What’s soupy poo telling you? Colon Clues Part III
I could spend almost forever talking about the colon because it’s one of my favorite clue laden organs. But if I did, I’d step out of the lane we’re driving in….. And so I’ll do my best to keep focused!
Hang on…. You may learn a little more than you wanted to about chronic diarrhea!😳 It’s not as common as constipation (est 20-30% of the adult population), but if you are one of the estimated 5% who do suffer from chronic diarrhea, you know how important this clue trail is. Interestingly, though chronic constipation is an equally important colon clue, chronic diarrhea will usually send people to their favorite health care professional much faster!
Diarrhea is a symptom (a clue!), not a dis-ease. Approximately 2 gallons of water should be absorbed from the colon every day, and if that doesn’t happen…… well, diarrhea results. We’ve all had short term diarrhea, and even that gets old fast. Chronic and/or chronic intermittent diarrhea can really throw a kink in daily life.
Rarely, is this clue ignored (because, well….. diarrhea won’t generally allow itself to be forgotten!). Paradoxically, chronic diarrhea is not generally a “quick fix” problem. It takes work to get the gut back to a healthy place!
What possible clues lie behind a case of chronic diarrhea?
🔎Food or beverage sensitivity: Lactose, gluten, and processed sugar intolerance are the big three, and are more common than you might think. It could be just one ingredient that triggers a run to the bathroom, or it could be a combination of them (think processed foods!).
🔎Tainted water: Yes, even municipal water and bottled water has been implicated on occasion.
🔎Medications : Antibiotics, antacids, Alzheimer’s medications, metformin (for type II diabetes), colchicine (for gout), NSAIDs (for inflammation, sertraline (for mood), lithium (for mood), digoxin (for heart), chemotherapy medications, synthroid/levothyroxine (for thyroid: NOTE there is a gluten based filler in these….. Disturbingly…. So if gluten is your nemesis, this may be a big clue).
Infections (bacterial, fungal, viral, and/or parasitic). Infections often go hand in hand with inflammation.
🔎Chronic Inflammation in the bowels: Inflammation in the colon morphs into an actual dis-ease state if left unaddressed. Inflammatory Bowel Disease includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is another colon dis-ease that affects 10-15% of the population and may cause a mixture of constipation and diarrhea. Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis affects roughly half of all people over the age of 60, and approximately 10% will have it before the age of 40. Yet, in ¾ of these people, it will never cause problems.
🔎Gallbladder inflammation, malfunction, or missing! (up to 20% of people who have their gallbladder removed have chronic diarrhea) It’s so important to take digestive enzymes if you are missing your gallbladder!
🔎Uncommonly (but needs to be mentioned), some cancers can cause chronic diarrhea.
🔎Excess vitamin C or Magnesium in the diet.
🔎For some people, sorbitol, mannitol, or xylitol (even in the smallest amounts) can cause gassy diarrhea.
🔎A surgical procedure which may have affected the mechanics of the large intestine.
Overcoming chronic diarrhea is usually not a quick fix, and it may require many supportive measures in your “at home” tool box. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will a solid bowel movement be formed after a day’s worth of good self care, so be patient and be consistent with your plan!
*Get stress under control. The gut brain axis is a real thing, and if emotions are creeping into your gut, it may show up in the toilet too. Use your emotional oils….. They do work! Find a mentor like Jen Weir who is an ace at teaching people how to do just this! (https://www.weirtx.com/ )
*Get serious with an elimination or FODMAP diet and find out what your body doesn’t like! Note: food sensitivities are found in ½ to ⅔ of people with chronic diarrhea. #itstimetojustdoit
*Probiotics. YL’s Life 9 helps support a healthy microbiome in the colon. When there are enough healthy bacteria to compete with the bad microbes, the bad guys get the boot.
*Digestive enzymes. I cannot emphasize enough how important probiotics and digestive enzymes are to overall health! (YL…. Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Detoxzyme, Allerzyme, and Mightyzyme for the littles)
*Omega 3’s ( YL Omegagize3) promotes healing and repair and supports a healthy inflammatory response.
*Increase Fiber intake. Start with cooked soft fiber and graduate to “hard fiber” (fruits, veggies, and whole healthy grains (gluten free for some or low gluten for others). Note that meat and dairy have zero fiber! YL’s ICP is a fantastic source of non-irritating soluble and insoluble fiber. Friends, do your research on ICP. It is a vital supplement for colon support!
*Avoid alcohol sugars (sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, isomalt, xylitol)
*Avoid caffeine. It acts as a laxative.
Diarrhea is the clue. Now it’s up to you to put some of the pieces together! Use this clue and others to kickstart your own research.
As Mary Young says, “It is our God given right to search, read, study and decide how you will feed and care for your own body.”
The Colon: Trouble Down Under Part I
We’ve arrived at the end of the digestive tract. 😍 The amazing and infinitely special colon is really where my own health “awakening” began about 20 years ago. Connecting clues that lead to the true status of your colon may very well also reveal a great deal about overall physical and emotional health.
As Hippocrates said (paraphrased!)….. “If your colon ain’t happy, neither will you be.”
It’s true. 60-70 million people in the USA have digestive disorders that most often originate from colon dysfunction.
👩⚕️What if you also were to add in the 43.8 million who visit the doctor annually for emotional health or sleep pattern issues whose root cause is digestive dysfunction?
👩⚕️……. Or the 30 million who have chronic inflammation of bones and joints as a side symptom of colon inflammation?
👩⚕️…….. Or the 50+ million (and growing!) who suffer from an autoimmune disease thanks to a leaky gut?
Those numbers are staggering. Roughly HALF of the population in the USA has an official diagnosis (dysfunction) whose root cause could be traced back to gut dysfunction.
And friends…… this doesn’t even include the people who don’t poop WELL 2-3 times a day, regularly…….because they consider it “normal” for them. #toxinoverload
I’ve just given you an ENORMOUS pile 💩 of health clues you can use with those statistics alone. If you aren’t pooping, bigger things lay on the horizon (if they haven’t already begun expressing themselves subtly).
Here at the tail end of the alimentary canal, we need to go back to the beginning……. all the way back to babyhood….. because that’s where your health story began!
EARLY YEARS GUT HEALTH QUIZ
Give yourself one point for answering each one of these questions “yes”. This might be a good time to phone your mama if you aren’t sure of your answers!
1.I was a preemie
2.I was born C-section
3.I was formula fed
4.I had reflux pretty badly as a baby
5.I was a sickly little kid and was on 3 or more rounds of antibiotics and supportive medication before I started kindergarten.
6.I grew up on fast food, processed packaged food, and can’t recall eating that many fruits and veggies.
7.I missed school fairly regularly in elementary school due to illness.
8.I spent most of my time indoors growing up
9. I had lots of allergies as a kid (and perhaps still do!)
10. I didn’t receive any probiotics or probiotic based foods on a regular basis that I can recall.
For each “yes”, the odds of living with a colon in need of TLC as an adult rises.
You see, we have roughly 3-4 lbs of bacteria within us, the largest portion found within the colon. Literally, our bacteria outnumber us cellularly 10:1. They are the “voting majority” in our bodies, and have the ability to perform many functions, including turning our body’s genetic expression on and off. It is extraordinarily important that the good bacteria be there to help us fight off unhealthy over-colonization of “bad” bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeasts. Over- colonization of the “bad guys” will eventually affect the body and mind in a negative way if not controlled.
Research has shown conclusively that the colonized bacteria we have in our guts by the age of 2 years strongly influences our health for the rest of our lives.
Things happen, and as babies, we obviously have no control over our own lives, but just knowing the answers to the above questions may help piece together why you may have struggled in other areas of your life both physically and emotionally. Thankfully, there are things we can do to support and help our guts heal!
This conversation will be continued….. but for now…. Do you poop daily? 💩If you do not….. This is the biggest clue of all clues!
*Important tools I strongly encourage for supporting a healthy gut are Young Living’s probiotic Life 9 and YL’s digestive enzyme line ( Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Detoxzyme, or Allerzyme) to consistently incorporate into daily life.
*Other tools to consider incorporating to improve bowel regularity: Young Living’s Cleansing Trio Kit (an economical way to get ICP, Comfortone, and Essentialzyme). Plenty of filtered water daily, healthy food choices, and exercise!…. The more you move the more your intestines will move too!
*If you have a youngster who struggles with pooping or who has had early childhood experiences like the quiz questions above…. Young Living’s MightyPro probiotics and Mightyzyme chewable digestive enzymes for kiddos are formulated for a time such as this!
How much attention or thought do you put into your small intestine? Rarely do we hear much about this “small” organ. “Little things” can often be overlooked and in doing so, clues can easily be missed. Truly, the small intestine isn’t so very small….. It’s a 15-20 foot long digestion and absorption machine….. Usually overshadowed by its fore and aft kinsmen, the stomach and large intestine..
I relate to the small intestine as a middle child myself!😜 The stomach and large intestine have their individual strengths and frailties. While the small intestine has its own set of “responsibilities”, its wellbeing is greatly affected by sister stomach and brother colon.
If you’ll recall from last week’s chat about the stomach, having low stomach acid is not a good thing and may lead to some significant issues that literally drain into the small intestine. Have you ever heard of the term SIBO? It’s an acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, occurring when bacteria in the colon (large intestine) travels upwards into the small intestine where a relatively small amount of bacteria should be present on any given day thanks to stomach’s healthy acid content and cousin pancreas’s contribution of digestive enzymes! If either the stomach or colon (or both) don’t perform as they should, the small intestine will suffer.
I’ve listed common clues of SIBO on the graphic. None of them are drop dead urgent clues, right? Annoying, irritating, and perhaps even aggravating ….. but nothing that would cause an urgent SOS trip to your favorite health professional.
In a perfect digestive family environment, a healthy small intestine is a strong contributor to overall health. It facilitates absorption of some minerals (including sulfur, calcium, copper, iron, & zinc), fat soluble vitamins A,D,E &K, B vitamins, and Vitamin C. Small intestine also facilitates absorption of sugars, proteins, cholesterol, and bile salts. It allows these nutrients to be absorbed all the while blocking foreign substances (ie: toxic “bullies”) from also being absorbed. If the small intestine walls become inflamed and damaged, it is unable to effectively discern between friend and foe, and bad influencers make it into the family body.
SIBO, if left unattended, contributes to:
🔥IBS, Diverticulosis, Crohn’s, Celiac, poor gut motility (greater than 75% have confirmed SIBO)
🔥Fibromyalgia (78% have confirmed SIBO)
🔥Restless Leg Syndrome
🔥RA, Scleroderma, and other autoimmune disorders
🔥Neuropathies due to deficiencies
In addition to poor stomach acid production, common contributors (aka lifestyle clues!!) to SIBO include:
🔎Poor diet (review what is typically known as the “Standard American Diet” / aka “SAD” indeed!)
🔎Mechanical issues (low stomach acid included here!)
🔎Antibiotic use (especially recurrent use)
🔎Regular use of acid reducers or proton pump inhibitors (ex: Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec)
🔎Opioid use (results in gut motility issues)
🔎NSAID use (ex: Ibuprofen, Naprosyn… damage the lining of the intestine)
🔎Gastric bypass surgery
🔎Moderate (or greater) alcohol use (est 90% have confirmed SIBO)
🔎Aging (due to decreased stomach acid and enzyme production)
🔎Long term colon dysfunction ( 78% of those with IBS have confirmed SIBO)
👉👉Note that while SIBO can be age related, it’s not uncommon to find it in children👦👧👶 who have chronic constipation/ diarrhea, have received antibiotics, are formula fed, or have received medication for reflux, or whose eating habits mirror the standard American diet.
It is estimated that 20-22% of the US population has some form of SIBO, and while there are ways to identify it through functional medicine testing, perhaps it may be more economical to simply identify existing physical and lifestyle clues, and then proceed towards alleviating the problematic areas.
❤️Showing the small intestine some love thru a healthy diet, adequate exercise, proper amounts of sleep are an excellent start! ❤️
Additional ways to support and love on the small intestine include:
❤️Consume 30-45 grams of soluble fiber daily (Hello Young Living ❤️Balance Complete Meal Replacement Shakes!)
❤️Digestive Enzyme supplements that contain Betaine HCl (Hello YL Essentialzyme caplets!)
❤️Probiotics (Hello YL Life 9 and for kiddos….. MightyPro!)
❤️Organic bone broth
❤️Olive leaf extract (Hello YL Olive Essentials capsules!)
❤️Young Living’s Peppermint, Caraway, Oregano, and Cinnamon Vitality essential oils. If you are a science hound, do some digging in pubmed.gov for a gold mine of information. If you are not a science hound, just know that these oils are your small intestine’s friends!
Remember that our bodies are constantly giving us clues which buys time before “big things” generally happen. I’m so thankful that the body has the resilience and capability to restore itself to good health when clues are recognized and supportive measures are implemented. SIBO is a clue itself, indicating a potential downward spiral of the entire body at some point in the future if not addressed.
Indeed…. Seemingly small things can often be important big ones!
Down the alimentary canal we go….. Clues you can use from your head to your tush!
I’ve gone round and round in my head about how best to approach this next topic. It’s a “which came first…. the chicken 🐣or the egg situation”, so I will leave it up to you as to how you choose to run with these clues!
As we travel down the alimentary canal, some of the roughest waters are located right beyond the oral cavity. An estimated 60-70 million people have chronic digestive disorders in the USA, with 25% of the adult population experiencing weekly symptoms of reflux.
Here’s “the chicken”:
– Reflux commonly results from either a mechanical dysfunction or environmental trigger. Mechanically, it may be caused by a diagnosed hiatal hernia, pregnancy, excessive weight, eating a large meal too close to bedtime……there are others, but these are the biggies.
Biochemically, certain foods and beverages may also trigger reflux in some people. Spicy, oily, or fried foods, alcohol, and caffeine are well known irritants.
👉👉There are two other under diagnosed but VERY COMMON dysfunctions….. Hypochlorhydria: a deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and insufficient digestive enzyme production within the body. 👈👈
Causes of low stomach acid include:
– A deficiency of Zinc or B vitamins
– Medications taken for reflux
– Gastric bypass surgery
– Age – people over the age of 60-65 are most likely to have inadequate stomach acid production
Before refrigeration and the advent of the processed food industry, normal diets were rich in food that contained prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes that supplemented what was already made within the body. Sadly, the Standard American Diet (aptly acronymed ‘SAD’) contains none of these, and the “fakeness” of many foods has made the digestive process even harder to accomplish.
Digestive enzyme insufficiency has several possible causes:
– Gallbladder removal
– Crohn’s or Celiac
– Leaky gut
– Chronic Stress
– Inflammation (often due to toxin load)
Certain diseases affecting the pancreas
Low stomach acid and/or insufficient digestive enzymes can cause a cluster of clues over time….
🔎Bloating and burping
🔎Upset stomach that sometimes feels worse when you take supplements
🔎Heartburn or indigestion
🔎Diarrhea and gas
🔎Protein, B12, Calcium and magnesium deficiencies
🔎Neurological issues such as numbness, tingling, and vision changes
🔎An appearance of or worsening of an autoimmune disorder (lupus, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, etc)
Prescription trends reflect this stat: Approximately 65 million prescriptions are written for reflux medications on an annual basis…. The most common being💊 acid reducers.
WAIT. WHAT??!?!? If the reflux problem is commonly related to too little acid in the stomach, why in the world are drugs like 💊Pepcid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix 💊prescribed so regularly? After all, they are designed to reduce acid in the stomach. That, my friends, is the multi- billion dollar question you’ll need to ask Big Pharma about.
I make no recommendations to quit any medication without talking to your favorite health care professional first. I’m not a doctor…. only an observant pharmacist who knows when things don’t add up. #followthemoney
And now we come to “the egg”….. the medications regularly recommended for heartburn. You see, the drugs within the acid reducing class are approved by the FDA for short term use only (generally 8 weeks or less) and yet we all probably know multiple people who have been on them for years.
What happens when the pH within the stomach continues to slowly become more alkaline?
* A worsening of B12 deficiency which affects many parts of the body, but especially the nervous system. Prolonged deficiency increases the risk of dementia and neuropathy.
* An increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures due to accelerated osteoporosis
* A 50% greater risk of pneumonia
* An increased risk of a cardiovascular event
* A worsening of overall digestive problems
* Increased risk of kidney disease
How can this particular “chicken/egg” question be avoided? The biggest answer to nearly everything we talk about is always going to revolve around diet, exercise, stress management, sufficient sleep, and removal of toxins whenever possible. It’s not always easy to incorporate enzyme and stomach acid supportive foods into today’s daily eating habits, and yet they are a valuable and needed piece of the wellness and vitality puzzle.
Thankfully, we have some very supportive digestive enzyme supplements available to us! 🙌🙌
Young Living’s Essentialzyme caplets also contains Betaine HCl which help support healthy stomach acid pH.
Young Living’s Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, and Detoxzyme are also digestive enzyme supportive capsules, and Mightyzyme chewables are for kiddos (or adults who like them!) who might need a little extra digestive support!
As always….. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure….. Rather to give you the tools you need to make the best and most informed decisions you can make in regards to your own health. You are the responsible party for Y.O.U. …… no one else.