Constipation is more than a troublesome condition. It is an insidious drain on the health of millions of people.
As bowel transit time is increased, the doo doo becomes hardened and difficult to pass due to dehydration.
The body slowly reabsorbs the fluid content in the feces and along with it many soluble toxins.
This “autobulkification” is the reason people are suffering from constipation have coated tongues, foul breath, lack of energy, and difficulty in thinking. These poisons affect every area of the body.
Fiber deficiency and constipation are associated with diverticulitis, appendicitis, and colon cancer.
The small, hardened doo doo is very difficult for the normal intestinal peristaltic actions to deal with effectively.
With the lack of bulk added by fiber in the diet, the intestine resembles a tube of toothpaste that is almost empty. The same difficulty you have in getting out that last bit of toothpaste is exactly the problem your intestine has.
The peristaltic contractions are more forceful but less effective and tend to create small out-pockets or diverticuli in the intestinal walls.
Associated with both diverticulosis and constipation is a change in the normal bacterial flora. As a result, bile acids normally found in the doo doo and excreted are altered by prolonged exposure to these abnormal bacteria, and become carcinogenic. So, now you can see the cause-and-effect relationship behind low-fiber diets and colon cancer.
Most people habitually use laxatives to regulate bowel movements when constipation is a chronic problem as it causes a strong intestinal action due to the irritant qualities of the laxative. The unfortunate aftereffect, however, is that the bowel reacts to this unusual stimulation by becoming less active just after each use. What results is two to three days when no further bowel movement has occurred, a second dose of laxative is used, and on and on for years, even decades.
Enemas have a similar effect and laxatives, which contain mineral oil, only cause the bowels to become over-stimulated and weakened, but actually rob the body of all fat-soluble vitamins.
Bear in mind that constipation can have early beginnings. The normal breastfed kid will have a bowel movement about 20 minutes after the start of a feed. It’s a hard lesson to learn especially if the infant is fed without a diaper on.
Over time, as solid foods are introduced, that bowel action, which is a true physiological reflex, becomes less sensitive and can affected by the type of foods consumed.
When a mother learns about this, foods like bananas are used to harden the doo doo and slow the transit time, or they use prunes and papayas to soften the doo doo and encourage a bowel movement.
When the kid is finally weaned and nightmare alley is introduced (cow’s milk), the bowel movements become less regular and harder to regulate. Then, when the kid is toilet trained, less attention is placed on regularity and constipation is just around the corner.
Unless the kid is weaned to proper foods like whole grains, fruit and raw vegetables, the early years can set the stage for a life of constipation problems.
Also, in early childhood, with the parents on hectic schedules, the essential call of nature can be habitually ignored or postponed. This then causes the body to stop sending messages to the brain until it has no other choice, due to bowel overload, to take a dump.
So, what’s regularity? Unfortunately, it varies with the individual. I remember doing radio shows and asking people to call in anonymously and tell me how often they go doo doo. I suddenly found out that once a week was normal for many. But the consistency of the bowel movement is somehow more important than how many times a day or week one goes.
If the bowels move once or twice a day and the stool is hard or difficult to pass, that’s constipation, no matter how regular the person is. Then will lead to “loaded bowel syndrome”, where nearly the entire transverse and descending colon are filled with hard doo doo.
Another useful index in bowel transit time, or the time it takes for food to pass through the body. In diets composed of unrefined cereals, fruits, and plenty of raw vegetables, the transit time is usually 12 hours or so.
On a refined diet this could extend to 24, 48, or 72 hours or longer. I had a man call in and tell him he would have a bowel movement once every two weeks. Good sorrow! Another tidbit that many people are clueless about is that it takes about five to seven days for flesh to pass out of the body. Since the nature of a dead body is to rot, where do you think all those rotting poisons are proliferating in those five to seven days? Cancer, arthritis, and heart disease, anyone?
Yes, there are other factors that play a role in constipation besides diet. Lack of exercise removes the mechanical action of the muscles on the intestinal contents, slowing down bowel action. This also reduces normal circulation throughout the digestive tract. Eating while under stress paralyzes all digestive functions, including peristaltic action. But, and there’s always a but, diet and diet alone is the most prominent cause as well as the cure for constipation.
So, if the main cause of constipation is a fiber-deficient diet, then both prevention and cure must lie in an unrefined high-fiber diet.
If constipation is habitual and of long duration, the weakened bowels have to strengthened first and reeducated. even before a high-fiber diet will stimulate regularly.
To improve intestinal actions, specific short cleansing fasts or mono diets with herbal aids, and chiropractic adjustments should be undertaken.
In the case of long-standing constipation, a good 3-day fruit juice fast with nightly enemas is good, especially where the habitual use of laxatives or enemas are the main contributing factor to intestinal weakness. Depending upon the severity of the case, colonics will be beneficial. After the fast, a 3-day apple mono diet should be followed. This would consist of four to five meals of raw apples with apple juice between the meals.
What I told the “once-every-two-week” guy to do was to soak a combination of figs, prunes, and raisins overnight. In the morning I told him to drink the water and add some non-fat plain yogurt to the fruit, add some bran, and eat it all. So, the following week he called in on my show again and revealed his progress from him. On the first day, nothing happened. On the second day he had so much gas nobody wanted to be near him. On the third day he said he had to flush the toilet three times. He then told me he went vegetarian and had a bowel movement with soft doo doo after each meal.
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