Are Frequency and Quality Leaving You Less Than Satisfied?

This may not be what you had anticipated but it isn't a subject to be ignored!
We are discussing a topic that invariable tends to come up at our family dinner gatherings - a function basic and necessary to every living creature and yet so many are uncomfortable discussing it!
If you guessed Poop, you are correct! (nice normal conversation at the dinner table...right?!)

Take a look through the aisles of any Pharmacy, grocery or convenience store - the sheer number of products available for "bathroom business", are proof enough that huge numbers of people are certainly not "enjoying the go" like those cute, happy bears in the commercials! The availability of products and multitude of commercials related to them, have many people under the impression that this is normal and unavoidable - not true!

Bottom line (no pun intended), we all poop - it is a hugely important function and is a very helpful indicator of our overall health. When we are comfortable and familiar with this function from an educated perspective, we learn what is normal for our bodies versus what is proper for our systems. We can stop being "anal - instead , discover opportunities to support and assist our bodies in ways that can potentially transform our health and well being!

Anyone suffering from intestinal problems and poor bowel function will certainly agree that their lives are significantly impacted by a lack of harmony in this area. Individuals can feel like hostages in their own homes due to diarrhea or be struggling and straining with chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, bloating.
A colicky, inconsolable infant is proof of the serious distress that gas and intestinal issues can cause. Infants with balanced intestinal function tend to experience more of an in and out process- more in keeping with a happily functioning system.

So what can we do?

Probiotics (our friendly intestinal bacteria) can be superheroes in this area - a real game changer for many as the typical North American diet of processed foods and the use of antibiotics, are some of the most common reasons for disturbance in this area. Many may require magnesium, a better intake of appropriate fiber (soluble vs insoluble fiber), healthy fats, Vitamin C, attention to food sensitivities/allergies etc.
Other contributing factors may be - certain medications or supplements; poor eating habits; lack of fiber; insufficient water intake; lack of exercise and/or sleep; travel (routine/food changes); exposure you bacteria, viruses or parasites and of course - Stress!

Another very important but often overlooked cause of difficulty can be as simple as our body position during elimination. Straining and incomplete bowel movements can be affected by being in an inappropriate anatomical position on the toilet. A "squat" position can dramatically improve the ability to have a full, healthy poop! Use a small, height appropriate stool to improve your positioning when "sitting on the #!#!" Try it - don't be shy, what goes on behind closed doors is no one else's "business"(keep in mind the elevation for your feet to rest is relative to body height- the shorter the individual, the more elevation at the feet. Keep this in mind for children - especially if they are sitting leaning forward on the toilet, hugging their little tummies, straining and little feet are dangling far above the floor! (for safety, balance or mobility issues, be sure to adjust according to your needs and prevent falls).

With 80% of our immune tissue being located within our intestines, it is of critical importance to be aware of our digestive processes and intestinal health. For questions or concerns specific to you, come on in to Dover Apothecary - we are happy to assist in educating our clients and guiding them to quality supplements when required.

Changes in bowel habits should always be discussed with a qualified health care professional as many serious disease may be prevented or dramatically improved when addressed and diagnosed early. Learn more about what's normal for you with #2!

Discuss the topic openly and freely with your family, maybe not at the dinner table, but so that each of you are familiar and in tune with your body and what "normal" is for you!

Barb Anstead
Holistic Nutritionist