CONSTIPATION:  Reasons & Remedies

Catherine Stack 2022

Last month I discussed the top 10 side effects of being constipated that you many have not been aware of.  Because so many individuals are constipated for different reasons, the answers on how to turn this uncomfortable situation around are not a one size fits all solution.

Many individuals suffer from acute constipation, or rather, infrequent episodes that occur when they get out of their normal routine.  Travel is a common cause of this, as are surgical procedures and pain medications.  The acutely constipated individual will typically respond well to the very infrequent use of an over-the-counter laxative, stool softener, or enema.  This very infrequent use will have no untoward effect.  Being constipated is far more problematic.  

Now for the rest of you.  I assume many of the acutely constipated people described above are more chronically constipated than they think.  So listen up as you probably have much to gain from what I will be suggesting below.  I have been treating constipated individuals for over 15 years and this is what I have come to know from the hundreds of patients who have taught me.  This information does not come in medical training or even in my holistic training.  I am currently attempting to write a course for all healthcare providers on the topic as there is little guidance for them.  The problem I am facing is that all the research studies involve prescription medications, not magnesium or herbal remedies.  Colon hydrotherapy has been the most effective tool I have ever witnessed to help turn things around permanently, and yet you won’t find studies on this either as it is often shrugged off as one of those woo-woo therapies.  There is no financial gain to studies that don't involve pharmaceuticals or possible medical intervention.  I have hundreds of cases.  I still hear patients telling me their doctor said colon hydrotherapy (colonics) would deplete healthy bacteria or cause harm.  I adamantly disagree as this has been the most help many of my patients have received, even after the specialist visits have been exhausted.   The constipated individual rarely has an abundant supply of healthy bacteria and as I stated before, being constipated is far more problematic, not to mention, downright uncomfortable.  A properly trained colon hydrotherapist will not cause harm as he or she is well versed in who is a candidate for this therapy.  

Chronic constipation will rarely respond to drinking more water and eating more fiber.  Fiber can actually backfire leaving the constipated individual feeling even more uncomfortable.  I do not recommend fiber supplements until things are moving well.  Then, it may help to prevent future back-ups.  Maybe.  


Clearing chronic constipation and healing a damaged gut is often a journey full of trial and error, and lots of commitment.  Here are the most common mistakes I see when it comes to resolving chronic constipation:


  1. Relying on laxatives for a long term solution

  2. Not getting to or even trying to find the root cause of the problem and settling for a diagnosis of IBS

  3. Expecting complete resolution or recovery in 30 days when you have been suffering for longer than you can remember

  4. Expecting dietary changes to solve everything

  5. Not realizing that stress and anxiety play a huge role in gut health.  

  6. Trying a new remedy and expecting it to work continuously 



Based on my own observations and assessments, it is estimated that 15% of chronically constipated individuals are likely to be anatomically incorrect which predisposes them to long-term constipation.  These individuals will tell you that they have had issues as far back as they can remember.  If you have had a colonoscopy, terms such as, tortuous bowel or elongated bowel might be terms you are familiar with.  These are the most difficult to treat.  


For this group, switching things up is the absolute key to success.  Yes, it can be tedious but you have so much to gain.  Their remedies will go something like this:  Magnesium citrate (capsule or powder) 800mg - 1200mg every night.  Magnesium is the staple.  This is safe to use every night and will likely resolve constipation issues in most people.  This will not cause melanosis coli (darkening of the lining of the colon) like regular laxative use will, is easily excreted via the kidneys, and if you take too much, you’ll have diarrhea.  Oh, happy day!  


Supplements to switch up would include Aloe Ferox (Cape Aloe), Smooth Move tea, Kondremul Oil, Mag07, a vitamin C flush, and some of the over-the-counter supplements that contain senna and or cascara.  By switching things up, you keep your body guessing and moving.  This will also help prevent the complications from laxative abuse.  If you don’t keep ahead of the situation or keep things the same, your body will easily slip back into the uncomfortable state of constipation.  For more specific tips and advice, visit


Dietary advice is simple.  Steer clear of dairy (yes, even yogurt) if you suffer from constipation.  Add flaxseed and or chia seed into your daily intake.  Of course, I highly recommend fruits and vegetables to be the bulk of your diet.  


Feel free to email me with any questions you may have at


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