Poop! I talk a lot of poop with my people! WHY? Because it is integral to your health especially if you plan on cleansing.
The concept behind cleansing is to rid the body of unwanted toxins. Whether you use foods and/or supplements, gently easing your body into a cleanse will greatly reduce your chances of experiencing a healing crisis. Cleansing your body in a specific order to aid in the pathways of elimination will prevent shaking up toxins and then trapping them in the body. To find out more of the proper order to cleanse, read here.
Your bowels are one of the major sites of waste elimination. This means that you should be having two to three bowel movements each day to ensure that toxins are not wreaking havoc in the body. Shocking right? Well it shouldn't be, but the truth is many people are lucky to have one bowel movement per day. So if you are one of those folks, you might be feeling inconvenienced by more stops to the bathroom, but rest assured, your body will thank you.
Understanding your stools is a great way to monitor your body. It isn't just the frequency of the bowel movement, but also the consistency. Whether you are continually in a state of constipation, diarrhea or swinging back and forth between the two, there is definitely work that needs to be done. Referring to the Bristol Stool Chart will help you get a clear picture. Types 1 and 2 below are more on the constipation end of the scale and Types 6 and 7, diarrhea. Ideally we want to have a Type 4 stool.
Causes of abnormal poop
How to regulate your bowel movements
Increase your fiber intake
Adults should aim to consume 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Getting a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber will give you a good balance of cleaning and bulking type fibers to form a healthy stool.
The amount of water each individual needs varies by weight. To determine how much way you need, take your body weight in lbs, divide it by 2. This will give you the total amount of ounces of water you need to drink in a day. For example, weight: 184lbs ÷ 2 = 92 ounces of water each day. This works out to be about 2.7 litres of water each day. Drinking your water today will allow for a healthy bowel movement tomorrow.
Staying hydrated while consuming your fiber is also important. With high fiber and low water comes constipation, so be sure to drink up.
Moving stimulates the bowels and lymphatic system allowing stools to move into the colon for a bowel movement. Exercise also helps to stimulate serotonin, your happy neurotransmitter, which will help to reduce stress a common factor in hindering healthy bowel movements.
Take a probiotic
Probiotics help to balance out the good to bad bacteria in the gut. Keeping a healthy microbiome prevents digestive imbalances such as constipation and diarrhea. In the case of supporting the bowels, picking a probiotic high is bifidobacterium strains, will support colon health and healthy stools. To read more on picking a probiotic read here.
If you are dealing with constipation on a regular basis, magnesium has the ability to relax muscles and stool to allow for a movement to safely pass by. If you experience too loose or watery stools, reduce your dose to a comfortable amount where stools are regulated.
The senna plant has been used for many years as a natural medicine to aid in constipation providing a laxative affect. Senna can be drawn upon during extreme boughts of constipation to help get things moving, however should not be relied upon daily on an on going basis.
Note: Continued use of laxatives can hinder the natural peristalsis of the bowels making them dependent on laxatives to have any bowel movements. These constipation aids are meant to be utilized to get things moving initially, providing digestive relief, but should always be complimented and then replaced by addressing the above methods (fiber, water, probiotics and movement) to fully regulate your stools.
Pumpkin puree is a great bulking food that helps to form stools. Adding one to two tablespoons each day will aid in a healthier formed bowel movement.
If constipation or diarrhea persists, seek out a practitioner to guide you through a custom approach addressing the underlying causes.
Remember when cleansing, we are shaking up tucked away toxins that have been residing in the body for some time. If you are cleansing and find yourself experiencing cramping or stomach pains this can be an indicator that the bowel needs support in eliminating the toxins. Going into a cleanse ensuring your bowels are on track will make your cleansing experience a good one!
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