Strategies for constipation
Optimal hormone health means aiming for 1 to 3 solid, soft, brown, and well-formed bowel movements every day. Once a day is a great start but did you know: we’re designed to go after every meal? When our hormones are in check, it happens like clockwork (our hormones are in charge of our poos too!). We’d expect that kind of regularity from our babies, even our dogs… We’re not any different!
In addition to helping us feel better and less bloated, regular BMs help to move out the waste in a timely manner, preventing its recirculation and the burdening of the liver and other systems with unnecessary extra work. Among the waste are hormones that are ready to be cleared out. When it sticks around too long it can cause a problem of having too much in (re)circulation.
In addition, the liver does the important work of hormone conversions and blood sugar balancing but it tends to prioritize clearing out the bad before it works on converting the good. For optimal hormone health, it’s important to minimize the “clear out” workload so we can maximize important conversions that are key to energy, calm, clarity, focus, fertility, and so much more…
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If you’re currently struggling with constipation or your daily elimination could be improved, here are some hormone-supportive suggestions to get things moving. Try a few to find what works best for you.
- Increase your daily fiber. Slowly add 5 grams every few days up to 40 or 50 grams.
- Chew your food thoroughly to help with digestion – 20 or 30 times.
- Slow down the speed you eat your meals. Give your body time to properly digest.
- Up your intake of green leafy vegetables to include 2 to 5 cups a day.
- Try 1 to 2 tbsp of soaked flax seeds in the morning or other times of day.
- Try 1- 4 tsp of soaked chia seeds in the morning or other times of day.
- Add psyllium husk to porridge, smoothies, soups, or salads. Start with 1/2 a teaspoon and gradually increase every few days.
- Drink a glass of room temperature water upon waking.
- Have a glass of warm water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon in the morning.
- Stay hydrated with 1 ounce of water or herbal tea per pound of body weight daily.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol or caffeine, which can hinder digestion and even lead to increased gut inflammation and permeability (a.k.a. leaky gut).
- Try up to 400 mg of magnesium citrate at bedtime. Start with 200 mg and increase up to 400 mg twice per day, as needed.
- Drink 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice in the evening and morning.
- Soak 2-3 prunes overnight and drink the juice in the morning.
- Use a stool or squatty potty to find an optimal squatting position for elimination
The little known gut-health connection with Maria Quintana-Pilling
Giulia Enders (2014), Gut: The inside Story of our Body’s most underrated Organ
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, manage, or treat disease or serious conditions. Always check with your doctor before making any changes. It’s important to consult a well-informed health practitioner for personal advice about your situation before relying on general information — we’re all wonderfully unique.
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Laurie Villarreal, FNLP, CHWC, FNS, LMC, CPT, RYT
Hi, I'm Laurie, a functional nutritionist and board certified health coach, athlete, dog-mom, and biohacking adventure-lover. After having struggled for years to find lasting solutions for my own debilitating hormone-related symptoms, I created my online practice to begin helping other active, driven women get the support they need. I now help women around the world elevate their health, energy, business and life by optimizing their hormones with personalized nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Together, we discover new tools and strategies that keep you showing up at your best so you can play even bigger in your life and work.
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