Do you have to add bran, flax seed, psyllium or take a supplement to help you poop? Do you have to strain to initiate a bowel movement? Do you have less than one bowel movement a day? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are amongst the many people who suffer from constipation. Many people don't think too much about their regularity unless it gets to the stage where it becomes uncomfortable to pass stool or unless hemorrhoids develop from straining.
Constipation and Neurological Conditions
Constipation needs to be taken seriously! Did you know that constipation occurs in people with Parkinson's before the Parkinson's symptoms show up. It is an early indication that communication between the gut and the brain is compromised. It is not uncommon for children with autism to only have one bowel movement per week. Poor bowel function is associated with a number of other neurological conditions as well including Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Constipation is both a sign and a complication of neurological conditions. Changes in the gut are one of the root causes of neurological conditions, and once neurological symptoms appear communication between the brain and the gut can become impaired which further complicates the issue.
Constipation and Autoimmune Conditions
Constipation is also associated with autoimmune conditions. As with neurological conditions, a change in gut health is one of the root causes of autoimmunity. In autoimmune conditions the body is attacking its own tissue, and there are many conditions in which the gut tissue is under attack. The most well known are celiac, Crohn's and colitis, but there are many other autoimmune conditions that are systemic and can affect the whole body such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. So similarly to neurological conditions, a cycle can occur where poor gut health contributes to autoimmunity, and then the autoimmune response in the body further worsens the gut condition.
Enemas are a fast way to resolve constipation, and they have been used for thousands of years. Doing an enema involves purchasing an enema kit from a pharmacy. A kit will have a bag or bucket with a hose and nozzle attached to it. The nozzle needs to have a tap. The bag or bucket gets filled with a solution, the nozzle gets inserted into the rectum, and the tap is opened to allow the contents to fill the colon. Once the contents are in the colon, the tap is closed, the nozzle removed and the individual sits on a toilet to evacuate the contents. This is a simplified description, so if you decide to do this yourself, make sure to get detailed instructions from a qualified practitioner.
According to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, enemas are completely safe if done correctly, and are useful for relieving constipation, reducing the toxic load in the body, healing hemorrhoids and for removing fecal compactions from the colon.
Coffee enemas are done with coffee as the solution that fills the colon. They are used extensively in the Gerson Protocol, which is a cancer treatment program, as well as for people seeking pain relief or relief from constipation. Coffee enemas can be particularly useful in restoring normal bowel function. According to Datis Kharraziac, DHSc, DC, MS, author of Why Isn't My Brain Working?, "distending the intestines with an enema activates the vagus. The caffeine stimulates intestinal motility by acting on the cholinergic receptors." He also states that "...enemas help develop positive plastic change in their vagal system pathways." In layman's terms this means that coffee enemas can help you overcome chronic constipation by changing the signals your intestines receive from your brain. Once your brain begins communicating normal bowel motility again, then changes start to occur towards more frequent bowel movements.
If you or someone you know suffers from constipation that hasn't been resolved through conventional approaches, then coffee enemas may offer a solution. If neurological or autoimmune conditions are present, then performing enemas under medical supervision is advisable. Discuss your wishes with your MD or ND to find out if there is any reason you shouldn't try coffee enemas.
Thinking this might be an option for you or a loved one? Talk to your doctor.
Have you ever tried any kind of enema? What were your results?
Happy, Healthy Pooping!