Cure Constipation: Remedies and Treatments: Q&A
- RETURN TO MAIN SECTION
- Constipation, Chemical Laxatives, and Hair Loss
- Is Wheat Grass Gluten Free?
- Problems with Constipation and Dull, Dry Skin
- Baby with Constipation
- Hard Stools Causing Anal Fissures
- Sudden Constipation and Fissure
- Treatments Helping, But Constipated
- Only Temporary Relief?
- Psyllium Addictive?
- Progesterone Related Constipation
- Lecithin and Fulvic Acid
- Hard Stools: Dietary Causes
Constipation, Chemical Laxatives, and Hair Loss
07/29/2013: VB from Texas, US: "Dear Ted, I am a 44 year old male from India, but am currently settled in Texas, US. I have two conditions I request your help for:
1) Constipation: I have had constipation since my teen age and?am habituated to laxative. I do not have bowel movement unless I use laxative. Previously I used to take chemical (allopathic) laxatives; now I have moved more to natural/herbal ones.
I am looking to cure the condition and restore my bowel so that I do not have to be dependent on any kind of outside aid for constipation. I shall be extremely grateful if you could help.
2) Hair loss: I lost a lot of hair during 2009 to 2011 and most of it was from the frontal portion of my scalp. The hair loss has reduced to some extent since then (it's still not the way I would like it to be), but the hair I lost never grew back. Is there any natural treatment to regrow some or all the hair that I lost during those two years?
I shall greatly appreciate any help you may offer in regard to the above two issues."
08/25/2013: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "The bowel issue is one of the most complex ones, but prebiotics have more effects on beneficial bacteria than the probiotics. The one thing that will help establish these is gum arabic, 4 grams blender mixed with 250 cc of water or hot water, until all gum arabic is dissolved.
Baking soda is the common remedy to relieve it. It also is found that getting enough water relieves constipation, especially by drinking enough water during the morning hours. The bowel movement requires basically hydraulic pressure to get the stools out and this is why having sufficient liquids is necessary. The slippage is also necessary along the intestinal tract such as alkalization, having sufficient potassium is the most common problem I have seen in people with constipation. As if there is this fear against the use of potassium. For people with normal kidneys this is no problem. Having the potassium requires to take regular over a month, if the remedy requires 1/2 teaspoon taken only at night, however if a person has low blood pressure, then must always be taking with sea salt, at least 1/4 teaspoon once or twice a day to keep the sodium and potassium balance. The antidote for too much potassium is simple, take 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt if potassium is causing problem, and the side effects will be relieved in 5 minutes. In fact the effects of any natural treatment for most disorders takes generally 5 minutes, such as heart problems, muscle pain, headaches, etc to be relieved except chronic constipation. I have seen a 19 year old girl with constipation taking potassium citrate take up to 1 teaspoon after meals three times a day to get her potassium to normal to cure her constipation. I have seen ICU patients take 1/2 teaspoon every hour throughout 24 hours to get?her blood potassium to normal. So potassium is somewhat as big a deficiency?as magnesium. Magnesium also helps with constipation, but taken in a much smaller dose, such as 8 drops two times a day, but in people with constipation it needs 15 drops three times a day, not to resolve the constipation but to resolve?a deficiency. The other common problem is B6 deficiency which leads to lack of stomach acid so take it three times a day.
Is Wheat Grass Gluten Free?
07/15/2012: Hema from New York, Ny: "This is Hema again. Thanks Ed for replied me back. I have question for you for using wheat grass for my constipation. I do not have celiac disease but whenever I eat any gluten products I have problems now a days. Specially back pain and constipation. Is it wheat grass gluten free?"
07/16/2012: Ed2010 from Oakville, Canada replies: "No, wheat grass juice does not contain Gluten, It is gluten free. Wheat Grass juice can cure many diseases anemia, cancer, leaky gut syndrom, ulcers, bowel inflammation, crohn's.
Wheat Grass Juice contains amino acids, minerals especially Magnesium. It contains Chlorophyll the reason for the green color. Chlorophyll is the healer and rejuvenator.
Dosage: Take 15 ml wheat grass juice with 50 ml water drink in the morning empty stomach, so it coats from esophagus to intestines. Don't drink or eat anything for 30 mins after that.
Similarly evening take the same morning dose. Higher doses will cause loose stools or diarrhea.
If you can't prepare wheat grass juice, just google [wheat grass].
Refering to your previous thread, Take Ted's ACV and baking formula for constipation.
pls give your feedback. thanks"
Problems with Constipation and Dull, Dry Skin
02/22/2012: Sahar from Islamabad, Kohat, Pakistan: "My name is Sahar, Age:21 Gender:Female Race/Ethnicity:Normal Blood Type:O positive General Health/Weight:Not good..../45
I have such a problem of constipation and dry skin looking dull I am really worried about- kindly help me plz."
03/25/2013: Anne from Psl, Fl replies: "I would have your thyroid checked."
Baby with Constipation
06/28/2008: Ron : "My sister has a baby boy and after 6 months is starting to eat food, and with that has become constipated for the past 6 days, I hope you have some insight on this problem, I don't know what to suggest or do. Let me know what you think. Thanks in advance."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Basically a very small pinch of sea salt and baking soda will help reduce constipation. Sometimes the digestive system if it lacks potassium can lead to constipation also.
Another possibility is a tiny pinch (such as 1/16 teaspoon of each) of potassium bicarbonate and baking soda mixed in a food will help too.
I have found that potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate normalizes bowel movements and reduced the constipation. However, I can't quite possibly cover every factor causing constipation. One little known cause is dried foods, fried foods, for example can lead to constipation in babies. This is why baby foods are soup like in nature. We know quite a great deal about health aspect, but people don't reflect on what they have experienced. Interestingly common table salt leads to constipation, while sea salt doesn't. The reason may have been the additives such as aluminum silicate that's added in common table salt. This is why sea salt is generally substituted for common table salt. Lack of carbonates, which are poorly absorbed (calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate) pulls liquids towards the gut instead of drying. Fiber rich foods are poorly absorb and pulls moisture to some extent, and if digested food is not dry because there were plenty of liquids, then constipation won't occur.
The cause of constipation is usually acid forming food and lack of electrolyte imbalances. While popularly, lack of fibers in food leads to constipation, it's not the only factor that leads to constipation. Hence, baking soda, potassium bicarbonate, and fiber foods are most helpful.
It's important to realize that baby foods are generally soft and mushed up which prevents constipation. A baby won't have many teeth to chew on and hence a well chopped up food, with plenty of water added to the food will also help reduce constipation.
In the adult world, we eat too fast, don't chew enough. This leads to constipation too. But our own bad habits of eating acid forming foods, lack of bicarbonates, lack of potassium, don't drink enough water during eating are also the other cause. The differences between a baby and adults are few, the babies have fewer teeth and can't chew, while some adults are in a hurry. So the constipation is for different reasons, but the results are the same.
Perhaps gelatin or agar may also maintain proper moisture of the gut and prevent drying and hence, enough lubrication exists that it won't cause constipation. Since coconut oil is poorly absorbed, adding a tiny amount of coconut oil will act as intestinal lubricant to prevent constipation."
Hard Stools Causing Anal Fissures
02/06/2008: Tina : "HELLO ted, what a wonderful contribution you make worldwide through your site. Thank you! if you can help me out i will be forever indebted to you. i am in my mid-thirties, 209 lb woman, who is suffering from very painful anal fissures, with bleeding after each bowel movement. Please note, i pass a bowel movement once per day, but it is extremely hard, and very, very painful, especially the first part. i am consuming fiber supplements, taking magnesium, prune juice, flax seeds, in addition to vegs and fruits, but cannot find any relief.
i also take avc and baking soda 3 times a day, and lecithin granules with meals. have replaced all table salt with sea salt too, but do not understand what is still wrong. doctors have run various tests but all results are ok. can you please provide some advise? PLEASE thank you so very much tina"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Tina: Luckily it's not my website, or else it would be an administrative nightmare for me trying to maintain the website!
As to the hard stool, this very much depends on what you eat. One simple way to soften the stool, is to simply eat spaghetti with tomato sauce and perhaps some other similar food that will help. This I know because of past experience.
In case the weight is large, the body's metabolic acidosis is relatively high, constipation is a problem, much water retention, the fact that intestines is absorbing MOST OF THE WATER, is a sign of the body is in a state of high chlorine, chlorides, fluorides, bromine, halogens and the body is desperately trying to maintain or get more alkaline metal sodium while trying to eliminate the chlorides and other halogens.
Therefore, to neutralize the chlorides and oxidative chemicals, a dechlorinator, of sodium thiosulfate and taking twice or more baking soda can handle most of the problem. Baking soda by the way is a laxative. Once the body can get the required sodium and some potassium does the intestines give up water.
I remember a case of a a person who wants to kill the Epstein Barr Virus, so she can have sufficient energy to go to work due to two decades of no work and had to take one teaspoon ever so often of baking soda causing her to have a laxative effect and frequent toilet breaks, but for this person it was a lot better than no energy at all. By the way EBV major weakness is alkaline, although there are other stronger alkaline that won't have laxative effect, but in this case it is the laxative effect of baking soda that I want to soften the hard stools, not killing off the EBV.
The sodium thiosulfate basically reduces oxidative chemicals in the body which is blocking normal pH.
It should be noted that baking soda is a laxative. Since chlorides is needed to be reduced, and a sodium ratio has to be higher than a chloride ratio to reduce water retention - yes this is how it works! A laxative effect of a baking soda for a typical 100 pound woman is usually 1-2 teaspoon of baking soda. So assuming on a by weight basis a 200 pound woman may respond to a 2 -4 teaspoon of baking soda, keeping in line a minimum dose is usually the best policy for me.
So I will start out with 2 teaspoons first and wait for about six hours if it doesn't work and try another 2 teaspoons again. The alkalinity and concentration of the solution will draw the liquid out of the intestines to cause a laxative effect. Hence, in a 2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 glass of water is something I will use for emergencies.
The concentration is fairly high enough in a 1/2 glass of water to draw the liquids to cause a fluids to fill the intestines and soften the stool.
In the long run I may need to take more baking soda such as 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda taken 3 times or 4 times a day, on basis of weight, with some small amount of potassium such as 1/16 teaspoon of potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate. Of course this is all ball park figures, and most of the deciding depends on achieving a reasonably neutral urine pH close to 7.
Sometimes the high level of oxidative chemicals inside the body causes the body to retain excess fluids and a sodium thiosulfate in an emergency to get some laxative effect (only initially, but detoxifying) I can take one half to one teaspoon of 10% sodium thiosulfate solution in 1 glass of water to do the job. Sodium thiosulfate are harder to find in the States, so I guess a dechlorinator used in aquarium shops well labeled will do. It's not likely there will be any dechlorinator sold in drug stores, but they do sell it at a swimming pool supplier store.
Fruit juices will defeat the purpose, of alkalinity so this should be avoided as fructose causes insulin insensitivity, and may lead to higher urinary sugar level. The best way is anything that tastes sweet is likely to cause fluid retention, as same as chlorine, sulfites, bromine, alloxan (from white bread and white flour), aspartame and paint thinner.
Any oily foods should be minimized to reduce constipation EXCEPT for coconut oil. The reason why this happens is most oily foods have low melting temperature and gets absorbed into the blood stream and won't function as a lubricant. At the same time these very vegetable oils blocks hormonal actions, which further cause weight gain. Because coconut oil has high melting and boiling point these simply CAN'T be absorbed by the intestines mostly and hence acts as a lubricant.
The same principle holds for milk of magnesia where magnesium hydroxide is very poorly water soluble, so it pulls the fluids to the intestines. The milk of magnesia that I used has only magnesium hydroxide, some peppermint oil, and water. There should be no aluminum. I am somewhat leery of pharmaceuticals as sometimes they don't label the sweeteners by secretly adding aspartame and this can cause higher urinary sugar, followed by even more constipation, as it causes metabolic acidosis. Hence, I may have to call or telephone the manufacturers directly. The chemists have it all very easy, they buy magnesium hydroxide and mix with water and don't even have to worry about additive. On the consumer end the consumer products are adulterated with dangerous additive is one big problem.
Most polyol sugars, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are also laxatives too that can be used too.
Hence, I should generally avoid all sweets, while true that prune juice helps, I think most of the problems are the sweets in general, with exception of polyol sugars. To soften the stool at least for now, I should try to eat some spaghetti and tomato sauce, home cooked, and add some white beans to help with weight loss too. White kidney extract beans basically blocks the breakdown of starches into sugar which is how it reduces weight. Chromium picolinate (I prefer chromium polynicotinate) for example are commonly added, such as 1000 mcg to 2000 mcg to help reduce blood sugar which prevent weight gain. A good lubricant is always coconut oil, which allows for passing of the stool easier, but not softening them up. Vegetable oils in general defeat its purpose and may worsen the condition. They are o.k. to use as a supplement, but it may not have a laxative effect.
As an important point, if the baking soda was TAKEN during eating of food, it helps A LOT to pass on the stools FASTER. Hence a baking soda if I add one teaspoon and take it along with my food with every meal, the stools may liquefy. Of couse this is a general emergency measures for me and I may generally might take 1/2 of that in a non emergency, but to deal with a frequent hard stool issues.
I hope this helps! If any problems just write me for more questions."
05/12/2012: "Tina, ...google and try wheatgrass cream for your fissures..."
Sudden Constipation and Fissure
11/28/2007: Anonymous : "hello ted, I have stumbled upon your site thank god! i am 35 female, weigh 200 lbs, always been overweight. never struggled with constipation in the past. have easily passed stool 2-3 times everyday. this has changed since june. i am now severely constipated, have a terrible fissure. i have undergone colonoscopies, endoscopies, biopsies of the gi tract and full body mri. all negative. but despite eating prune juice, aloe vera juice, fruits and vegs ( i am a vegetarian), i cannot pass stool more than twice a week."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Anonymous: Not being able to pass the stool despite taking prunes, aloe vera, fruits and vegetable in my opinion is a severe acidosis, which in some people can result in overweight. As a result there are two remedy, which may not help with constipation initially, will do so once the body is sufficiently alkaline.
Therefore, the simplest remedy is 1 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/8 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate (or potassium citrate), in 1 glass of water taken 3 times a day. I am assuming, for course, 200 lbs weight. This should be taken for about a month's period for the body to be sufficiently alkaline, but the effect on pH to raise will be seen within a couple of days.
To generally help relieve constipation in an emergency, the one remedy I used is 1 teaspoon of sea salt plus 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 glass of water.
The one single food that I found to cause constipation is the fried foods, meats and sometimes sweets, and hence I would avoid french fries, TABLE SALT (substitute this with sea salt).
In certain cases of constipation, adding 10 drops of sodium thiosulfate 10% dechlorinator (found in your local aquarium shops) between 10-20 drops can also help. The reason why this works is the dechlorinator reduces toxins which causes constipation, such as chemical, and other toxins as in chlorine and fluorine. The neutralize many chemical toxins allowing the bowel movements to be normalize.
One more thing that leads to constipation: lack of antioxidant. The best I prefer is the sodium ascorbate vitamin C, which is an alkaline form of vitamin C about 1000 mg, and 200 i.u. of vitamin E. This has helped me too.
Whenever the stomach muscles isn't working because it can't relax and contract, I have found magnesium citrate to be useful.
It should be noted that once taking sufficient alkalinity necessary for the urinary pH to become close to 7, then constipation goes away.
One other tip I have found to help constipation is to take 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 full glass of water along with foods to be eaten.
One additional item: Once constipation is no longer a problem the remedy of baking soda should be reduced to only 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate three times a day.
Avoiding fried foods and most meats should still be observed."
Treatments Helping, But Constipated
07/08/2007: Tina from Bergen Co., NJ: "Hi Ted, ACV + baking soda + water has helped my bad acid' reflux (I seem to also have a hiatal hernia), but it has caused me to, first, become jittery and then very tired and dry-mouthed and constipated. It also helped me with my bad low back pain and allergies. (Bragg's brand) Sea salt used mainly in cooking, but also a bit in water a few times, also seemed to dehydrate me and leave me constipated. Clove oil made me very tired and constipated. Aloe vera juice made my mouth dry and also contributed to constipation.(George's brand) Even molasses left me tired and constipated. Even just baking soda and water seems to dehydrate me. Lastly, oil pulling using VCO, less than 1 Tbsp once per day for last 3 days along with alkalizing with 1/2 tsp baking soda before oil pulling and then again before bed, has also left me constipated and dry mouthed. I suffered from constipation in the past, but have not had problems for last 6-9 months or so because I've improved my diet (less sugar, processed food; I've never eaten much fried food). Please note that I've been fairly conservative with everything listed above. I tried these things separately to some degree and in small amounts (1/4 - 1/2 tsp ACV per day; 1/2 tsp aloe juice per day; 1-2 drops of clove oil per day - used clove oil alone, with no other therapies; 1/2 tsp baking soda before bed and before breakfast) I've lost several pounds unintentionally. The ACV and aloe juice seem to have a strong stimulant effect on me that reminds me of Sudafed/pseudoephedrine, which I haven't taken in years. Sudafed constipated me just like this. Magnesium doesn't seem to help, as I've tried dissolved pills with only a little success, molasses with no success, and prune juice with only a little success. Also, the "glow" from various therapies only lasts for one day. Then I'm left looking tired, albeit with less back pain, reflux, and allergies. Reflux/hernia is still my most pressing issue. thanks!"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Tina: In event whatever you are doing caused you to become constipated, may have something to do with the delicate mineral imbalances and electrolytes imbalances.
One final one is a hormonal imbalance which manifests itself with lack of iodine and therefore some few tests I think can get you to the bottom of this. These are the tests that's needed:
1. Getting a pocket pH meter to measure the urinary pH.
2. Checking on blood sugar
3. Checking hair mineral analysis.
4. Hormone levels.
Those can reveal the exact cause as to what's causing the problem.
One other thing you did not try, is the potassium bicarbonate, which if the body's already low on that, can also lead to dehydration as well because the delicate electrolytes that should be observed. One other simple remedy that you did not mention is the whole whole freshly squeezed lime (8 teaspoon) plus 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, since the lime has higher levels of potassium. My guess is the dehydration issue has more to do with adrenal glandular functions and glandular imbalance. Therefore a vitamin B complex (two or three times a week) plus 500 mg of B5 and perhaps DHEA 12.5 mg once every other day may restore the constipation problems, in event of adrenal exhaustion or lack of adrenal functions.
Usually dehydration/hydration is governed by alkalinity, blood sugar problems, electrolyte imbalance, mineral imbalance or glandular functions. Most of the Western diet seems to go in to the acidity issue and most remedies usually deals with excess blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance (with exception of potassium which may exists more in the lime/bicarbonate remedies) and sea salt (if you measure it's pH should exceed 7.5) will deal with micromineral imbalances. What the remedy here is lacking appears to be glandular issues and the lack iodine problem, where the iodine foot painting could cover.
But for those people who are older, a glandular function (and hence iodine foot painting and kelp) is also indicated, since glandular functions are either imbalance or lacking due to free radicals, and glandular exhaustion."
Only Temporary Relief?
04/25/2007: Peter : "I'm facing constipated for ages. After reading the "PH material" on earthclinic.com, i decided to try the lemon baking soda formula. It worked good to some extent but due to unsatisfacory results I switched to simple baking soda 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. It also worked good to some extent. I tried that for about a month. After almost a month, the formula's effectiveness started to reduce & constipation started getting more worse. I tried Milk of Magnesia but it causes diarreha. During the whole process, I drank a lot of water & tried to avoid oily foods, sweets & white bread. I tried the purest form of baking soda available which I bought from Harold's Food Store. Please give some feedback on as why the baking soda is working right? & what should be my course of action to get rid of constipation? Peter"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Peter: Yes, sometimes baking soda won't work for some people with a life long constipation. It works more for most people with infrequent constipation, such as me. However, I have found some cases this may not work and I have narrowed down to certain causes which became normal (no more constipation) after identifying the culprit:
1. Hormonal imbalance (lack of DHEA - DHEA supplements have helped in that instances)
2. Low salt to bicarbonate ratios. Some people whose diet is already low on salt for a long time started taking bicarbonates. The condition did not improve as the body is already depleted of the sea salt. The remedy for that one is 90% sea salt and 10% baking soda is used instead. Sea salt is usually recommended because of micromineral imbalances which leads to constipation. This means there is lack of alkaline elements, (magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc.)
3. Eating a heavy meals before sleep or eating high fat meals then sleeping within 4 hours after eating.
4. Stray magnetic fields disturbance can cause long term constipation. This comes from radio near the bed within 1-2 meters, spring beds (which destroy's the body's natural magnetic fields), and the bed directions goes in conflict with the natural magnetic fields. The condition is often improve by sleeping away from harmful electromagnetic radiations, and the bed position (the head) faces north).
Personally I had one incident when sodium bicarbonate didn't work for me also. Which I resolved by taking DHEA supplements, going on fasting, removing magnetic fields from the bed, and try adding some sea salt (very small amount) and temporarily stoping baking soda.
There is a criticial salt : baking soda ratio that is important. If the body is already low on salt (from drinking too much water), baking soda should not be taken everyday.
Just try taking it less frequently once the body has enough of it. For example take it once every 3 days or spacing the dose apart. Also be aware that the body needs 90% sea salt and 10% can be baking soda. To restore to normalcy, I just stop whatever I am eating, and go on a one day fast, drinking just water, with a tiny pinch of sea salt."
11/29/2006: Suzie : "An employee at local health food store (Mothers Market) to me not to take Psyllium everyday... She said you can become dependent on it... Is this true? And if so, how often is not to often? Thank you, it does the trick!"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Suzie: Not too often means you take it when you need it. But in the long term, you are not solving the cause. The cause of constipation is excess acidity. Just take baking soda 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 glass of water 2 times a day once in the evening and once in the morning. This is a longer term solution. And it is best that you take it just 5 days out of the week to reduce excess acidity. It is necessary to refrain from eating acid forming food, usually found in drinks, such as coke, or sweet drinks. The other is white bread.
[Read more about Psyllium here.]"
Progesterone Related Constipation
09/24/2006: Kate from Calgary, Alberta: "I have been trying this remedy, along with Eating Bran high fiber cereal, eating high fiber foods & drinking prune juice, I even tried chewing on a raw garlic clove. Nothing has really helped me yet. I've gone a bit, but my belly is so distended and painful. Apparently it comes from the progesterone supplements I am taking, for my IVF procedure. Any suggestions on progesterone related constipation please help!!"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Kate: Most hormone supplements tends to create a condition where your body becomes quite acid and free radical forming, and hence constipation. So the best way is to reduce the acid by taking 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda twice a day mixed in 1/2 glass of water. If you want a nice diarrhea just add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the baking soda! As to find a way to reduce progesterone supplements try 12.5 mg of DHEA as a substitute. They are safer form of hormone then the progesterone. The safest form of hormone is the non hormone. Which is vitamin B5 panthenol plus B8 inositol at 250-500 mg/day each plus the usual vitamin B complex of 100 mg each with exception of B12 at 100 mcg. These will cause the body to produce its own hormones without the need for external sources. This is especially true of Vitamin B3 niacinimide and 5-10 grams per day of L-glutamine too. These secretogogues are generally free of side effects. Adjust your dosage accordingly."
Hard Stools: Dietary Causes
Tina : "Thank you so much for your prompt response. I have been able to find sodium thiosulfate at swimming pool store, but it clearly marks "not for human consumption". so i did not get it. any advice? also, i did eat a bowl of spagetti and tomato sauce, but no bowel movement. will it be ok to just add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 1/2 glass water and consume, hoping that relieves my hard stools? is there anything else to reduce i can take to reduce the hard stools? also, i have noticed in the past 3-4 days, no matter how much water i drink, i do not have a noticible amount of passing urine. also a lot of bloating and water retention. thank you once again, tina"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Tina: Hard stools is a tough one and I haven't found all the causes yet. The most obvious one, not obvious to others, is the food which causes metabolic acidosis. The single biggest cause that I have found so far to cause hard stools and water retention came from white bread and possibly white flour. What manufactureres do to the white bread is amazing series of adding more chemicals and additives without any care of long term side effects which leads to long term metabolic acidosis. I will take 4 tablespoons of coconut oil perhaps twice a day to help loose the stools. This should help. Coconut oil I might used for all cooking from now on. Vegetable oils seem to cause constipation with me on many ocassions. The coconut oil lubricates the stools.
For example, propionic acid, commonly used as preservative in white bread, is used by many researchers (including me) to cause a metabolic acidosis induced in experimental animals. It also caused my own mother's blood pressure to go from 125/90 to something like 207/120 within a short few hours especially when eaten during the night. Toxic clearance is reduced during body in a relax or sleep mode so the effect of this is muted if the same were eaten in the morning.
When this happens, the propionic acid, continues to cause metabolic acidosis in form of constipation and water retention for over about two weeks for me taken several times a day for many days. For me it was about a week.
Removal of propionic acid from the body is relatively difficult. Propionic acid also "hardens" in presence of some salt solution. So if it is in the blood, it can block to narrow capillaries causing a typical rise in high blood pressure.
Of course in healthy adults, this doesn't happen, but occurs more in people who are less physically fit. How I know propionic acid solidifies inside the body is that during a production of propionic acid, in a liquid medium, this is separated by adding salt and propionic acid rises to the top of the solution separating itself from the water. This is how they extract propionic acid. When people eat lots of propionic acid rich bread, it also "surfaces" through the sweat glands and clogs, since the sweat is salty, so it might even cause acne, which it dose in propionic producing bacteria, commonly found on people's sweat glands. So those hard fats, might have something to do in some case of propionic bacteria.
So in conditions of metabolic acidosis from propionic acid blood is salty to propionic acid clumps together and causes them to clogged causing the body to retain more water as the body becomes more acidic from reduced circulation.
When the body is oxygen starved, metabolic acidosis happens. The body then goes into emergency alkalinity by retaining more alkaline metals, more water is retained, and creating a spew of biochemical mess. This is all based on my sufferings eating just the white bread. While popularly people think it's gluten, it might be but there is many other elements that I found from the white bread.
A white bread also contains alloxan, bromine and other things used for bleaching that causes the body to be metabolic acidosis, causing very hard stools. And believe me I have had very hard stools from eating white bread. Not that I like eating white bread, but people here constantly give me white bread, so everytime they do this, I get obese. That and eating pastries, cakes, cookies are almost virtual guarantee to obesity. Fruit juice is another real problem, from the fructose. If loosing weight, fruit juices should be avoided, white flour and the like.
If I stopped eating it for weeks then the problem goes a way as I eat rice instead, which are somewhat safer than white bread as it causes less metabolic acidosis. The bromine process of bleaching white breads also leads to hypothyroid by causing excretion of iodine, thus creates another problem here.
The second big problem of hard stools I have found, are those vegetable oils that people overlooked. For people studying fish pathologies, there is less medical politics in this field since it's not as profitable as humans, dogs or cats so this field is ignored. Hence, I can witness a more unique perspective of nutrition just observing the fish pathology. One of the most single most interesting things I found is a lot of diseases of the fishes came from the cooking of foods. Cooked foods are generally o.k., but the one element that cause cataracts, spinal problems, fish development and a whole host of sickness much like modern day disease was feeding of "oxidized oil".
In a more layman's language this is "rancid oil" or spoiled oil. It should be noted that rancidity of vegetable oils is virtually difficult to detect if we compare against animal oils. However vegetable oils racidity are oxidized greatly accelerates itself by thousands of time when it is heated at 150 degrees celsius for only couple of minutes which is the normal cooking temperature.
What takes a week for vegetable oil to go rancid in room temperatures goes bad within minutes after cooking, but the smell is undetectable. Hence a majority of sickness of the fish is due to this and it is no wonder the popularity of vegetable oils started making inroads in the 1960s about at the same time people are getting sick. For more details on the effect of rancidity from cooking, go here:
Of most interest is that vegetable oils block hormonal production from free radicals in free fatty acids for one and some hormones relates controlling blood pressure and urine output.
One little known information, in saving cost against more expensive diuretic medicine is that a simple urea, often sold as cheap fertilizers, which is a major component of the urine. The urea a metabolic digestion of protein. Urea controls urine output. The more the urine, the greater diuretic action. So taking 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of urea mixed in water for example can help increase urine output. With insufficient urea, or insufficient protein intake, water retention increases. Doctors who need to reduce water retention can do so with a supplement of urea, or injection of a weak solution of urea, or simply eating high protein foods, such as chickens, salmon fish, for example. When the body digest the protein, it becomes urea and urea improves urine.
It should also be noted that most major dietary fads today are more or less an adaptation or niche created from the Dr. Stillman diets, who effectively lost weight in over 10,000 patients during the early 1960s. The dietary plan was a simple one (perhaps too simple to make it a business): 80% of the meals are to be protein from fish, chicken and lean meats. Dr. Atkin's diet, pretty much take the other argument calling it for "anti-carb" while ignoring the fat issue. Then there was eat right for your blood type, promoting O blood group (which takes care of majority of U.S.) to eat meat. You can also take the opposite end and say eat only low glycemic index diet such as South Beach Diet. However, it's difficult to lie when someone who makes use of a dietary supplement that effectively reduce weight, while the gurus say something else, then I get suspicious. Over last week, I by chance visited a weight loss store supplement that was fairly effective and got a chance to read the ingredients, which was only white kidney bean extract and chromium picolinate. I laughed reading that, so the saleslady didn't know it was an inside joke, at least for me. Basically the effectiveness of the remedy turns out that white kidney bean extracts prevents amylase from breaking down the starches into sugar. And the chromium picolinate reduces blood sugar. What it says to me is that glycemic theory is not what is all cracked up to be since some starches have medium glycemic index anyway about 64, and rice is also a starch too. The majority of people here eat rice and we still get fat. So hence any starches, complex carbs or simpler carbs is still going to have an effect on the blood sugar still. Slowing down sugar spikes helps small but may not help a lot with the constipation. Remember I got constipated from just eating white bread with tuna, or salami or bologna, cancer causing since salami and bologna are basically cured meats, containing peroxynitrites, and other things too. There were reasonable glycemic index, but what's wrong with glycemic index is I can still get fat eating low ones if they happen to cause metabolic acidosis, wuch as diet cola. Aspartame causes blood sugar to go through the roof, since they degrade to formate, methanol, formaldehyde, which the poisons suppresses normal glandular functions in maintaining alkalinity. Bad fats are ignored with the glycemic diets also.
In general sodium thiosulfate is not toxic even if the labels say it's not fit for human consumption. Because as a former chemist, whether they are fit for human consumptions depends on chemical analysis of impurities not legal grounds. A legal grounds is that a company can put any labels on any thing, even safe ones as a means to protect against misuse of product since they are not "legally" engaged in the sales of medicine. Now a chemist can look at the same thing and know it is safe since they will request for a impurities analysis and technical specifications of a product. Even if sodium thiosulfate were somewhat impure, it's a chelator, so the likelihood of a high heavy metals being toxic is very unlikely. I get better chance of dying of arsenic poisoning drinking in any random drinking water in Bangladesh, or even water from a more developed country (usually high in cadmium), getting mercury poisoning from vaccinations (most exceed EPA levels on mercury anyway) or eating foods from vegetables where they used chemical fertilizers to grow them. If anyone bothered to check, there is more heavy metals from drinking water with old water pipes and even with water filter, chocolates, fried foods, and other foods people take for granted. Also sodium thiosulfate is used in small amounts anyway, and I am talking about drops of 10% sodium thiosulfate such as 10 drops -20 drops per glass of water, and only when I am sick. People in other countries faced enormous challenges drinking toxic water exceeding EPA levels on arsenic all their lives and the volume of water is a lot greater than drops of sodium thiosulfate taken during sickness. I have to make my own stance on what I can and cannot take, because the present system in regards to what is good for you and what is not good for you is so twisted that it is time, I think about it for myself without being over dependent without reason.
Question: also, i did eat a bowl of spagetti and tomato sauce, but no bowel movement.
Eating a bowl of spaghetti will not increase bowel movement, it merely reduces the hardness of the stool.
Question: will it be ok to just add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 1/2 glass water and consume, hoping that relieves my hard stools?
If that doesn't work, generally it is a weak laxative, I might try for a stronger one such as 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 1/2 glass of water. It is generally a good laxative for me, if the baking soda were a mild one. Yours seem to be a bit mild. Milk of magnesia is also a common laxative too, but a good one should not add any aluminum.
I should avoid white bread, white flour, fruit juices like the plague if I have constipation. However, other things hidden can cause it too such as aspartame, diet drinks, painting a new house (fumes causes metabolic acidosis). Sometimes certain food, usually pastries they might add ammonium chloride, which also causes metabolic acidosis which leads to constipation too. I have to grow through one by one to find out what food is causing constipation also, common ones are coffee, tea, tannin rich goods, cocoa, etc. I may have overlooked some obvious ones, so if you can send me the food list I might find some more.
> is there anything else to reduce i can take to reduce the hard stools?
Once hard stools are formed, it's difficult to reverse it. Prevention is a lot easier, but avoiding bread, tea, coffee, and a host of other carbohydrates, starch, high vegetable, especially white bread and all bread, fruit juices appears to be some of the ones causing them. Most doctors would recommend high fiber foods, but that doesn't seem to help, as urine clearance depends on high protein, low fat food, such as fish, chicken as my favorite. Lecithin added with every meal also helps, as is drinking plenty of water during every meal, avoiding chlorinated water, using sodium thiosulfate drops to neutralize them.
> also, i have noticed in the past 3-4 days, no matter how much water i drink, i do not have a noticible amount of passing urine. also a lot of bloating and water retention.
There is chlorine or maybe chlorine in the water that is part of the problem, calcium clogging up the kidney may also be another problem.
In case of a severe metabolic acidosis there is another remedy that helps also, of course only for emergencies which is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of sodium carbonate in one glass of water. This is a washing soda, which in presence of the body's carbon dioxide also becomes sodium bicarbonate. It is currently used in research circles in reviving heart attack and resuscitation effort, called carbicarb, which are basically "equimolar" concentrations of baking soda and sodium carbonate. The issue about baking soda is it may cause slight rise of lactate or lactic acid, but only initially before becoming alkalize because of baking soda can't absorb all of the carbon dioxide gas generated. However, if sodium carbonate is added it doesn't cause that slight rise in acid.
People think adding baking soda or sodium carbonate will create a "fizz" from the coke. Well it depends. The water does help absorb most of the carbon dioxide too. I can demonstrate by 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water, well stirred. Then I pour the coke slowly. There will be NO fizz, but only a tiny one barely visible. Why this is an issue in research circle is that the CONCENTRATION of the baking soda especially the lower concentrated one, with more water is more effective alkalization than a higher concentration of baking soda, with less water. Hence, if concentration is high, more carbon dioxide, the body remains acid, and constipation is still possible. However the paradox is, if the concentration of the solution is low, it won't pull the fluids into the intestines, but it will alkalize the body more effectively.
Hence, adding a crystal of sodium thiosulfate dissolved in a glass of water with some baking soda in 1/2 glass or 1 glass of water may help get the needed laxative effect. A sea salt and baking soda also is a stronger than baking soda used alone. Milk of magnesia is also another common ones for emergencies.
One extra tip: folic acid about 500 mg usually will neutralize toxic substances such as methanol and other chemicals which causes metabolic acidosis from formate that might also help. However I think the above remedy should generally help, but all sweets and bread products, and cooked vegetable avoided
Ted writes again, adding: "To help some diuretics, eating a couple pomegranate fruits I found to be useful and powerful. Others that are helpful are alpha lipoic acid. Although green tea may help they may cause constipation."
Lecithin and Fulvic Acid
Jay : "I have a family member having trouble with constipation. He is not a veggie eater, trying to eat healthy with fruits, always lots of fluids, trying to be health conscious, but still having problems. Are there any smoothie recipes we can make, ie. with veggies, fruits etc. that can help. He was seen by a GI as well as having a colonoscopy to rule out any blockage. They suggested Zelnorm and we are not favoring that choice. We would like not to use medication because he is a teenager. any suggestions will be appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Usually eating oily and fried foods is the cause that most of the public are not aware of. The cure is to take lecithin supplements along with your foods. With sufficient fat emulsifiers it has always work. Another trick I found was to take fulvic/humic acids. Farmers have known feeding pigs and livestock animals with this solves constipation for nearly a century. Taking 1 teaspoon of baking soda and possibly a small citric acid optional will help. Usually a person is constipated whenever the body's condition is acid. Baking soda will remove that condition and resolve the condition also. In fact always take baking soda everyday, will help reduce stress as it increases the body's oxygen."