Foundations: Constipation 

October 25, 2022

Welcome to the Foundation’s series where I highlight factors of health that I consider ESSENTIAL to healing and thriving. I talk about these concepts with all of my clients to make sure that they are addressed before we ask the body to do more intense healing. These topics may not be as flashy as what the people with six-packs on magazines are selling, but as the saying goes, you can’t build on a weak foundation. 

Let me preface by saying that no topic is TMI. Here at TLWC, we talk openly about pooping because it is so important. 

The Ideal Bowel Movement: The 2-2-2-2 Rule 

Remember this rule as a goal for ideal bowel movements (BM’s): 

  • Aim for 1-2 BM’s per day
  • Never go more than 2 days without having a BM
  • Each BM should take under 2 minutes
  • It should only take about 2 wipes to clean up 

Let’s go over each rule and by the end of this, I hope that you will be equally as passionate about maintaining good BM’s. 

Rule #1: Aim for 1-2 BM’s per day

If you’ve ever taken care of a baby, you know that they eat and then poop. Adults should have more control over pooping our pants, but a similar concept should apply – what goes in must come out, in a timely manner. 

The 2-2-2-2 rule for healthy bowel movements

Here’s what’s coming out the other end:

  • Unprocessed foods and fibers
  • Excess vitamins and minerals that are not needed
  • Toxicants/toxins packaged up by the liver, including:
    • Toxins from the outside world, like pesticides
    • Toxins our bodies make 
  • Used/excess estrogen
  • Bacteria 
  • Other waste products

Do you want these things sitting inside you for days on end? I sure don’t! This leads us to the second rule…

Rule #2. Never go more than 2 days without having a BM

 We need regular BM’s for good digestion, avoiding gas/bloating 

conditions affected by constipation

Here are some symptoms that could be caused or exasperated by not having a daily BM:

  • Gas/bloating
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Skin conditions, like some types of acne, eczema, or psoriasis
  • Hormonal problems, like estrogen dominance 
  • General unhappiness (who can be in a good mood when constipated?)
  • Increased toxin load
  • Imbalanced gut bacteria 

Rule #3 & #4: Each BM should take under 2 minutes & It should only take about 2 wipes to clean up 

Lastly, the remaining 2 rules are aimed at getting the Goldilocks BM: not too hard to pass and painful but not soft, loose, or messy. 

Take a look at the Bristol Stool Chart below. The goal is to have a BM that looks like #3 or #4. 

Bristol Stool Chart

I hope we are all on the same page now on why daily BMs are foundational to our well-being.

It is essential to improve constipation before attempting any kind of detox, gut healing, or hormone rebalancing. 

Root causes of constipation

Some root causes of constipation: 

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Low fiber intake
  • Minimal exercise/movement
  • Gut bacteria imbalances (ex: SIBO, candida/yeast overgrowth, parasites)
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Imbalanced Neurotransmitter levels (ex: serotonin, dopamine, etc)
  • Backed up liver/gallbladder 
  • Prescription medications
  • Dependency on Miralax*
  • Stress (or stage fright!)
  • Mold toxicity
  • Estrogen/progesterone imbalances

General constipation help:

These recommendations are designed to alleviate constipation while addressing the root cause of constipation. They can also be used for the occasional backup (ex: traveling).

STOP – Are you drinking enough water, moving your body every day, and eating fiber (fruit and veggies) daily?

If the answer is no, make a concrete plan to work on those before trying anything else.

If the answer is yes, proceed to the recommendations:

For slowed motility: (No urge to have a bowel movement)

  • Very strong ginger tea
  • Motility Activator by Integrative Therapeutics 

For hard BM’s:

  • Magnesium Citrate
    • Capsule form: Magnesium Citrate by Pure Encapsulations
    • Powder form: Calm by Natural Vitality
  • Aloe
    • Aloe Juice by George’s Aloe
    • Super Aloe by Ortho Molecular (drink with a full glass of water)

For general constipation:

*A note on Miralax:

Miralax is not a safe solution for constipation. It is not intended for long-term use, per the FDA, is derived from petroleum, and in my experience, has created extreme dependency. Yes, the Miralax approved for consumption daily is also used for chemical uses and in personal care products. Please consult with a practitioner to guide you in addressing the underlying causes of for constipation and weaning you off of Miralax (it can be done!). Also please note, that per the company, Miralax is NOT recommended for children under 18 years old.

**This blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your medical provider before making any health changes.

Who do we work with?

We work with clients who are dedicated to changing their health. Making dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and taking supplements are part of the healing journey.