How to Crap Your Way to Good Mental Health

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I love talking about bowel movements. No, really. I’m not trying to be gross
here, but if more people would openly discuss their bowel habits, we might be a healthier society. Not only can constipation make you physically sick, it can also contribute to poor mental health. Read on.

What is Constipation?

Constipation is medically characterized by the inability to have a bowel movement more than 3 times per week. Are you kidding me? If you’re only going to the bathroom 3 times a week, you’re incredibly constipated! But, since nobody talks about what goes on in the bathroom, hardly anybody knows this.

Though the amount of times you sit on the throne does vary from person to person, at the very least you should have a full-bodied, hard, firm stool at least once per day. At the least! Ideally, you should go 2-3 times per day.

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation can be caused by poor diet, food allergies, autoimmune disease, lack of fluids, stress or medication side effects.

How Can Constipation Affect My Mental Health?

Chronic constipation can contribute to depression. If waste products are backed up in the system, it can prevent the essential absorption of nutrients from your food.

In order for your brain to produce the right amount of feel-good chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, you need to properly digest and absorb nutrients.

What makes matters worse is if constipation is severe enough, it can cause toxins to filter back into the system, which can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and insomnia.

Mental health problems associated with constipation may be more common than you think. Since no psychiatrist is ever going to prescribe a fiber supplement if he diagnoses you with depression or anxiety, you’ll have to take care of it yourself.

How to Treat Constipation Naturally

To avoid mental health problems associated with constipation, you’ll need to do a few things.

Clean Up Your Diet

The best way to avoid constipation-related health problems is to clean up your diet. Avoid processed foods and eat a diet rich in healthy, whole foods such as:

• Lean Meat, Chicken and Fish
• Organic Fruits and Vegetables
• Beans and Legumes
• Whole Grain
• Dairy (go easy on the hard cheese though)

Take Digestive Enzymes

Not only can a diet high in processed foods make you stupid, it can also make you an anxious, nervous wreck. I should know. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder when I was only 15. It was until I was in my early 20s I learned that gluten intolerance was causing most of my mental health problems. I added a digestive aid to my diet a few years ago and I can’t believe the difference.

Try Probiotics

Probiotics are the active cultures naturally found in your gut. Constipation-related mental health problems can result if you don’t have enough of these necessary cultures in your body. Friendly bacteria in your digestive system break up and digest food and keep waste from backing up in your colon.

Add Prebiotics

Avoiding mental health problems associated with constipation can be as easy as adding prebiotics. Prebiotics encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut.

Drink Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is indigestible by your body. It is designed to mix with the water in your intestines and expand, grabbing and flushing built-up toxins from your colon. Psyllium fiber, apple pectin and kiwifruit powder are all great sources of this essential.

Try Phenolic Compounds

Phenolic compounds are great because they inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. This is especially important for those with severe constipation. A constipated intestinal tract is prime breeding ground for bacterial and yeast infections.

Add Chelated Magnesium

Chelated magnesium is what I like to call, ‘The Miracle Mineral’. It’s amazing. It’s responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body and kills two birds with one stone. First, magnesium is essential for good neurological health so adding it to your diet can help you beat depression and anxiety naturally. Also, magnesium is a natural laxative so it can help you relieve your constipation without causing dependency.

Constipation-related mental health problems can be avoided if you use the above natural remedies to get things moving again. Note: If you have any serious health or mental concerns, visit a healthcare practitioner before trying natural supplements.

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About Author: Jaime A. Heidel
  • Enid

    I sure hope this information will help. I dont know what’s wrong with me, ive b een sick for a couple years now, but this last year has been horrible. I honestly dont know if i can go on like this. Ive been to the doctor, been tested for everything under the sun even head an ultrasound of my stomack and pelvic, but they still cant find anything wrong.
    MY SYMPTOMS. Headaches, nausea, constant fatigue, always tired, horrible stomach pain, body aches, and now im getting depressed. I dont know what to do?

  • admin

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Enid. Your symptoms sound like chronic fatigue syndrome or similar autoimmune disease. I’d suggest a visit with a naturopathic or chiropractic doctor to get to the bottom of things. Conventional medicine has a rough time diagnosing and dealing with autoimmune disease. Keep me posted. I wish you the best. Hang in there. It gets better.

  • sammy

    i know for a fact the above is true. i suffered from panic attackes for two years;did all the therapies, went to all the doctors and they did nothing. well the therapy helped. it cleared my mind enough to heal myself. i have found that if you keep your gut clean, panic attackes will STOP.it has taken me two years to get where im at now. i hope this will help someone.listen to your body,it will tell you what it needs.

  • admin

    Thanks for the comment, Sammy. I’m glad you’re doing better now!

  • Melanie

    I noticed that if I’ve been constipated for a few days, I then start to get anxious and panicky for no particular reason….like a general anxiety disorder. This happens every time I’m not going to the bathroom properly. They say anxiety causes constipation but for me it works the opposite and constipation leads to my anxiety!

  • admin

    Hi Melanie,

    If toxins are trapped in your body for a while, it can lead to anxiety. Are you using anything to help relieve your constipation? Do you know what might be causing it?

  • Leslie

    I have always had problems with bowel movements. I remember as a child it being so hard I would bleed. Now I am 36 and have panic attacks. Still cant go potty and I have had three kids so now i have hemorroids. They want to put me on anti depresants and i have tried two one made panic worse than ever and the other had very hot, hot flashes. My husband wants me to try colon health. What is the best product to try that dont cause bad cramping and gas?

  • admin

    Hi Leslie,

    I’m very sorry about what you’re going through. Sometimes it all comes down to two basic additions to your diet: A quality probiotic and a bulk fiber supplement. I would suggest making your own milk kefir at home. It’s actually quite easy. Here’s a video for you to check out: http://youtu.be/g8inJzX-6yE

    Have you ever tried a fiber supplement such as psyllium? It’s not the tastiest thing in the world but it helps clear me out when I get backed up.

    As far as your anxiety, I understand. I’ve been there too and antidepressants just make it worse for me. There are natural remedies for anxiety. Have you tried anything like that? My first recommendation in your case would be chelated magnesium supplements. Magnesium naturally calms anxiety and insomnia and also helps ease bowel movements.

    If your problems persist, I’d recommend a visit with a naturopathic physician in your area who can get a clear understanding of your medical history and provide some real solutions for you.

    I wish you the best.

    Jaime

  • Lucia

    If you are having constipation problems, I highly recommend http://www.poopdoc.com. Check out the testimonials. It works when nothing else does. They also provide wonderful personal help over the phone.

  • admin

    Thanks for the comment, Lucia. It’s amazing we live in a society where our food/stress is so bad, we actually have to get help to poop.

  • Jennifer

    I love you for talking about this! I can definitely see a relationship in my mood and regularity. Everything you say here makes perfect sense!!!

  • Thanks for this post.
    I take (HEAVY DUTY) pain medication and it has recently been causing me constipation-
    I have also been suffering increasingly frequent panic attacks
    I had sort of instinctively thought that maybe there were toxins backing-up in my system and that THAT was at least part of my problem. Seriously, when these attacks happen i think I’m about to DIE.
    Due in part to my low income, and partly to my living situation I don’t eat a very good diet- too much processed food- microwave dinners etc.
    It is AMAZING how a properly functioning digestive system helps my anxiety.
    I just want to thank you for verifying what my instincts were telling me was the case.
    (I have a BAD-ASS juicer I need to break out of storage, because THAT is a great way to get fiber and nutrients into my diet- and yours too!
    Thanks again!

  • admin

    I’m glad you’re doing better, Vic. How is the vegetable juicing working for you so far?