Constipation Clarity with PCOS: 5 Steps to Fix Your Digestion
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Constipation Clarity with PCOS: 5 Steps to Fix Your Digestion

Guest post by Dr. Marisol, ND

Constipation sucks. If you’ve spent any time sitting on the toilet, hoping and praying to be productive… or felt so “loaded” with a “foggy brain”, not quite understanding why your body is working against you and simply won’t let things go… “All that food is coming in, why on earth is it not coming out?! Where is it going, besides my thighs?!” Well, if you are feeling this, I’m here to tell you that you are NOT alone and there is help. I’ve been there too. PCOS and constipation go hand-in-hand.

Table of Contents:

  • A Worldwide Epidemic
  • How to Go From “Geez” to “Glorious”
  • The Presentation of PCOS
  • The Thyroid Connection
  • The Digestion Connection
  • Digestion Isn’t Only About How We Digest Our Food, But How We Digest Our LIVES!
  • Gut Bugs: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
  • What’s the Deal with Inflammation?
  • Your Stool Is the Tool
  • The 5 Steps to Resetting Digestion
  • PCOS Diva Digestion

PCOS and Constipation, a Worldwide Epidemic

Did you know that constipation is one of the world’s biggest health problems? 24% of the population has chronic constipation[1]. Many of us are suffering from being unable to go to the bathroom and the majority of us are women[2], just like yourself.

What increases a woman’s risk of being constipated? There are two factors which also play a big role in PCOS, a condition that affects 15-20% of women of reproductive age[3]– very similar stats to those having to do with constipation.

#1: A heavier body weight or BMI[4]

#2: Hypothyroid or subclinical hypothyroid

This becomes very interesting to PCOS Divas specifically, because having problems with your thyroid not only increases your risk of having constipation, but it also lowers your ability to get pregnant[5]. Plus, SO many symptoms of a low functioning thyroid are often seen in women with PCOS, namely constipation, hair, nails and skin dryness, and hair loss.

How to Go From “Geez” to “Glorious”

So, what is the solution? Do we work at altering our hormones? Or do we get the bowels moving? In my personal and professional experience, health begins in the digestive system and in your guts. The only way to go from “geez” to “glorious” is to go for your guts. Let’s delve deeper into this.

The Presentation of PCOS

When a woman comes to see me in my practice and presents as slightly overweight, may have signs of facial hair, hair loss, or the lateral edges of her eyebrows are thinning, and she’s having problems getting pregnant, of course the first thing that comes to mind is PCOS. But the second most important thing is that I can almost guarantee that they are not going to the bathroom properly and that they also have a thyroid problem.

The Thyroid Connection

How can I so confidently assume that? Because so many of the symptoms and problems with having PCOS are intimately related to having a low or “slow, sluggish” thyroid gland. This is because the hormonal orchestra that we have going on is complicated, but it always sings the same tune when it is not doing well.

When there is low thyroid function, metabolism is not functioning normally either. Many times, this can be due to elevated levels of estrogen in the body that increase thyroid-binding globulin, which then reduce the amount of free T4 in the body[6]. This reduces the function and workability of your metabolism.

The Digestion Connection

A low functioning thyroid also causes shifts in how we utilize food and get nourished. This occurs as a protection mechanism for the body. This makes us gain and store fat in our bellies and back, our bowels tend to be very, very sluggish, and this just contributes to our overall hormonal imbalance.

Typically, a low thyroid is seen in periods of stress, so the body’s last priority is having optimal metabolism or procreating. It is simply trying to survive on the least possible energy expenditure. This make you SLUGGISH, SLOW, and all of your body functions follow suit. For us, it’s not about working through the hormones, it’s about getting to the root cause of the problem, which is ultimately how we are digesting and absorbing our lives.

Digestion Isn’t Only About How We Digest Our Food, But How We Digest Our LIVES!

I say us, because I’m not only talking as a doctor here, but also as someone who was diagnosed with PCOS in my late 20’s. Change of lifestyle, diet, and fixing up my digestion (I was suffering with an irritable bowel that kept me switching between chronic constipation and stressful diarrhea) has given me the wings to flow into my 40’s symptom-free and relieved of my diagnosis of PCOS and constipation. In essence, through healing my gut, I fixed my hormonal problems!

I have seen this happen thousands of times. Will it happen for you? It’s hard to say. It depends on if you have the want and the will to change, to live the best life you possibly can and achieve your dreams. It’s kind of like how with men, the saying goes, “the way to their heart is through their stomach.” For women, the way to our hormones is through our gut.

Gut Bugs: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It sounds too good to be true, but it really isn’t. You see, your body is an ecosystem, a garden with many elements that have to work together in order to function well.

How can your hormones be in good shape if you can’t absorb the nutrients necessary to have your hormones work well? Nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and the B vitamins. In fact, women suffering with constipation are typically known to be stronger consumers of vitamins and supplements, because they know it helps[7].

How can a digestive tract that isn’t populated with healthy, symbiotic bacteria help you balance factors necessary for great hormonal health? Healthy bacteria in your digestive tract contributes to your levels of B vitamins. These good, health-promoting bugs actually make B vitamins for us!

But there’s the flip side too, bad bugs in our digestive tracts can deplete us of these essential, stress-relieving vitamins. Even worse, they create a barrier that prevents the good stuff from coming in. This is known as biofilm.

In addition, the good bugs help with metabolizing and eliminating excess hormones like estrogens, whereas unhealthy bacteria promotes female cancers[8].

What’s the Deal with Inflammation?

Inflammation in your gut is a major problem. A key sign is the belly fat you seem to constantly be gaining. It’s like having a big bad fire in your intestines that you can’t put out! Inflammation doesn’t let anything work well, and it makes the environment more opportunistic for bad microbes. Inflammation is also at the heart of most of your PCOS symptoms.

Your Stool Is the Tool

Simply not being able to poo can back up your ecosystem. Your stool is the tool that your body uses to get out that which it no longer needs. If you’re backed up, toxins can be recycled and circulated back into your body, increasing your estrogen, androgens, reducing your thyroid activity, and reabsorbing the gunk that was meant to leave your body. This in turn, further adds to your toxic load and messes with your PCOS. It promotes sluggishness and constipation. It’s a totally vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.

Add in stress to this little pile of poo, and that’s all you’ll have, a pile of poo, maybe every 3-4 days if you’re lucky. Stress not only can impact your ability to let it all go, literally, but it’ll also further deplete the oh-so-necessary vitamins and nutrients needed to get your gut in gear and your hormones happy.

It might seem like you just can’t win, but that my friends that ISN’T true. There is a way out of this vicious cycle. It just takes the right guidance and the right amount of practice. I know, only because I have lived it.

 

The 5 Steps to Resetting Digestion

So, how do we reset this ecosystem in our bodies back into shape?

Well, it all begins with getting your digestion on track.

There is a simple five-step starting plan to overcome your PCOS constipation. This is what I researched and developed to help myself, and it’s the first thing I do with all of my patients in order to get them on track during our first two visits.

  1. Practice the Pause

Learn the most important techniques to calm the nervous system down and practice the relaxed state. The relaxed state is where you heal and are healthy. The gut works best when relaxed.

Castor oil packs are my favorite tool to use in this phase to reset your digestion and learn how to pause[9] [10]. It sounds simple, but we are a society addicted to the stressed-out state, so these packs are the very best tool to retrain our bodies. Learn more about castor oil packs here.

PCOS constipation

2. Diligent Digestion

This step includes implementing techniques that optimize your digestion. These are simple and easy to add into your everyday routine, right before you eat.

  1. Anoint & Alkalinize to Absorb

Choosing alkalinizing foods helps to keep your digestion in gear, indigestion out of the way, and bloating and inflammation down to a minimum.

This step includes tips and tricks to keep you pooping like a queen. Not only the physical means by which to do it, like the supplements that are best for it, but what also learning what the standard is for a great poop and what your present stools say about you.

4. Easy Elimination

This step includes tips and tricks to keep you pooping like a queen. Not only the physical means by which to do it, like the supplements that are best for it, but what also learning what the standard is for a great poop and what your present stools say about you.

  1. Tone your Tummy

Of course, no digestive program is complete without addressing how to get your tummy toned in time for summer! No, it isn’t an endless number of crunches. This step includes the ever-important probiotics and rules for food choices.

This five-step approach was how I started to get my life back on track. Using simple and easy techniques that have proven themselves time and time again seems to be the best way to rebalance.

I’ve used this on every single one of my patients. Many don’t even know they are doing it because in my clinical practice, it is a simple discussion and guidance to work through these five principles.

I’ve found mastering these principles, take under one hour to learn and approximately the same time that it takes to develop a solid habit that will become second nature to your life.

PCOS Diva Digestion

Unfortunately, I cannot meet every woman with troubled digestion in my office. This is why, Amy, founder of PCOS Diva and I created this program for you, PCOS Diva Digestion. Both of us have suffered with PCOS and constipation, and we don’t want you to do the same. In fact, we want you to THRIVE and not just survive.

So, if you have felt touched or in tune with what I’ve been saying in this blog, take action! Let’s start fresh! In just 1 hour you can learn these 5 most important things that you can do to change your guts and change your life.

Click here to learn more.

PCOS constipation

 

Dr. Marisol, ND is a world leader renowned for her passion for cleansing and gut health, not only because she has the degree on the wall but more so because she’s experienced feeling shitty and figured out the hierarchy of how to get healthy. Crowned the Queen of the Thrones™, for over 15 years she has trained and educated healthcare practitioners and has helped thousands of patients transition from “Sh*t Show” to “Owning Their Throne”. Dr. Marisol directs and practices at Sanas Health Practice in Canada. She has spearheaded PuraSanas health supplements and invented the Queen of the Thrones Organic Castor Oil Pack™ and line of products. Thelaunch of her first book, “Oh, Sh*t!”, along with her educational conferences and programs,heralds her championing you to become your legend. Join her movement and help her to achieve her goal of being in 1 billion bathrooms by 2020. We can do it!

 

References:

[1]Werth BL1, Williams KA2, Fisher MJ3, Pont LG3,2. Defining constipation to estimate its prevalence in the community: results from a national survey. BMC Gastroenterol. 2019 May 21;19(1):75. doi: 10.1186/s12876-019-0994-0.

[2]Bardsley A1. Assessment and treatment options for patients with constipation. Br J Nurs. 2017 Mar 23;26(6):312-318. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2017.26.6.312.

[3] March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod. (2010) 25:544–51. 10.1093/humrep/dep399

[4]Carter D1,2, Bardan E3,4, Maradey-Romero C3. Clinical and physiological risk factors for fecal incontinence in chronically constipated women. Tech Coloproctol. 2019 Apr 23. doi: 10.1007/s10151-019-01985-0. [Epub ahead of print]

[5]Mintziori G1, Goulis DG, Kolibianakis EM. Thyroid function and IVF outcome: when to investigate and when to intervene?Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jun;28(3):191-7. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000263.

[6]Mazer NA1. Interaction of estrogen therapy and thyroid hormone replacement in postmenopausal women.Thyroid. 2004;14 Suppl 1:S27-34.

[7]Sibbritt D1, Peng W1, Chang S1, Liang H2, Adams J3. The use of conventional and complementary health services and self-prescribed treatments amongst young women with constipation: An Australian national cohort study. Dig Liver Dis. 2016 Nov;48(11):1308-1313. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2016.07.017. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

[8]Kwa M1, Plottel CS1, Blaser MJ1, Adams SThe Intestinal Microbiome and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Female Breast Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Apr 22;108(8). doi: 10.1093/jnci/djw029. Print 2016 Aug.

[9] Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

[10] Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

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