Everybody Poops (Except When They Don't)


Let’s talk about poop.

It’s astonishing the number of people who think pooping every other day or a couple of times a week is normal.  Did you know you should be pooping every day?  I ask almost everyone who walks into my office about their elimination habits.  “Hello, how are you?  How are you pooping?”  It makes for excellent small talk.  (And it makes all the kids laugh). I ask adults, I ask kids, and I ask parents about their babies, because it matters. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases, in the year 2000, 63 million people were diagnosed with chronic constipation.  63 million!  And in 2004, there were 5.3 million prescriptions handed out for chronic constipation.  That’s a lot of people not pooping.  Mayo Clinic defines constipation as having fewer than three bowel movements per week.  In my book, if you aren’t going every day, you’re constipated. 

Aside from the obvious lack of pooping, I wanted to talk about some of the other symptoms that constipation can cause that not everyone thinks about. Constipation can cause:

  • Low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Brain Fog
  • Fatigue/sluggishness
  • Bloating
  • Hemorrhoids

So now what do you do about it? 

  • Water.  You should be drinking half of your body weight in fluid ounces every day.  Not tea, not coffee, not any liquid you can find, water.
  • Movement.  Stretching and exercise as simple as walking can help the bowels start moving. 
  • Chiropractic Adjustments.  Freeing up restrictions in the spine and nervous system can help get things moving in both your spine and your intestines.
  • Acupuncture.  By needling specific points on the body, Chinese Medicine can open the channels that correspond to digestion and elimination.
  • Probiotics.  A healthy gut flora (more good bacteria than bad) will be regular. Daily probiotics can help promote a happy, healthy gut.
  • Magnesium.  Magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxer and can help both treat and prevent constipation. 
  • Diet.  Keep a food log and see if you notice any foods that might be making things worse.  Dairy is often a culprit.  You can also never eat too many leafy greens. 
  • Sleep.  Everything is better with enough sleep.

If you aren’t pooping every day, you should be.  Try some of the suggestions above, or all of them.  If you have questions, or need to talk about what’s going on (or not going on) in there, just ask!