Stop Using Artificial Means of Pooping
Your brain and body are always learning based on the stimuli they come into contact with. If you’re regularly using enemas or laxatives to poop, your body is going to start expecting and depending on them. Each time you use one of these methods, you are strengthening a neural pathway that says “you cannot poop on your own” (there are extreme exceptions like going longer than 4 days without a bowel movement, but do what you can to stop the dependence). Stop using these helpers and give your body the chance to do its business.
2. Remove the Food Triggers of Constipation
Diarrhea gets most of the press when it comes to food reactions and food allergies, but people with IBS-C can have the exact same problems with a different symptom. Again, this is not totally understood, but for some people dairy and gluten trigger diarrhea and others they trigger constipation. Most people with IBS-C will see improvements if they eliminate the most common food allergens from their diets: wheat, corn, egg and dairy.
3. Don’t Strain on the Toilet
Straining on the toilet is like sucking down your food without chewing. You’re messing up your body’s built in programs…STOP IT! No, but seriously just like you were given a set of teeth to crush your food into small particles for good digestion, you are equipped with a hormonal system that will urge you to evacuate waste effortlessly when it’s time. Until then, straining and pushing on the toilet is counterproductive. Not to mention too much pushing and toilet seat time can cause hemorrhoids and anal fissures, which no one wants.
Top 3 Steps to End Constipation
1. Get More Bacteria in Your Life (Take Probiotics)
In our digestive system, there lives a diverse and large population of bacteria. Our poop is mostly made of bacteria so it is important to support the good bacteria that make perfect poops possible. There are a couple ways of getting more good bacteria in your life. The first, like our ancestors did, is to eat fermented foods on a regular basis. The second way is to take probiotic pills which contain known strains of good bacteria that will help. When I started taking probiotics I immediately saw an improvement in my bowel movements. I also saw good results eating SCD legal yogurt (a lactose-free fermented food) on a regular basis. So, I would recommend picking one or the other to get started. Try either fermented foods or probiotic pills. The fastest change I know of is to start taking some lactobacillus acidophilus pills.
2. Eat a Supportive, Easy to Digest Diet (like the SCD Diet)
What is a healthy digestive diet? My definition would be one that removes food toxins, is made of whole non-processed foods and filled with nourishing easy to digest foods. That means specifically no grains (filled with toxins) or added sugars (which feed bad bacteria and cause poor hormonal changes). The best diet specifically designed for restoring digestive health is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). SCD encourages good bacterial growth to further heal your gut and helps to kill off bad bacteria that might be running amuck in your gut. If you go the extra step of starting off with the intro diet (like the most successful people do), it is likely that you will start seeing results in the first week.
For a free guide to get started, click here and we will email you one.
3. Make Sure You Don’t Have Slow Digestion
IBS-C can easily be the result of slow digestion. As I said above, there are a number of things that can slow digestion down like stress, emotions, and toxins (to name a few more). But if the structural components that govern the speed are broken, then all other treatments are only going to be marginally effective.
Healthy stomach acid is the key to creating the proper bowel speed. It all starts with the acid level, which is a first line body defense that destroys pathogens, toxins, and starts the digestive process through the intestines. If you’re low, which is pretty typical for IBS-C people, you need to figure out how to get your acid levels up. The best supplements are usually digestive bitters or Betaine HCL. I use Betaine HCL very effectively and it has been a big key in getting rid of my IBS-C.
Remember, these 6 steps work best in concert together to naturally get rid of your IBS-C and stop that nagging constipation that creeps up every few days to annoy you.
I encourage you to take action today by choosing one of each and implementing them in your life.
Then, come back tell me you’re still alive and how it went!