Client, female aged 37, contacted me after she'd had an almond croissant and a coffee that morning and was then in agony and couldn't do her jeans up (I resonated with her instantly as this was what used to happen to me....).
During the initial consultation she revealed that her main health concerns were bloating, burping, constipation, tummy pains and when she breathed in it hurt in her ribs. She lived off laxatives but still struggled with going to the loo and was getting to the point of not wanting to eat at all as all she could think of was the pain she'd be in afterwards.
This client was not in a financial situation where she could invest in a stool sample so we decided to go down the route of food diaries and sometimes, day to day hand holding (albeit by WhatsApp!). This may sound odd but it was by doing this that I could help her instantly decide what to buy, what to add to her next meal, what foods could have been causing her pain and ultimately, get her bowels moving!
Whilst her programme included the normal remedies for constipation (increase vegetables, drink more water etc.) and therapeutics that helped with stool regularity, it was the food diary analysis that really helped here as whilst she thought she was eating well, there were tweaks to be made and sadly, avoidance of gluten and lactose from dairy was one of the major things. If you are to take big food groups out of your diet it is really important to work with a practitioner to ensure you are able to replace with healthy alternatives (i.e. not rely on all the 'free from' products that are now gracing our shelves).
After 2 months of following my recommendations, she was pooing without the use of laxatives (see my Instagram post on this!) which was such a major achievement for her. This gave her the confidence to fully embrace my recommendations and she then went on to make huge steps and ate like a green goddess!
Over the time we have worked together (nearly 6 months now) the client had a really bad urine infection as well as low iron and B12 blood test results. I'm still trying to persuade her to have the stool sample as gut bacteria can be involved in the absorption of iron and B12 and also urine infections, but for the time being she is just happy that (in her words) she is 'pooing well, burping has cut back a lot, and bloating has been great'. She is also sleeping better and enjoying food again.
As a slight aside, she had for the first time in years a normal smear test result. In the past she was high risk and had to have biopsies - just goes to show how eating well can effect all parts of your body....
The NHS defines constipation as when you find it hard to poo or you go to the toilet less often than usual (fewer than 3 times in a week). Whilst everyone is different I would be looking to try and get clients to poo daily, without straining and with control - if you would like to get control of your constipation fill out my contact form for a free discovery call and start on my 4 step plan to IBS relief.