One of the biggest concerns for horse owners is colic. We know that if our horse hasn’t pooped, it’s a serious problem and we take steps to correct the situation immediately. We may turn to mineral oil or a bran mash, essential oils, or pharmaceuticals; whatever we choose, we get on the situation right away. Now, there are a few subjects that may not be politically correct to discuss like politics, religion, and yes… poop. However, as a Natural Health Practitioner, I have become painfully aware of many “human impaction colic” situations and it’s time to get some education out there – I promise it won’t be (too) gross.
When I have an initial consultation with a client I usually ask how their digestion is. I use this question to work my way toward asking them about their bowel movements but if I come right out and ask “How often do you have a bowel movement and what is the consistency?” right off the bat, they are a little taken aback. So I start with the previous question then I ask “What about bowel movements?” Most people answer these questions with replies like “good” and “fine” but I know better than to stop there. My next question is “How often do you have a bowel movement?” Here’s the shocking part – people who have already answered that their digestion is “good” and their bowel movements are “fine” proceed to tell me that they have a bowel movement once or twice a week – one, every 3-7 days! This is human impaction colic (aka constipation) and is a RED ALERT!
Why is this a problem? Toxicity and Disease! Here’s a rough description of how your body manages toxins: Toxins come into your body through your environment (food additives, fluoridated water, that “new car smell” etc.) and your body works to break them down – typically in your liver. Your liver dumps toxins into your bowel and your bowel is supposed to take them out of the body. When you eat a poor diet that is low in fiber and you don’t drink enough water, constipation is a common result. This leads to toxins being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation and a weakened immune system along with cell and DNA damage. In addition, your colon (aka large intestine) is marinating in toxic sludge which is laying the groundwork for colon cancer. You simply cannot be healthy if you are not eliminating toxins via your colon – EVERY DAY!
What to do about it? Dietary changes should be considered. A healthy diet includes more plants than anything else (and we’re not talking about French fries here). In addition to tons of nutrients, plants bring fiber which is the broom that sweeps out the colon. Fiber is your friend. Toxins and sterols like cholesterol and estrogen bind to fiber and are carried out of the body with the feces. Low fiber diets cause you to reabsorb cholesterol (bad for your blood vessels!), estrogen (bad for hormone balancing) and other molecules that should be expelled. Water is also critical to keeping things moving. The rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds and drink half of that number in ounces of water per day (150 lbs., drink 75 ounces). A cleanse is also a great place to start and I help a lot of clients to cleanse without the proverbial bathroom emergencies! Use caution when doing a cleanse – I have seen some very dangerous cleanses advertised.
Here’s some of what you need to know about human impaction colic…
1) How Often (BM): Once a day is the minimum and twice a day is better. More than 3 times per day indicates a problem.
2) Texture: Somewhere between toothpaste and play-doh.
3) Cleanse with care: Consult a reputable expert when doing a cleanse.
There are other natural solutions to rectifying (no pun intended) human impaction colic. Probiotics, specific therapeutic-grade essential oils, certain massage techniques, mucilaginous herbs, etc. can all be used to help restore balance to your digestive system.
So consider human impaction colic to be as serious as you would equine impaction colic and take steps to correct the situation… pronto! Now, anyone want to talk about the election?
For more information about her Holistic Nutrition Subscription program go to http://EatLikeaHorse.net
Patti Bartsch, Ph.D. is a Natural Health Practitioner offering coaching and education in improving your life and health naturally. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any disease or condition. Consult you preferred health care provider when making health choices.