What happens? Poop. It happens to all of us –at least it’s supposed to. It’s a very important biological function that helps our body get rid of indigestible food matter, dead cells, bacteria and general waste. But not everyone does it with the same frequency. An NIH published article from the American Gastroenterological Association reports that in 2010 16% of our adult population suffers from constipation and 33% in those aged 60-101. Some would consider constipation to be an American epidemic. Constipation has reached the top 5 list of why people seek medical help with millions of clinic visits and over 700,000 emergency room trips each year. Between the hospital admission, ER visits, OTC medications we’re talking billions of dollars in treatment/care.
What’s causing the backlog?!
We can’t ignore the gigantic shift in our lifestyles. From processed foods to lack of movement (which helps stimulate bowel activity) to being chained to the desk or in the car commuting for hours on end. I can’t forget to mention the lack of fiber and hydration! Medications can also play a part in constipation. Folks with chronic pain are being prescribed medications that are contributing to chronic constipation – it’s a vicious cycle.
Two sides to every coin
There is another side of this coin – the opposite of constipation. Stuck in traffic again, running the rat race, crazy unrealistic deadlines, too much to do and not enough time to do it can get anyone’s stomach in knots. Is there really an effect on your gut from stress? Absolutely! There are many studies that show how stressful life events are connected to IBS, IBD, Chron’s, even GERD. Just having a gut issue can create anxiety in some people. Higher levels of stress (real or perceived) increase gut motility and fluid secretion. Ever notice that you have a bout of diarrhea or you might have the urge to pee more frequently after a stressful event? The combination of the stomach slowing down (the emptying of its contents) and the intestines speeding up (the process of material passing) can lead to a lopsided bowel pattern.
Your bowel movements can be a big clue in your overall health journey
Your gut is more than just a food processing system. A lot happens from the time you start chewing to the time you see it come back from the other end. Everything you put in your mouth has to make it’s way through your stomach around the twists and turns of your small intestine (where nutrients are absorbed and toxins extracted) before it ends up in the large intestine where all the good bugs get to work trying to find anything useful that was left behind.
A lack of dietary fiber means you’re starving the good bugs from their ideal fuel source. Those trillions of bacteria are feeding on the fiber from the fruits, vegetables, and even whole grains we eat. When they have enough fuel, they create healing by-products that help replace the mucous lining that protects the intestines from toxins. A slow DTT has a negative effect on this cycle. If the bacteria run out of the carbs from the fiber, they turn to any leftover protein to get their fuel. This alters the by-products they produce. So instead of producing healing properties it’s now producing more ammonia and Sulphur compounds which can be very damaging to the bowel cells.
How do I know what my transit time is?
Transit time is the speed at which your body gets food from point A (your mouth) to point B (your rectum). PERQUE offers an easy and affordable DTT (digestive transit time) kit. Fully equipped with instructions and charcoal capsules you can easily determine your body’s pattern. Once you know what you’re working with you’ll be able to address the situation with diet and supplementation appropriate for you.
What do I do about a slow transit time?
Combine PERQUE’s Regularity Guard, Digesta Guard, and Endura/PAK Guard for a complete and unique approach to restoring the good bacteria and optimal function. Regularity Guard helps to restore healthier GTT from unprocessed fibers and other synergistic ingredients. It is formulated from prebiotic fibers that nurture healthier probiotics in turn defending from infection and promoting better health. Digesta Guard (5 billion, peak-harvested, 10 strain microorganisms per capsule) supports the intestines comprehensively by adding healthy, living & human implantable probiotic microorganisms. Endura/PAK is one of the most unique products in the line. This patented combination of l-glutamine and pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate (PAK) naturally recycles l-glutamine and prevents the buildup of glutamate. Safely increasing glutamine in the brain, muscle, and gut for significantly better energy production throughout the body.
Ultimately the goal is to eat foods that we can easily digest, assimilate and eliminate without immune burden. ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies offers the gold standard in food sensitivity testing to help you start this healing journey. By looking at your food & chemical delayed hypersensitivities you can begin to make food choices that support your body in a healing manner.
About Melissa Crispell
Melissa Crispell is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Natural Health Provider, Certified Lifestyle Educator, Certified Wellness Coach, and Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. That’s just during the work day! The rest of the day is spent as mom, Abuela (Abbie for short), coach, wife, cook, chauffeur, cheerleader, marathoner and triathlete.
Melissa has been published in Living Well (local health magazine), DC Practice Insights (a national magazine to help Chiropractors grow their businesses) and Acupuncture Today. In addition, she has spoken at the, Functional Medicine Success Summit, The Easter Seals Annual Caregiver Conference, and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She is a Member of Health Studies Collegium speaker’s bureau, and has given classes for Naturopathic Physicians, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors and other healthcare providers.
Melissa has served almost 9 years as a Clinical Training Specialist for PERQUEIntegrative Health, teaching physicians and providers all over the world how to grow their functional medicine practice using medical grade supplements and functional immunology. Melissa’s mission is to empower people of all health statuses to take control of their wellness journey.
Melissa believes that when we have better information we make better choices. This includes debunking myths and sharing basic health concepts that are frequently overlooked. The future of healthcare is definitely self-care and we must take responsibility for our choice