The Constipation Chronicles

It’s Officially Summer!

Uh-huh, those heat waves in the Midwest millions of us were experiencing earlier this week was just some temperate spring weather, now comes the real heat. Before it was just the sun dipping its toe in our atmosphere if you will. And on the topic of discomfort and lots of sweat, let’s talk number 2– like, going number 2. 

Feeling a little backed up lately? Well first off, don’t worry. If life’s taught us anything it’s that we’ve probably all been there, and we wouldn’t trust someone who says they haven’t! This week’s newsletter tackles a topic that’s not exactly for the dinner table, but is super important nonetheless: constipation. It’s all about completing the cycle—what goes in must come out. For you physicists out there, it’s like the continuity equation in fluid dynamics, but you know, simpler. 

Without further ado, let’s see how we can return nature’s call.

      🚽 The Constipation Conundrum

      🥝 Fiber Up!

      🅱️ Plan B

      🏁 A Smooth Finish

The Constipation Conundrum

Constipation is more common than you might think. Roughly 10-20% of Americans are affected by this stubborn situation at any give time. So hey, if you have an important speech, instead of imagining everyone naked, why not just remind yourself that theres more than a few out in that crowd who aren’t laying bricks? It’s more civilized right?

To understand why you may be having this problem, you first must ask yourself: Do you have a balanced diet? Are you exercising enough? Are you sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? And the thing is, even if you’re doing all of these, you still might struggle going number 2. But here’s the good news: certain minerals can play a significant role in alleviating this uncomfortable condition. But before we get to explaining minerals as a fail safe, there are still some options to help you out.


Fiber Up!

We’ll all heard it before, and that’s because it’s true. Fiber, an essential nutrient, is the star of the show when it comes to constipation. But like Steve Job’s “one more thing” bit, fiber too has a trick up its sleeve. First you have to know that fiber is usually categorized into two groups, based on solubility:  

  • Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material.
  • Soluble fiber: This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk.

That said, most fiber-rich foods contain a mixture of insoluble and soluble fiber in varying proportions. Even though your body can’t digest fiber, eating enough of it is very important for your gut health. Insoluble fiber bulks up your stool and acts like a brush, sweeping through your bowels to get everything out and keep things moving. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance. As you can imagine, this helps your stool pass smoothly through your bowels and improves its form and consistency.

Now, the trick? Well it’s more like a catch. Fiber will help your constipation, but only if you have enough water. This may be the most important takeaway from this section. Increasing fiber without adequate water can lead to hard, bulky stools that are difficult to pass, potentially causing or worsening constipation. The best way to drink enough water in our experience is to always have a water bottle handy, that way, as lazy as it might seem, you don’t have to get up to get your water.

A Quick Note on Stress:

Even with good fiber, proper hydration, sleep exercise… all of it– you might still have constipation. The culprit for this may be none other than stress. Stress intervenes in pretty much every bodily function, which means if you have a thick forehead vein popping out from stress it may be the reason for constipation, and probably much more. 

Stress and constipation often go hand-in-hand. Stress can cause the muscles in the digestive tract to contract irregularly. Normally, coordinated muscle contractions, called peristalsis, move food and waste through the digestive system (no, gravity doesn’t move food down your pipes). Under stress, these contractions can become spasmodic and uncoordinated, leading to sluggish movement of contents through the intestines.

Plan B

If all else, fails, there is indeed an effective and natural plan B. You probably saw it coming from a mile away, but yes, minerals have a lot to do with your digestive health. The role of electrolytes acting as osmotic laxatives is what we are really looking at. FYI— osmotic is just a biologists’ way of saying how water moves from one part to another through membranes. Laxative, well you know the rest. Let us explain. 

When you ingest a high concentration of an electrolyte, in this case magnesium, it works as an osmotic laxative. An osmotic laxatives works by creating a hypertonic environment (this means the solution has more electrolytes compared to the fluid inside the intestinal cells) in the intestines. This hypertonic solution draws water into the intestines via osmosis, softening the stool, increasing its volume, and promoting bowel movements to alleviate constipation.

A Smooth Finish

So, where do you get these minerals? Well, a good start is looking through your pantry for foods rich in these minerals. But hey, we get it, a perfectly balanced diet revolves around a strict, calorie counting, and may we say, daunting daily task– stripping both time and patience from you. Our solution? Well needless to say OmniBlue’s liquid minerals have 100% of your daily intake of magnesium. Do we really need to say more? And before you worry about a mineral imbalance, remember that they also contain over 70 minerals. 

Now, let’s wrap this up with a wink and a nod to our newfound knowledge. Remember, your gut is like that temperamental friend who just needs a little extra love and attention. Give it the right nutrients with a balanced diet, and it’ll reward you with smooth sailing ahead. Ignore it, and well, you know how that story ends. So raise your glass of mineral-rich water, and toast to a future where the bathroom is a place of quick visits and smooth exits. 

Here’s to a healthier, happier you—inside and out!

Before you close this email, we want to thank our readers for your continued support through The 8%’s short life so far. We look forward to diving deep into the summer season, and bring you nutrition news you can swallow (pun absolutely intended). Happy summer and we’ll see you next week!

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