I suffered from chronic constipation for years, which became worse after my first daughter was born and much worse after my second. I felt tired all the time and every morning I woke with a headache. I had no idea how to fix it and visited doctors over the years. I literally couldn’t poo without laxatives. Over time the laxatives became ineffective and I switched brands but it happened again, also I was getting a lot of stomach pain. I switched to a brand called Movicol, which was a laxative that I could take every day but still I had problems and the doctors weren’t helpful. I’d had my colonoscopy (for constipation) and endoscopy (for acid reflux, which was gradually getting worse too) and my blood tests were okay so their only answer was prescription Movicol – oh and Omeprazole for acid reflux……… for life.
What do you do when the doctors stop working for you and you know there must be better answers?? You start your own research – it’s your body, your future and your health so find out everything you can to make changes. I haven’t spoken to a doctor about constipation (or acid reflux) for almost 10 years now. I haven’t needed to because I fixed it myself.
The first thing I did was to cut right back on gluten and dairy and this really helped. It meant that the movicol was working more easily and I didn’t have to take as much but I still needed to take it. I started to find that whenever I ate gluten I had a much worse reaction to it than before and got such severe stomach pain that I stopped eating it completely. My symptoms improved even more and my acid reflux stopped. This was a bit of a revelation for me so I continued researching.
Around the same time I started exercising properly and gradually moved on to strength training, which I now know was very important for my metabolic health. Everything just started to work better and the increase in my lean muscle mass really helped to improve my whole system.
I started to realise that it was likely I’d had a huge amount of inflammation due to blockages and all the toxins re-circulating around my body – excreting your toxins is so important to your health and to your hormonal balance too. It’s likely that I had caused damage to my intestine and it was also likely that I had leaky gut – the symptoms of which are: constipation / diarrhoea / fatigue / headaches / joint pain / difficulty concentrating / skin problems etc.
I changed my diet and starting eating a breakfast of full fat yogurt with added probiotics, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, berries, nuts and peanut butter (99% nuts, 1% salt). I totally cut out sugar and ate more nuts. I started eating the fat along with any meat I ate such as the skin on the chicken, the rind on the bacon etc. Over time my constipation went away completely – I still get it if I’m not careful with my breakfast type. I’ve also recently started taking a daily probiotic to improve my gut bacteria on a daily basis.
My joint pain has gone along with acid reflux and hair loss – my hair has been gradually thickening over the last few years. I’m strength training – all my workouts are on my app. My mobility has improved hugely and my body is just functioning so much better.
As we get older our digestive system becomes less efficient and food intolerances can increase as a result, making us more prone to constipation / diarrhoea etc. It’s important to be mindful of what you can do to help. This is just my experience but I hope it’s helpful.