Today’s blog will focus on bowel movements.
What is a “Normal” bowel pattern?
This can be broken into 2 parts:
What is normal & what is healthy & optimal?
Conventional medicine defines normal as between 3/day and 3/week, this is a very wide variance and is based on studies done on Western populations. Therefore, some Dr’s are saying that if you pass a bowel movement less than 3 times a week, you are constipated.
As a Naturopath I wouldn’t consider a bowel movement 3/week either normal or healthy. Most Naturopaths consider patients constipated if they go less than 1/day.
In Non-Western populations where they eat a traditional fibre rich diet, they on average move their bowels 2-3/day (47g of fibre). Studies have shown that people who consume a high fibre, plant-based diet, pass stools more frequently than individuals eating the typical low-fibre Western diet (11-16g of fibre).
You may ask, are my bowel movements regular in consistency? Optimal can be defined as a well-formed sausage, with little or no straining, little urgency and a feeling of complete emptying afterwards.
One way to increase fibre in the diet naturally, increase your daily intake of green leafy vegetables. These need to be in a form your gut can digest, a breakfast example can be spinach leaves (organic where possible), washed and lightly wilted in a frypan with coconut oil, served with poached eggs, sprinkled with a good quality salt and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Make time each day for regular uninterrupted bowel movements.
Start each day with a glass of warm water and the juice of ½ a lemon, this allows the eliminatory pathways to start working, with the benefit of being alkalising.
It is important to be drinking a minimum of 2L of filtered water per day, away from food to allow optimal digestion and to assist with regular, pain free bowel movements.
If you would like more information and guidance on regulating bowel movements and associated symptoms and conditions, I would love to work with you.
(Image sources: unknown)