Would you pay $850 for a bowel movement? (Crazy!)
When your campsite is dug out of an ice wall on a high-altitude slope in frigid temperatures, bodily functions we take for granted can become a problem.
For instance, while I was climbing Mount Denali in Alaska, bowel movements became a big deal.
My climbing buddy, Paul, summed up this sentiment, “You know you’re getting old when having a good BM is better than having sex.”
In my experience, I often become constipated when climbing because of the low-fiber diet of freeze-dried foods.
Now, you might not be in the habit of climbing mountains, but you’ve probably had some experience with constipation.
Before you turn to laxatives, try one of my eight ways to battle chronic constipation. And if you’re really feeling brave, you can try my own personal “get-going” hack.
There are plenty of laxatives on the market that you can use in the short term—and you might even experience some relief.
However, they usually don’t solve the underlying problem of chronic constipation.
These drugs work by various mechanisms, such as:
- An osmotic effect of drawing water into the colon (Philips Milk of Magnesia),
- Oral stimulant effect by stimulating contractions in the colon (Senokot),
- Bulking agents (Benefiber),
- Rectal suppositories (Dulcolax), and
- Stool softeners (Colace).
One of the significant downsides of the new drugs is the costs. Some run nearly $500 per month.
In fact, one critic published a report figuring out the cost based on the results of the clinical trials and correcting for the placebo effect. He calculated that the cost of the drug was $850 per bowel movement.
You may think your pharmacy insurance will cover the cost and take the drug as the easy way out.
Ultimately, however, we all wind up paying the costs one way or another.
So, before you shell out $850 for a single bowel movement, try these simple, natural (MUCH cheaper) interventions first.
Dehydration is one of the most common—and easily fixable—causes of chronic constipation.
You can tell if you’re dehydrated by the color and volume of urine. With dehydration, the urine is often darker with small volumes.
If you don’t have enough water in your body, it will absorb the water it needs from your food once it enters your large intestines.
This results in hard, difficult-to-pass stools.
This is an easy fix: Drink more fluid. This will soften your stools and allow them to pass more easily.
Aim for at least eight cups daily, or more, if you’re exercising or in hot weather.
Another common issue is inadequate fiber intake, both soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber helps speed the transit of food in your digestive tract.
High-fiber foods include whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.
Foods like kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and cabbage are packed with non-digestible fiber that adds bulk to the stool and feeds the microflora in the intestines.
The microflora in the gut plays a role in normal bowel functioning.
You can boost the amount of beneficial flora in your gut by taking a probiotic supplement, eating fermented vegetables, or (one of my favorites) consuming organic, non-pasteurized kefir.
An interesting study did a head-to-head comparison of kiwifruit (two/day), prunes (100 grams/day), and psyllium seed husks (12 grams/day) for four weeks.
While the study found that all were effective, kiwifruit had the fewest side effects, so it was the winner.
This is a delicious way to keep regular.
P.S. Discover five other ways to CONQUER constipation. CLICK HERE.
Duboc H, et al. “Disruption of Circadian Rhythms and Gut Motility: An Overview of Underlying Mechanisms and Associated Pathologies.” J Clin Gastroenterol. 2020;54(5):405-414.
Written By Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
For years he’s been the trusted doctor for celebrities, world-class athletes, and countless seniors looking to reclaim their health.
And now…for the first time ever… he’s making his medical breakthroughs available to readers all across America.
Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D. is one of the most pioneering and innovative minds in medicine today – and he delivers cutting-edge cures each month through his Natural Health Response newsletter.
Natural Health Response readers get full access to Dr. Gerhauser’s protocols for chronic pain… heart disease… diabetes… Alzheimer’s… and even cancer. These are the very same treatments Dr. Gerhauser recommends to his own patients at his practice in Tucson, Arizona.
In addition to being a board-certified medical doctor, Dr. Gerhauser has earned two master’s degrees and has served as a clinical professor at the University of Arizona.
And as a physician at the world-famous Canyon Ranch, Dr. Gerhauser treated celebrities from around the world who paid dearly for the type of next-generation health information he provides Natural Health Response readers each month.
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