Are you struggling to figure out why you are still constipated?  Maybe you've tried every approach known to man and nothing has worked.  You exercise, eat well, and your docs have examined your insides for possible reasons, and you still suffer from constipation.

I spend a lot of time talking about the gut-brain axis, and how poor gut health contributes to brain dysfunction.  Recently I was listening to a talk about SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and was reminded, that the gut-brain axis is bi-directional.  The brain has a huge role in the health of the gut as well.

Traumatic brain injury is known to negatively affect intestinal function.  Shortly after the onset of brain injury, intestinal permeability is increased (Source). Dr. Kharrazian is a well known functional neurologist who published an article outlining the complex pathways that traumatic brain injury has on the gut.  A summarized article can be found in his newsletter (Source).  He breaks down the various routes that show how traumatic brain injury affect not just intestinal permeability, but overall gut health and function.

Have you Had a Head Injury?

Were you ever hit on the head?  Had a concussion?  Car accident?  Played an impact sport?  Anything that could have caused your brain to have contact with the inside of your skull could result in traumatic brain injury, so even if your head didn't directly impact anything, it's still possible that your brain was injured through impact inside your skull.

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, and you have ruled out things like low thyroid function, dysbiosis, poor diet, lack of exercise or intestinal strictures, then past head injury may provide the answer you are looking for when it comes to your constipation.

If communication has become impaired from the brain to the gut, then the end result can be constipation and other digestive problems.  In these situations, reestablishing the brain-gut communication is an important step to relieve constipation, and to reset regular gut motility.

Resetting Brain-Gut Communication

 Try singing loudly several times a day!

Try singing loudly several times a day!

In his book Why Isn't My Brain Working?, Dr. Kharrazian outlines gargling and singing techniques that help to stimulate the vagus nerve to reset brain-gut communication.  These are simple and have no cost associated with them, so are worth a try.  These techniques work by directly stimulating the vagus nerve.

Another option are prokinetics.  Prokinetics are substances that enhance gut motility by increasing the frequency of contractions or by making them stronger.  Natural prokinetics work by stimulating the enteric nervous system and the brain stem, and include ginger root, L-acetyl-carnitine and 5-HTP, and there are supplements on the market that include a combination of these such as Pure Encapsulations Motilpro.

Have you suffered a head injury and are constipated?
Maybe it's time to start singing in the shower!

Happy, Healthy Singing!