What Constipation, Bloating and Gas are Telling You
"Mom, you said it's not polite to talk about the bathroom and that's ALL you talk about!"
My son wasn't wrong. We do spend a large portion of our day asking clients about their bathroom habits. Digestive difficulties are one of the most persistent problems that plague clients as we work to isolate a diet that is effective for them. But over time we've found some ways to help clients regulate their digestion and find foods that make them feel their best.
Our Tips for Conquering Digestive Distress
Try Eliminating Certain Foods until you Find the Culprit
One of the reasons our diet is so basic at the beginning is so we can see which foods trigger gas, bloating and constipation. Common culprits? Dairy, gluten, legumes and grains. One client discovered that lentils caused her terrible constipation, and after eliminating them and swapping her afternoon apple for berries she felt far better. By stripping down your diet to the basics you are able to see exactly what works for you, and what doesn't.
Excess gas can be caused by eating too quickly and ingesting air. Chew slowly and put your fork down between bites. Take sips of water with your meal and never munch standing up!
Essential Oil and Tea
Fennel and Peppermint are great natural remedies for digestive ailments. We love them in tea, or as an essential oil for abdominal massage.
Take Digestive Supplements
Probiotics, magnesium and psyllium husk are all great additions to your diet to encourage regularity.
- Probiotics- we like Garden of Life brand Women's Probiotics or for Men
- Magnesium- Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Carbonate promote healthy digestion and a sense of relaxation! Encourages regularity without any sense of urgency. We recommend the Calm Magnesium powder taken in a drink once a day, preferably before bed. It's surprisingly delicious and is great for digestion and stress. That said, it's fine any time of day. One client loves it in his morning smoothie- gives it a fizzy kick!
Avoid High-FODMAP Foods
Some people are sensitive to indigestible carbohydrates called FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). FODMAPS are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that are not absorbed well by the small intestines.
Many people find that by avoiding high FODMAP foods, they are able to quell some of their digestive issues.
High FODMAP foods are:
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is your best defense against constipation and bloating. Dehydration causes the body to trigger vasopressin or the antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This release triggers cellular water retention and bloating. Drinking warm lemon water can help hydrate the body, flush bloat and restore the body's equilibrium.
Use Occasional Relief as Needed
Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move Tea- For clients that suffer from constipation as they adjust to a diet without processed food, this tea is great for *occasional* relief. Use no more than once a week and if you find you need it often or it does not relieve your constipation, consult your physician.
Bottom Line- Listening to your body and adjusting your diet and supplements is a key part of alleviating digestive issues. That said, any persistent issues should always be discussed with your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist.