I was recently engaged in a conversation with other colonic therapists about the appropriate frequency for a person to open their bowels. This was sparked by a podcast from a GP who had stated that it was perfectly acceptable for a person to go for a poo once every two or three days.

As you can imagine, I see lots of people in the clinic for whom constipation and irregular bowel function is the cause of their visit. Many, if not all of these people have visited their GPs and been similarly reassured that having a poo once or twice a week is an acceptable rhythm “if it’s natural for them.”

Well I would beg to differ and here’s why.

Releasing waste products is essential for any living thing. I don’t own a dog but I know plenty of people that do, and it would be unheard of for any dog owner to not seek a remedy for their four legged friend if it was struggling to have a poop, even after as short a time as 24 hours.

Wooden board with the words: question everything

Going for a poo daily is part of a natural pattern, not once a week or every few days.

Each of our organs has many functions to perform and none of them will do so at an optimal level if they’re living in a state of pollution.

And poo is not just about food waste either.

You see, your colon or large intestine is receiving waste products from every organ in your body. Your body is made of trillions of different cells, and around a million of those die every second. That’s a significant waste product right there, which needs to be eliminated from the body.

Our phenomenal bodies are masters of adaptation but there are limits to what they can withstand over time. Left unchecked, a chronic constipation pattern can lead to serious health complaints which go far beyond the unwelcome feeling of bloating and fullness.. bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and even bowel perforation can be the resulting conditions.

So you can see, whilst constipation can be darned uncomfortable to live with and cause us to feel sluggish in body and mind, the negative effect of not regularly opening our bowels has a much greater impact on our overall wellbeing.

What Causes Constipation?

There are many physical factors that contribute to constipation; poor diet, dehydration and stress, but a major one is something called dysbiosis.

This is the medical term for a bacterial imbalance in your gut. If there is insufficient positive bacteria in the gut, the digestive process is compromised and waste matter literally gets stuck, even when you’re eating lots of fibre. If you have insufficient good bacteria in your gut, eating more fibre will potential worsen your constipation.

When this happens and the poop is stalled in the process, the negative bacteria proliferate. As they give off toxic gases which further pollutes your system, you might find yourself with bloating and horrible smelling wind. And sadly, when the positive bacteria become overrun by the negative, one of their main functions, which is to maintain the integrity of the gut wall, becomes compromised.

Consequently, toxins, pollutants and eventually food particles, will make their way through the gut lining and into the blood stream where they trigger an immune response. This is the beginning of a leaky gut, and leaky gut syndrome is at the root of many health problems and auto immune diseases.

Can Constipation be caused by Emotions?

Yes indeed. Have you ever noticed how certain types of stress makes you go for a poop more often and with urgency – like doing a presentation to a group? Well it sometimes goes the other way too!

Any shift or change in our normal routine can make us feel uncertain and sometimes unsafe. This happens on a sub-conscious level, so we’re not always aware of the trigger – it might also be that the causative event is not necessary unwelcome.

Having someone come to stay in your home might be a big enough reason for you to feel anxious and under scrutiny. For example, you may feel judged about your housekeeping standards, or you may historically have found the person overbearing and draining, despite being enormously fond of them and excited about their visit. Your bowel however, recognises the stress you feel and responds accordingly, by reducing your digestive function and process, which causes things in there to grind to a halt. 

I know we all experience the odd occasion when we don’t open our bowels- perhaps a holiday or a change in diet is the trigger – but if constipation is a regular occurrence for you, please don’t put up with it for long and speak to me instead. Let me be your pollution solution! If you know people that suffer with this condition, let them know that there is help available at The Healthy Gut Clinic.

Have you ever stuck a banana up a car’s exhaust pipe? I expect not, but if you did, do you know what would happen? The engine, swamped by its own fumes and unable to access any air, would stall, and so it is with our bodies too.

We must keep our exhaust pipes clear and our engines running freely, and make sure that we stop that beautiful ‘Ferrari like’ body of yours becoming an old banger on the scrap heap!

Article written by Katherine Brooke, international speaker and bestselling author. on the subject of gut health and poo. 

Katherine helps people with all kinds of digestive problems  constipation, IBS, bloating and diarrhoea, please don’t be embarrased and please do get in touch.

Katherine Brooke-MacKenzie The Gut Health Lady

Katherine has over 20 years’ experience in the field of complementary gut health and a range of professional qualifications including colonics, acupuncture and various energy medicine disciplines. Her recent qualification as an EMPR Practitioner enables her to work effectively with her clients to release trauma, which is overlooked as the cause of gut problems. Katherine’s focus is on attuning the gut with the person’s natural expression and vice versa, enabling them to live in alignment with their authentic self.