January 24, 2017

Understanding A Healthy Stool and How to Prevent Constipation

Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Most who have been around elderly people know that bowels are a large issue.  While I was a medical student, I was working at the VA hospital in Los Angeles and I walked into the pulmonary ward only to find that my patient was snapping at me.  I commented that he seemed unhappy.  “Mark my words, Doc,” he said. “If you see a grumpy old man, then there can be only two reasons: either he’s constipated or his woman’s giving him trouble!”  I knew he didn’t have a woman so… “You got it!” he blurted out.  “Now, what are we going to do about it?”

Constipation

Most people think constipation means not being able to have a bowel movement regularly, but really it refers primarily to the consistency of the stool.  If you go every day, but have hard stool it can still be called constipation.  There are many aspects of what goes into your mouth that affects the consistency of your bowel movements, which is very important.  Constipation can lead many health problems, like:

  1. Diverticulosis – out-pouching of the lining of the colon.
  2. Diverticulitis – inflammation or infection of diverticula.
  3. Lazy colon – difficulty passing stool.
  4. Polyps – bumps, or tumors, that form on the lining of the colon that may bleed or become cancerous.
  5. Internal hemorrhoids – enlarged veins high up in the rectum that can break open and bleed.
  6. External hemorrhoids – enlarged veins near the anus that are painful, itching, or burning.
  7. Anal fissures – breaks in the skin of the anus that cause pain
  8. Cancer – rectal or sigmoid cancers are the most common colon cancers.

So, constipation is not a small thing!  It’s so important for everyone to understand the stool and how to prevent the complications listed above.  We’ll discuss how:

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Good Poop = Good Health

By Amanda Box

People may think I’m nuts for asking, but one of the most important questions on my health evaluation form is, “How many bowel movements do you have per day?”   I also ask about stool color, consistency, and size.  TMI, you may say?  I beg to differ.

Go_everybody poopsBowel health is of utmost importance.  I believe it to be one of the greatest determining factors to whole body health.  Unfortunately, most people want to leave their bathroom visits in the bathroom and rarely talk about the state of their poop.  They find it embarrassing and think it shouldn’t be talked about.   You would be surprised how many people believe that having 2-3 bowel movements a week is normal!  That is anything but normal!  That, in fact, is a sign that something is wrong, and can actually lead you down the road of many toward different health issues. You should care about your poop!

Keeping it Regular

I’m sure you’re no stranger to hearing about regularity.  In attempts to promote their products, cereal and fiber supplement companies have bombarded the media with it’s importance for maintaing healthy bowels.  For that, I am thankful.

It is important to make sure you poop regularly.  The problem, though, is confusion about what it means to be truly “regular.”  Like I mentioned before, some people believe that pooping a few times a week is regular!  Regular actually should be, in fact, daily.  And more specifically, regular is about three times a day.

Think about it.  Humans were designed to eat and then poop.  Any mother will tell you that within a matter of 20 minutes after feeding their baby, they poop.  What goes in has to go out.  And if it doesn’t go out within a reasonable amount of time, problems can result.

Our poop is essentially toxic waste. It contains billions of bacteria — hence the stench! Once our food is processed, broken down, and turned into poop, it should exit our body within 24 hours.  When this toxic waste is in the body too long, we begin to poison ourselves internally!

A good way to tell if your body is getting rid of waste in a timely manner is to eat a cup of corn.  If you don’t see corn in your poop within 24 hours of consuming it, then you may have a sluggish colon or you are seriously “backed up.”

There are several ways to jumpstart your colon to work properly.  These methods also help to flush out old accumulated toxic fecal matter.  Getting out old toxic poop will leave you feeling cleaner, lighter — and will even improve your mental clarity!

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3 Tips for Curing Constipation

by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, RHN

Constipation is one of the most common health complaints in our society. Constipation is completely controllable and stems from a number of factors including a poor diet (low fiber, low essential fatty acids), a lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration.

If left untreated, constipation leads to a host of other problems including parasite infestations, increased risk of colon cancer, weight gain, gut inflammation leading to leaky gut syndrome, and more.

Without regular bowel movements, we end up keeping rotting food, fecal matter, and toxins in our body where they can putrefy and create further toxic build-up inside the body. Think of like not being able to take out the trash in your home. Eventually, things would get pretty scary. Yuck!

Thus, getting regular and talking poop is serious business.

3 tips for constipationThe Low-Down on Poop

What you poop and how often you poop is the result of what you eat. The body absorbs some of your food intake and the rest is sent to the colon to be eliminated (as poop). But your body cannot optimally absorb nutrients or remove waste without a healthy functioning colon and digestive system.

A healthy colon and digestive system, including the stomach, and large and small intestines, has certain features. The first feature is the presence of happy, healthy enzymes that break down food, move it through the body, and increase the amount of nutrients absorbed. The second important feature is the lack of sticky mucus or old, rotting, unprocessed food or fecal matter.

If your intestines, stomach, and colon don’t have these two features, chances are, you will be backed up, constipated, and feeling tired and weak. Or, you might be fluctuating between constipation and diarhea, or fighting irritable bowel syndrome, or other health problems.

But what constitutes constipation? How often should you be pooping?

While everyone has a different body, with a unique physiology, it is still considered constipation if you poop less than once a day. I know that seems like a bit much. Western doctors only recommend pooping once a day to be healthy and some people even think it is fine if you go only (EEK!) three times a week.

But, as a sign of good health, you should passing healthy, non-strenuous poops at least twice, if not three times, per day. This indicates that your body is processing foods and moving them through and out of your body.

When food is moving through your body this efficiently, none of it is rotting in the colon for fungi or parasites to feed on. Food processed this quickly also is not irritating the intestinal walls, causing food to leak into the blood, and creating toxicity in a process called leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is a major health concern and may even be linked to lupus, asthma, and other allergic reactions.

So with that foundation, let’s look at 3 ways to cure constipation once and for all. You might actually be surprised at how simple it is.

Drink More Water, Eat More Fibre, and Lubricate Your Gut

For your bowels to function properly, they need 3 specific nutrients – water, fiber, and essential fatty acids.

Water is necessary to move waste through your colon in much the same way that a water slide shoots kids from top to bottom. No water, very little flow.

Fiber is necessary as it provides bulk to your stool, while absorbing toxins and cholesterol to be eliminated. Fiber intake increases your body’s need for water. The easiest way to ensure these 2 nutrients are balanced is by eating more fresh food like fruits and vegetables. These uncooked plant foods have high amounts of fiber and water, which would otherwise be minimized and lost, respectively, when cooked.

Finally, to lubricate the lining of your gut, allowing the easy passage of stool, essential fatty acids like omega-3s are needed. Flax oil, hemp oil, fish oil, and even monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocados are great sources of these healthy fats that lubricate your gut.

In addition to these 3 simple tips for curing constipation for regular poops, getting regular physical activity, especially “bouncy” type of activities like walking, running, and rebounding are very helpful.

 

 

Yuri_150Yuri Elkaim is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, fitness expert, and highly sought after High Performance Health Coach. He’s also a former professional soccer player and served as the Head Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition Coach for men’s soccer at the University of Toronto for 7 seasons. For more than 13 years, he’s empowered more than 80,000 people to greater health with his no-nonsense approach to health, fitness, and nutrition.

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Obesity Step by Step

By Amanda Box

I am sure that it comes as no surprise to you that obesity is a HUGE health epidemic.

Some are saying it is the #1 preventable killer. This means that it tops even smoking!

Whether you watch the Biggest Loser or Dr. Oz, the media trumpets about America’s obesity problem.  The sad part is that even though our obesity epidemic is “old news,” the problem continues to grow!  Currently, one third of America is obese.  Some are predicting that by 2030 obesity will consume half of the American population!

Obesity is defined as an accumulation of body fat that is 20% or more than someone’s ideal body weight. Most doctors use something called the BMI (Body Mass Index) to calculate obesity.

Your BMI = your weight in kilograms divided by your height in square meters.

  • Under 18.5 BMI = Underweight
  • 18.5-24.9 BMI = Healthy Weight
  • 25-29.9 BMI = Overweight
  • 30+ BMI = Obesity

Here is a quick and easy way to calculate your BMI without having to do the math yourself. http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

3 Steps to Overcoming Obesity

Many obese individuals don’t even realize the way they are eating is contributing to their weight problem.  Unfortunately, most obese adults were also obese as children.  Hundreds of thousands of kids are raised on fast food and junk food; some have never even touched a green vegetable or piece of fresh fruit!  This has become the reality of America – and an extremely sad reality it is.

  • The average American typically gains approximately one pound a year.
  • Those over 50 years old gain around 2 pounds a year.
  • Those with diabetes gain more than 4 pounds a year!

Some may scoff and say that really doesn’t add up to that much but, when you gain year after year, the pounds tip the scale into obesity.

The irony in all of this is that obesity is one of the simplest health problems to treat!  Reversing obesity doesn’t require surgery or multiple hospital visits.  Yes, there are a small number of genetic predispositions to being overweight, but most of the time a person struggles with obesity because of their choices.

Tackling obesity involves a strong will and an intense desire to change. But, when you do overcome obesity, it is well worth the benefits:

  • Greatly reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Lowering your chances of becoming diabetic
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Greater self confidence

When someone approaches me trying to solve their obesity problem, I ask them a lot of questions to find out how serious and committed that person is.  Many times I find that they just want a quick fix or a magic pill to solve their weight problems.  I, however, don’t offer those magical promises.  What I do offer is a step-by-step plan to overcome obesity that results in:

  1. Identification of possible weight-loss inhibiting health factors
  2. Cleansing of accumulated toxins in the body to increase weight loss capacity
  3. A well rounded plan for lifelong health and nutrition 

#1 Correcting Obesity’s Roadblocks

Before beginning your journey towards losing weight and improving your health, you should eliminate any possible underlying health factors. Many times obesity itself causes health issues.  But, sometimes, there are imbalances in the body that contribute to weight gain.  Those imbalances can inhibit one’s ability to lose the substantial amount of weight they need to lose to overcome their obesity.

Here are the 3 most common body imbalances that become roadblocks to losing weight:

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