Constipation rarely happens out of the blue in
otherwise healthy adults. It is
usually preceded by decades of semi-regular stools that are either
too large, or too hard, or both. These abnormal stools cause gradual
nerve damage and enlargement of the colon, rectum, and
hemorrhoidal pads until one day the bowels refuse to move as was meant by
nature — once or twice daily, usually after a meal, and with zero effort
or notice. Therefore, it's best to recognize and eliminate abnormal
stools long before they
bite you in the ass, literally and figuratively.
If your BSF type isn't right, begin the recovery
process by reviewing the answers to the questions on this page. It represents
the most comprehensive and up-to-date compendium of hard-to-find
information about constipation and related complications than any other
resource off or on line.
Please select the question
that best describes your particular concerns and circumstances, and
follow up with recommended links. Use the Backspace key to return to
What is the best diet for constipation relief?
The best diet to prevent constipation is a diet low in
fiber in order to maintain small and light stools, and moderate in fat
in order to stimulate the moving of the bowels. Dietary fat is
the only substance that initiates the action that precedes bowel
movements. You can learn more about the role of fat in the physiology of
the bowel movement on this page: Why Do Some Foods Cause Constipation?
For the record, I am not endorsing or recommending
high-fat diets along the lines of Dr. Atkins. Just like high-carbs,
high-fat diets contribute to obesity, hypertension, and heart disease
because 95% to 98% of all fats get digested, and fat carries 225%
the energy content of carbohydrates. In addition, practically all processed
vegetable fats are toxic and potentially carcinogenic to humans.
I am also not endorsing or recommending low-fat diets
along the lines of Dr. Ornish. Low fat diets of any kind cause severe
digestive and metabolic disorders, and contribute to cardiovascular
disease, hypertension, depression, cancers, infertility, osteoporosis,
osteoarthritis, periodontal disease, tooth loss, premature aging, and a
host of other degenerative disorders.
I do recommend a diet moderate in animal fat along the lines of
the USDA Daily Recommended Allowances (DRA) of about 1 g of fat per 1 kg of
body weight. This amount should be increased for growing children,
people who are underweight, pregnant women, seniors, while
recovering from a disease, and similar circumstances. I describe the
reasons behind these recommendations on this page: The Ingredients of
Why does hot weather cause constipation?
High temperature, especially when combined with dry
air, causes rapid and insidious loss of body fluids and sodium with
perspiration. To alleviate dehydration, the body removes moisture and
sodium from digestive fluids and stools, turning them dry, hard, and
difficult to move without pain.
Also, when stools become small and dry, you aren't
likely to experience the urge to move the bowels, making an already bad
situation worse. In some instances rapid dehydration may also cause
diarrhea, that will further disrupt normal bowel movements. I explain
the reasons behind this phenomenon here.
To prevent dehydration, keep yourself well hydrated in
drinking mineral (hard) water with added salt (1/2 to 1 teaspoon for each
250 ml glass), a solution known as isotonic or slightly hypertonic.
You should also drink it on an empty stomach, otherwise the
water will not reach the intestines quickly enough, and, when in excess,
may cause vomiting. Do not drink too much and too quickly, otherwise you
may stimulate precipitous urination, causing yourself a loss of potassium,
a mineral that is also essential for retaining moisture in stools.
If your stools are already hard and dry, avoid
straining to prevent anorectal tear, abrasion, and ensuing blood loss.
Instead, use Hydro-C Colonic
Moisturizer to break down and dissolve hard stools, and to safely
evacuate them. You may need several repeated applications to 'cleanse
out' the bowels.
If stools remain hard and dry (type
1 on BSF scale) even after you are properly hydrated, it means there
aren't enough bacteria in your gut to retain water in your stools. In this
case review the Restoring Intestinal
Flora page, and use the Colorectal Recovery Kit to restore intestinal flora.
Can constipation cause acne?
No, not directly. Indirectly, however, constipation is
one of the outcomes of a high-fiber diet that is behind elevated
triglycerides — a high level of fatty acids in the blood. These fatty
acids are formed by the liver from excess blood sugars (glucose,
fructose, and glucose), and are further augmented by vegetable fats from
dressings, fried food, and the like. In turn, blood sugars come from
excess carbohydrates that accompany fiber, usually 5 to 10 times as many
Since young people can't yet efficiently deposit
excessive triglycerides into the adipose (fat) tissue, these fats are being
'pushed out' through the sebaceous glands, making the facial skin fat and
dry because excess fat blocks moisture.
When some of the sebaceous glands get clogged by excess
fat, they provide a perfect breeding ground for trapped
bacteria because some bacteria love to devour acidic fats. The ensuing
eruption caused by the byproducts of bacterial fermentation become
So, why, then, do not all teenagers who are constipated
develop acne, and why are not all who have acne constipated? Well, there
are many other factors behind either constipation or acne. A high-fiber
diet is only one commonality among all these factors.
Thus, reducing fiber and carbohydrates consumption may
help to relieve constipation by making stools small, and eliminate acne by
reducing elevated triglycerides. Obviously, you should also pay
attention to all other contributing factors, such as proper skin hygiene in
the case of acne, disbacteriosis in the case of constipation, and so on.
What are the causes of constipation during pregnancy?
The uterus is located in the abdominal cavity along
with tightly packed small and large intestines. As the uterus expands in
size and weight, the outward pressure in all directions compresses the
intestines and the stomach, and this pressure interferes with the
mechanical aspect of gastric digestion (stomach's contraction and
expansion) and the propulsion of chyme (digestive mass) through the
Also, because the relentless pressure has a stimulating
effect on the intestines, similar to the gastrocolic reflex, the peripheral
nervous system adapts by suppressing it somewhat, so you end up missing
bowel movements, and making an already bad situation worse.
If you follow the standard medical advice regarding pregnancy-related
constipation, and add more fiber and fluids into the mix, you'll
accomplish the complete opposite effect — a constipation even more
severe. Fiber is well known for causing obstructions in absolutely
healthy adults. Just imagine how easily it can obstruct an already
squeezed intestine during pregnancy.
fermentation will cause even more interference with peristalsis and
motility by causing acidity-related inflammation and ensuing bloating
from trapped gases.
In general terms, women who
become constipated during pregnancy have likely been affected by latent constipation prior to the pregnancy. Ideally, you should eliminate this condition
before the pregnancy in order to prevent constipation from ruining one
of the life's most beautiful experiences, as well as preventing
colorectal damage from straining and avoiding fetus damage from
malnutrition caused by intestinal inflammation. To eliminate
constipation prior to pregnancy, start here: No Downsize,
Since most medicinal laxatives are potentially
teratogenic (may negatively affect fetus development), consider using Hydro-C instead in order to keep
stools small, moist, and easy to pass. Make sure to consult your
doctor before using this or any other supplement, particularly during
the first trimester.
Why does constipation cause chronic fatigue?
In general terms, constipation is the tip of the
iceberg in a long chain of digestive disorders, particularly
malnutrition caused by fiber. If you doubt fiber's ability to cause
malnutrition, ask yourself this question: Why do fiber supplements
assist in weight loss?
The answer: by blocking the absorption of fats, of
course. Alas, by blocking the absorption of fats, you also block the
absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and minerals, such as
calcium and magnesium because they depend on these vitamins for their
own assimilation. A deficiency of these minerals, in turn, causes
circulation and muscle tissue problems that are partially behind chronic
Here is another example: the fermentation of fiber
and the rotting of undigested proteins produce toxic substances, such
as methanol and cadaverine, that get assimilated into the blood, and
cause severe fatigue.
You should also investigate
other malnutrition-related causes, such as non-iron dependent anemia,
metabolic disorders, and thyroid dysfunction that are also connected to fat
These are just three examples.
Eliminating fiber and constipation may help a great deal, and your
doctor may help you to diagnose and eliminate other problems, such as
chronic infections, cardiovascular diseases, hypoglycemia, side effects
of medicines, and numerous others.
Can constipation reduce my immunity?
Yes, absolutely. The intestinal flora is responsible
for maintaining the non-specific primary immune response, or
phagocytosis — a major function of the immune system used to remove cell
debris, viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells. Since constipation is
commonly associated with missing or damaged bacteria, you can pretty
much add ‘one and one‘ to realize the impact of constipation on your
If you read most of this page, you must also realize
that chronic constipation is also behind the toxins related to
fermentation of carbohydrates, the rotting of proteins, and the inflammation of the bowels in
different degrees of severity. Naturally, all three conditions depress and
'subdue' an already weakened immunity, leaving you more exposed to other
Eliminating disbacteriosis kills, figuratively
speaking, a bunch of birds in one shot: protects the mucosal membrane of
the large intestine from various pathogens, including cancer-causing;
normalizes stools and relieves constipation, recharges primary immunity,
resumes the synthesis of several essential vitamins, and eliminates the
dependence on fiber to move the bowels
You can learn more about the
functions of intestinal flora on this page: Restoring Intestinal Flora.
Can constipation cause bad mouth odor?
Yes, it can, but not in the ways you may think it does
because there is a significant disconnect between the foul smell of
stools and mouth odor.
In general, bad mouth odor, or halitosis, is caused by
dental caries, periodontal disease, and sulfur-producing bacteria in the
oral cavity. So, you must concentrate first on taking care of these
Here is where the connection takes place... Intestinal
bacteria synthesize vitamin K, which is responsible for blood
coagulation. When the said bacteria are missing, you are likely to
experience gum bleeding, gingivitis, and periodontal disease — the three
conditions that precipitate inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues
that surround and support the teeth, or periodontium.
As gingivitis progresses, subgingival (under the gum)
bacteria colonize the inflamed periodontal pockets and cause the
progressive bone loss that is behind tooth loss in the long term, while
the byproducts of bacterial action cause the foul odor.
You can treat periodontal disease all you want, but it will not entirely
go away until your restored intestinal flora start producing
vitamin K again to enable blood coagulation and healing.
This is, of course, only one aspect of preventing
periodontal disease, tooth loss, and halitosis. But, still, it is a big
one, and here is your indirect connection to bad mouth odor.
If you have a general (not
personal) question about constipation that wasn't answered on this or
related pages, please contact me here,
and I'll be glad to add your question to this page.
constipation... What's the point in knowing all this?
Even though the end results of constipation are all the
same — painful hemorrhoids, suffering from bloating and flatulence,
bleeding from anal fissures, severe cramping before and during a
period, or emergency surgery for appendicitis or diverticulitis, there
are gender, age, diet, stage, and lifestyle differences that make each
particular case of constipation different from another one.
These distinctions are important for the following
— Anticipation and prevention. If, for
example, you know that you have a propensity for getting costive while
travelling, now you know how to avoid ruining your trip.
— Treatment tailored to age, gender, health,
and diet. A high-fiber diet in young adults may, indeed, produce
quick and lasting constipation relief because they still have supple and
undamaged bowels. The exact same diet in young children or older adults
will produce a complete wreck because the expansion of the fiber
overpowers the tiny bowels of children, and the worn out bowels of
— Recognition of underlying causes to
implement a meaningful and working prevention. Sure, you can use Hydro-C
to find quick relief, but for as long as the underlying causes of
constipation are left in place — high fiber diet, the suppression of
bowel movements, straining, disbacteriosis, or mineral deficiency —
you'll still be dependent on some kind of palliative to move the bowels,
and the damage will continue to accrue.
— Gender-specific differences. Women
should pay much more attention to constipation than men because of the
particulars of the respective anatomy, plus periods, pregnancy,
delivery, and lactation place an additional toll on the female digestive
system. If you don't account for these differences, a 'one-size-fits'
all treatment isn't likely going to help.
— Age-related difference. As people get
older, the digestive organs undergo a substantial transformation,
particularly on a high-fiber diet. Constipation relief isn't possible
without accounting for this transformation, particularly in terms of
expectations of 'normality.' For example, while it is abnormal for a 25
year old to move the bowels less than once or twice a day, it may be
absolutely normal for a healthy senior because his/her intestinal
peristalsis isn't as efficient as that of a young man/woman.
— Recognition of the psychosomatic factors that influence the etiology of constipation. Finally, psychology plays a
huge role in constipation because the very last act of moving the bowels
— letting it go — can be controlled and... suppressed at will. Sure, the
ability to withhold moving the bowels is an absolutely essential trait
for city dwellers, but, unfortunately, taken too far, it is behind many
cases of chronic constipation.
If you ignore all of the above factors, circumstances,
and considerations, and treat all kinds of constipation with a
one-size-fits all approach, such as “don't worry, eat more fiber, drink
more water, and exercise the abdominal muscles,” you aren't only
destined to fail, but will also turn a temporary (functional) and
reversible condition into a permanent (organic) and irreversible one.
Fortunately, now you have at your disposal this
phenomenal resource that will help you to turn any kind of constipation
from an obnoxious 'phenomenon' to a 'non-event.' Regretfully, I can't
add in that it takes 'no-time' because, alas, it does take time!
Wishing you and yours happy and easy BM‘s!