The Underlying Cause Of Constipation Can Vary Greatly From Person To Person The mainstream advice on how to correct constipation is flat out horrible. Watch this video below to understand how you can figure out why YOU are constipated and steps you can take to correct YOUR underlying cause.
Listen To Our Constipation Episode
To learn more about constipation, simply click the play button on the “Understanding Constipation” episode player below. You can find the written transcripts for this show below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast to get all our shows for free HERE.
If you review our show on iTunes, and say nice things about us, you will be a rock star in our book.
Download Our Free Digestion Assessment Guide
Sign up to receive our free Digestion Checklist that could help you improve your digestive issues.
Success! Now check your email for your Digestion Checklist.
Disclaimer – T.C. Hale is not a doctor and does not claim to be a doctor or licensed in any type of medical field. Any information found in any of T.C. Hale’s books, videos, newsletters, or websites are intended for educational purposes only and should not be used for medical advice. You should contact your doctor for any medical advice.
You may also be interested in listening to one of the following shows:
Our Almost FREE 4-Week Online Digestion Course
This course is literally only 50 cents and it will help you assess how your digestion is functioning, and explain steps you can take to improve issues like constipation. We created it as a free course but found we needed to add some type of credit card charge to keep the spam bot registrations out. 50 Cents was the lowest charge we could add so the course is now a whopping 50 cents.
Learn more and register HERE
This almost free course will also teach you how to use the supplements listed below.
Supplements & Protocols
The dosage for Betaine HCL can be more complicated and it is important that you read the instructions on how it often used. HCL can be found in most health food stores.
*** HCL Warning *** If you’re going to use HCL, be sure to also use Beet Flow (explained below in You Need Good Bile Flow) or a similar product. I never allow any of my clients to use HCL unless they are also using Beet Flow. If you don’t have your bile flowing correctly and you add more acid into the stomach, you could create a duodenal ulcer or diarrhea issues. I cover all of this in more detail in chapter four of my book, Constipation: Kick It Naturally. I just want to make sure you understand not to use HCL without also using Beet Flow. It is also imperative to read How to Use HCL Supplements below before you begin supplementing with HCL.
How to Use HCL Supplements
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), also labeled as Betaine HCL, is the most widely needed digestive supplement in my opinion. It’s also the one that comes with the most important instructions. This is NOT a supplement you want to take willy-nilly. Here is a list of important guidelines to follow while using HCL supplements:
- HCL capsules should always be taken in the middle of the meal and chased by at least one bite of food. If the capsules were to get stuck in your esophagus and dissolve there, it could feel like heartburn.
- Start by taking one capsule with a meal containing no starches. This means avoid foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, cereal, rice, etc. If you don’t feel a warming sensation in your stomach, or any other new digestive discomfort, about twenty minutes after the meal, you know it’s okay to move up to two capsules at your next meal. You can continue in this manner until you reach a maximum of five capsules per meal.
- Most people will hold at five capsules per meal for months. However, if you begin to feel a warming sensation after your meal, you know you have taken too many capsules. At your next meal, you can reduce by one capsule and hold at that dose until you feel a warming sensation again. This is telling you that your body is starting to make more of its own HCL and you can begin to reduce the amount you are adding in.
- Be sure to adjust your dose according to the amount of protein in each meal. If you have a meal with very little protein, you may need to reduce the number of capsules you use with that meal.
- If you experience any diarrhea or loose stool issues after you begin to use HCL, reduce what you are taking until you can improve your bile flow. If you have more acid than your bile flow can handle, that can create a loose stool issue. This may not mean that you don’t need the acid, you may just need to improve your bile flow before you can handle more acid. If you experience this issue, read more about loose stool issues in chapter four of my book, Constipation: Kick It Naturally.
- Some people will never feel a warming sensation and that is okay. If you no longer feel bloated after meals and you are no longer having little burps, any reflux issues, or any digestive discomfort, you can try to reduce your dose at that time and see how you do. You may be able to eventually reduce to zero capsules and your body will continue making enough HCL on its own.
- If you experience magnified acid reflux when you begin using HCL, be sure to listen to our podcast episode on Acid Reflux below.
Buy Betaine HCL on NaturalReference.com
Most people use 2-3 Beet Flow per meal to help thin bile so it can flow better. It’s important to use Beet Flow, or to ensure you have bile flowing well if you’re going to use HCL supplements. It can be a good idea to make sure there is enough bile to neutralize stomach acid before you add additional stomach acid. Beet Flow is not available in stores and is only sold through qualified health professionals. The manufacture has agreed to sell Beet Flow online on NaturalReference.com only to T.C. Hale’s book and newsletter readers.
Buy Beet Flow on NaturalReference.com
Vitamin C As Ascorbic Acid
You can find this form of vitamin C at many health food stores, but any vitamin C will NOT work. It must be Ascorbic Acid so you will need to read the label. It’s very cheap, easy to use and effective. Taking ascorbic acid between meals can help acidify the stool so it can move more easily. You’ll need to watch your urine pH because you’ll probably want to reduce your dose if your urine pH goes below 5.5. I use Empirical Labs brand because it contains only ascorbic acid. Be sure to read the ingredients if you use another brand.
Buy Vitamin C As Ascorbic Acid on NaturalReference.com
Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops
You can’t buy this on NaturalReference.com but you can find it on Amazon and at most health food stores. This product is high in a very absorbable form of magnesium, so it is very pro-catabolic. Therefore, it can help the body send more water to the bowels to loosen up the stool. However, you should take the free 4-week course first so you can determine if you have an Anabolic Imbalance. You wouldn’t want to take something that is pro-catabolic if you already have a Catabolic Imbalance. To start, use only 5 drops in a glass of water and work your way up to 15-20 drops per glass. If you start off at 20, it will taste weird. If you build up, you won’t taste it and you will likely enjoy it. Keep in mind that liquid minerals can raise your mineral levels so I would not use this if your blood pressure is already high or you are on blood pressure lowering medications.
Buy Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops on Amazon.com
Transcripts from our Constipation Radio Show
Introduction: T.C. Hale is not a doctor and does not claim to be a doctor or licensed in any type of medical field. Don’t be an idiot and use anything heard on this show as medical advice. This information should be used for educational purposes only and you should contact your doctor for any medical advice. Now get off me.
Kinna: Hey everybody, welcome to Kick It Naturally. I’m Kinna McInroe and we have T.C. Hale, author and fitness health expert, film producer extraordinaire, what else?
Tony: Fancy pants.
Kinna: Yeah, fancy pants.
Will: Fancy pants.
Kinna: Yeah, and we also have a special guest here today. It’s hard for me to concentrate, because Will has on a tank top. He is, too bad this is radio, y’all. I have Will Schmidt here today who’s also a health expert. He’s awesome. Say hi, Will.
Will: Hi everybody.
Tony: Yeah, Will’s great. He’s a really good resource for us. We’ve been working together for a long time and we’re doing a lot of projects together and we’ll have Will on the show a lot. He’ll be frequent to the point of annoyance, I’m sure. But Will does a lot of stuff with us. Will and I are working on a new protein powder that’s going to be out next year that you guys are going to kind of freak out about, and a lot of our online courses, Will teaches with us. We’re going to be putting together some live courses too.
So Will knows lots of stuff and he works with just about every celebrity on the planet, so he’s super fancy and it’s good to have him around and share things he knows.
Kinna: And he’s eye candy.
Kinna: Yeah, he’s eye candy around the office, definitely.
Will: Thanks for having me guys.
Kinna: Aw, he’s blushing. He’s very sweet. So what we want you to do right now is everybody follow us on Facebook at Kick It In the Nuts, and we’ll post topics there and then you can ask questions about future shows and we’ll cover ‘em on the air, so start following us right now.
But today, we’re gonna talk about, you know, a sticky subject. We’re talking about constipation.
Tony: I just want to poop.
Kinna: Yeah. I’m full of crap most of the time.
Tony: Yeah, so constipation is lame and super turbo annoying for people that deal with it, and they deal with it for like a lifetime. You know, people like come to and they’re like, “Well, I pooped like three years ago and it was amazing.”
Kinna: Yeah, my sister is one of those people. I should have told her about this. Why wasn’t I thinking? But it takes her like eight, nine days to have a poop and then she’s been drinking Metamucil, you know constantly, and just I don’t get it.
Tony: Yeah, and if you’ve ever been constipated, you know that you’re just not fun. Like you hate everybody when you just, “I just wanna poop like all the cool kids are pooping”. So it can be a big deal, so today we’re gonna kind of talk about the main causes that we see that clients come to Will and I that is causing the constipation and then we’ll hit some of the questions that people had on Facebook and that they emailed us and stuff like that.
Tony: So I’ll have Will talk about a couple of these things, and a lot of people, they kind of feel like when it comes to constipation, the main question is, “Well, is it about fiber or probiotics? What laxative do I use?” And they just don’t understand that there are usually underlying causes that are aiding this, and if you can work with the underlying cause, then you can fix the problem.
Kinna: Oh oh sorry, go ahead. I was just breathing.
Tony: Oh, I like it when you breathe, so keep doing that. But the first thing I want Will to talk about is how we find that the stool moves at the speed of its acidity level, and a lot of people don’t have their digestion working correctly and the stomach isn’t making a proper amount of acid, and then that stool is too alkaline and moves too slowly. So let’s talk about a little bit about digestion and how that plays into constipation.
Will: Yeah, so there are a lot of little pieces of the puzzle of digestion that…
Tony: Little pieces of poop?
Will: Yeah, exactly, that make up, that are valid points of concern, like the flora and enzymes and things like that, but I think you’d agree, we kind of focus on kind of the two main parts of digestion being stomach acid and bile flow, having both of those happening, and usually if those two things are going well, like if your stomach is making enough acid and if your bile production and bile flow is good, then digestion’s happening pretty well for that person. So when we look at constipation, as you said, the stool moves at the speed of its acidity level, essentially. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s a good baseline.
Tony: It is a good, easy way to look at it, and for somebody that’s sitting on the toilet 15 times and you know is streaming out like butt soup all day, that’s a good way to view, “Hey, that’s a little too acidic.”
Will: Could be too acidic and in rare cases maybe too alkaline.
Will: But usually yeah, too acidic. So when we look at that, it’s like, okay, the more acid imbalance a person has, like the faster the stool would move through the body, the more liquid it would be the more diarrhea problems they would have. And the more bile, if there wasn’t enough stomach acid but they had good bile flow, that would tend to be a more constipated person. So usually when we look at someone who’s only going to the bathroom like once a day or once every other day or not even that, it’s usually because they have nowhere near enough stomach acid. And I think people get really thrown off by that, because it’s not really at all anywhere in mainstream or alternative health culture to talk about like having enough acid, where everybody’s concerned about being alkaline enough, right?
Tony: Right. And it’s a big popular thing now where people are like, “Oh, I’m too acid”. So don’t think that that’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about one compartment of the body, which is the stomach, which is made to create acid and a lot of people are told that you should just turn that off.
Kinna: Or that you’re dropping acid. You know, that’s a different thing.
Tony: That’s a different thing.
Kinna: Oh okay.
Tony: That will be another show next week.
Will: Which can actually make you constipated.
Kinna: Really? Oh. Good to know. Good to know.
Tony: So it may be a topic we need to talk about if our listeners are all plugged up.
Kinna: Uh huh.
Will: So Right. Don’t ask how I know that, but the funny thing about that is like pH is way more complicated than it’s made out to be, and when people think you could be too acidic metabolically or respiratorily and still not have enough acid in your stomach and they can actually go together very nicely, having those two inverse problems. But when we have enough stomach acid, let’s just look at what happens. You don’t burp. You don’t have bloating in your stomach. You’re typically not constipated and you don’t see undigested food in your stool. What’s usually confused, and I want to clear this sort of aspect up for people when they think, “Oh, I’ve got too much acid for sure because I have heartburn or reflux,” those are actually indications of not enough stomach acid. When you have bloating in your upper abdomen and you’re burping or you have acid reflux or heartburn, those we talk about the nuances of that in our digestive issues course at KickItInTheNuts.com. But those are all signs of not enough stomach acid that’s allowing the bacteria in the gut to live and they create air pressure and gassing and cause regurgitation of the stomach contents, so it feel like burning, it feels like too much acid, but actually, if people had enough acid, it would kill all the bacteria in the stomach and trigger the valves of the stomach to seal shut so you don’t have any reflux or burping or bloating in your stomach and your food gets digested all the way and moves through you at a timely pace. So if you have any of those symptoms, it’s a good sign, “Hey, maybe I don’t have enough stomach acid and I need to focus on fixing that?”
Kinna: So if you’re tooting like a train, then you need more acid? Is that basically…
Will: Well gas is could also come from poor bile flow.
Kinna: Oh. Ok.
Will: So when we look at like burping or bloating in your upper abdomen or undigested food in your stool or heartburn or acid reflux, those are all pretty clear indications of not enough stomach acid, whereas you could have gas from not enough stomach acid, like if your stool is moving through you so slowly that the food is fermenting in you, that could cause gas. The gas can also be caused by poor bile flow.
Tony: Yeah, and we’re going to talk more about digestive stuff too, but as you listen, if you’re thinking, “Well how do I know if I have digestive issues or not or if I have enough stomach acid?” The four-week digestive course on our site is free and you can check it out and it has questions on there that you can kind of ask yourself. It shows you how to run some tests on your physiology to get a better understanding of how your body’s operating and you can figure out what’s right for you and which one of these underlying causes of constipation you may be dealing with. Because the important thing is that we’re not going to be talking about a remedy for constipation because there isn’t one. That’s why so many people have trouble with it. It’s more about understanding what is causing you know what’s plugging you up, and then if we can work on that underlying cause, then you get to poop like all the cool kids.
Kinna: And where would they find this out about? At KickItInTheNuts.com. That’s right.
Tony: True that. True that. So proper digestion is a big deal with constipation and making sure that you’re making enough stomach acid, because so many people aren’t. It’s really super-duper common for someone not to be making the proper amount of stomach acid, and that can happen for a lot of reasons whether they were taking reflux meds that turn the acid off or not, just a low level of minerals can allow the body not to make stomach acid.
Will: Yeah, a couple little markers you can look at in yourself to kind of figure out what is it that may be causing my poor stomach acid production, if your blood pressure’s low, that’s a good sign that you don’t have enough minerals really to go around, meaning you don’t have enough chloride to make enough hydrochloric acid. So if your blood pressure is low that’s one thing you kind of want to focus on like making sure you’re getting enough salt in your diet. But there’s a kind of tricky catch-22 thing that happens for people with low blood pressure. They don’t have the resources to make the digestive juices so when they eat mineral-dense foods, they’re still not really breaking it down. So they don’t get the minerals that they need to make the digestive juices to break their food down to then get the minerals from their food. So it really helps to like supplement with a hydrochloric acid like supplement so that you can break that food down and then get those minerals and then start to make your own stomach acid.
Tony: Right, you can break the food apart enough to pull minerals out and now you have the tools to make your own HCL in your stomach.
Kinna: Smart, and pretty, y’all. Smart and pretty. Tony’s cute too, but he’s like a brother so that would be ew…
Will: Yeah, you spend too much time together.
Tony: That’s why we like Will to show up every once in a while, to keep all the girls happy here.
Will: Aw. So yeah, being able to supplement-ize your chloric acid is a great way to kind of get out of that downward spiral loop, and as you do it, you’ll start to need it less and less. So, in the digestive issues course, we talk about how to know how much stomach acid that you need, and I guess kind of the sorta couple things to know about it is you want to ramp into it slowly. Like you shouldn’t just take like a whole bunch of acid at once.
Kinna: No, don’t take a whole bunch of acid at once.
Will: Right. So you wanna build start with a small dose. And what I another big warning that I give to people about this is like the worst your stomach is, the more you need it and the more challenging it is for you to take it usually.
Tony: You could just be sensitive and if you have a hole, it feels like a kegger going on in your stomach with bacteria living there and they’re raising kids and they’re having parties, then it’s going to make it harder to wipe them out a little bit and to acidify that stomach, because the waste from bacteria is alkaline, and that makes them happy because they get to live there.
Kinna: What if you don’t have a stomach lining? Like what if you have a hole in it?
Tony: Well you don’t want that. That’s not that beneficial.
Kinna: But would you be dead? Or at that point..
Tony: You wouldn’t be dead, but like if you ate squirt cheese, it would come out the side, like it would seep out and you don’t want that. You wanna enjoy your squirt cheese.
Kinna: I’ve got some right now.
Tony: Oh boy. Let’s look to another major cause too, and I don’t want you to think that taking HCL is the cure-all for constipation because there can be other issues that cause it. And we’ve talked about the anabolic and the catabolic state a little bit on the show before, but for those who don’t know, Will, why don’t you explain how the body can move back and forth and how it should.
Will: Yeah, so the catabolic and anabolic imbalance is a really big topic. There’s a lot of things that go on with like cellular respiration and the distribution of electrolytes and all sorts of complicated things. But what’s essential for this conversation to know about the topic, constipation, is that in the anabolic imbalance, most of the body’s fluids go out through the kidneys, so you pee a lot. You tend to just like urinate more. That you wake up at night and pee, that’s one sign of being too anabolic, whereas in the catabolic imbalance, more of the water goes through the colon, so that person tends to be less constipated and if their stomach is off, they tend to have like diarrhea. Whereas an anabolic individual would almost never have diarrhea. They would love it if they did.
Tony: Right. And the main thing to think about is like if a stool, if not enough water is going to the stool, the stool is gonna get dry and harder and then it’s harder to move through the system.
Will: Right, yeah and then they tend to be more constipated. So when we look at if you are in an anabolic imbalance, like how can you
know that for sure and what can you do about it? Well one, if you test your urine pH and it’s high, that’s a pretty good marker that people have pretty accessible. It’s not hard to get pH paper. But if it’s above 6.5, it’d be great for most people to have their urine around 6, but if it’s above 6.5, that’s a pretty good marker they could say, “Oh, I may be having a problem with stomach acid production and I may also have this anabolic issue.” So you can help push yourself to be more catabolic. One thing you can do is like take Vitamin C and ascorbic acid and lower your urine pH and also lower the pH of the bowel contents so that can help make them less constipated. And they can also learn how to correct the anabolic imbalance by changing the kinds of fats and the amino acids that’s more nuanced.
Tony: And there are vitamins and minerals and foods and things like that that you can use to push yourself less anabolic. And for those of you who don’t know, an anabolic state is not a horrible thing. We’re supposed to be in an anabolic state every night when we sleep. That’s when our body rebuilds and repairs and then we’re in a catabolic state during the day and that’s good to be during the day. They’re both good. They’re both right. They’re both appropriate. You just a lot of people will get stuck in one state most of the time. So if you’re stuck in an anabolic state most of the time, then you’re sitting on the toilet like just like doing like a rain dance in your head thinking, “Maybe this will work. Maybe this will make something come out of my ass.”
Kinna: Or you’re sitting there drinking a coffee and smoking a pack of cigarettes to make it move.
Tony: Right, just to get something going.
Kinna: Why is that? Why do cigarettes- I know why coffee, it’s a stimulant, and cigarettes I guess are stimulants, but why is it that a cigarette seems to make you want to go to the bathroom?
Tony: It makes me want to throw up more.
Kinna: Well…yeah, but well but…
Tony: Is that a different thing?
Kinna: Well I guess, but you’re moving something through your body.
Tony: Yeah, and there’s a lot of toxins in cigarettes that can cause constriction, vascular constriction, and could do that to other things too, but there’s also the tar and all that kind of stuff can have an effect, but coffee is a really big deal, when you talk about coffee, because if someone is extremely anabolic and so the water is not going to the bowel and it’s hard, dried up, can’t move, coffee is this weird thing that it’s like one of the strongest pro-catabolic things that you can drink, but for some people, small amounts have a super pro-anabolic effect. So we hear from people that say, “Well if I drink really strong coffee, a lot of it, I can poop and then I’m all golden,” to that effect, but that’s most likely the person’s anabolic and the coffee is helping them move to a state where more water can go to the bowels.
Kinna: And is that what a coffee enema basically does too?
Will: No, that would be a different situation. A coffee enema is usually helping bile to move better and that’s a different thing that we use for people who can’t get their bile to flow properly and that’s a lot more common with somebody with loose stool.
Kinna: Because I’ve got some Folgers ground up in me right now, just waiting to release.
Will: Yeah, just cram it up in there. You’ve probably misunderstood what I said, but I like it when you do that. I usually don’t correct you. I just like to watch and see what happens, because I don’t know what happens if somebody puts Folgers up their butt. I think we’ll find out by the end of the show.
Kinna: We’ll see in a little bit. Alright, so shall we move to some questions here now? Okay, let’s do that, let’s see. Dawana. Dawana, I think that’s how you say her name. Well she doesn’t really have a question. She just says, “Some people just look constipated and some people really are. That’s all I know.” Well thanks Dawana. Thanks for shedding light on us.
Will: Yeah that’s good. Yeah, I like to be informed. That’s why we’re here.
Kinna: Yeah yeah yeah. Uh huh. Jenny from Columbus, Ohio. “I’ve tried every fiber supplement on the planet and nothing helps. Do you have a fiber supplement that you could recommend?” I bet they do.
Tony: I bet they might, but do you want to talk about fiber a little bit, Will?
Will: Yeah, I mean I would think that it’s a less essential point to focus on then what we’ve been talking about with the stomach acid and making sure your pH’s are in the right balance. Fiber, I guess if you’re like on an Atkin’s diet issue where you’re eating just proteins and you’re not eating any plant products at all in your diet, then a fiber supplement might be helpful, in which case you could use like psyllium husk or something, but I wouldn’t usually think like you’d even get constipated from eating an Atkin’s diet if you had enough stomach acid.
Tony: Right, you’d have to be able to break that meat down and stuff. And I agree and think that people use fiber supplements and what you’re doing is you’re just improving one aspect of getting the bowel to move and fiber is important to get the bowel to move, and if you have none, it’s going to suck, but it’s usually not the answer because if a stool is not acidic enough and it’s not moving at all or a person’s not putting any water to the bowels and it’s stuck there, then fiber is just like trying to cram a ping-pong ball through a metal pipe. It’s not gonna do a whole lot. But using fiber is one more factor that you can put in your favor so I have clients who use fiber all the time as long as they’re also correcting the other major underlying cause, which is usually either a lack of stomach acid or anabolic imbalance.
Kinna: Okay, Candace from Birmingham, Alabama. “I have a bowel movement every three or four days. My doctor tells me that I have a slow-moving bowel and some people just go to the bathroom less than others and that’s okay. Do you agree?”
Tony: I agree that I want to punch her doctor in the face.
Kinna: Yeah, yeah! Tony’s about to get in a fight.
Will: I agree that some people do have a slow-moving bowel but I don’t think that it’s a good thing.
Tony: It’s just common. That doesn’t mean it’s normal.
Tony: I think a lot of health practitioners get confused that common means okay.
Kinna: Just like it was common to you know wear psychedelic colors in the 80s, doesn’t make it okay.
Tony: Yeah, it doesn’t mean you should do that.
Tony: Yeah, I had a mullet. I had a mullet, but that doesn’t make it be okay to have a mullet.
Will: Yeah, and there’s all sorts of problems that come when you have a bowel movement that infrequent once every three to four days. One, you feel awful all the time and you’re always angry.
Tony: And according to Dawana, you look constipated.
Will: Right, yes that’s not a good look typically. So, but there’s also all sorts of toxic retention and it screws with your appetite because you’ll be hungry because you need energy, but then at the same time, you’ll feel full so you won’t want to eat, and the whole time, like you’re just rotting on the inside. You’re fermenting all this food and whatever kind of fluoride that’s thriving in that rotten environment is creating all sorts of exotoxins that can make you fat and sick and make you more hospitable for parasites to live in your gut. You don’t want to let that happen. You can fix it.
Tony: Yeah, and if every human poops, you’ve got to think there’s a reason that happens, and that’s how the body gets rid of waste and you want to get rid of waste. And when it’s not moving, a lot of those toxins will get re-absorbed and now you liver has to filter crap out again. So it’s like you’re consuming poop again. It’s not a good policy. You want to poop, Candace.
Kinna: Yeah, pooping’s good.
Tony: Tell your doctor… And next time you poop, bring it in to your doctor and say, “I want to do this more,” and put that on his desk and maybe he’ll help you figure out how to do that, but if you’re skipping days of a bowel movement, it’s a problem and you’ve got to fix it right away.
Kinna: What is really good? Like once, twice, three times a day? What’s…
Tony: Well there are different ways to look at it, I think, and Will and I have had different opinions on this before.
Kinna: How often do you poop, Tony?
Tony: I’m pooping right now.
Kinna: Oh good. He’s sitting on a toilet as we speak.
Tony: Yeah, that’s why we’re moving the studio into the bathroom today. But you know if someone’s constipated for life, if they move to a place where they’re pooping three or four times a day, I’m okay because things are moving and that’s fine. But most people think that to be healthy, you need to go at least once or twice a day. Some people say three times, but I like to see people not do three or four times a lot, especially if they don’t have a lot of minerals, because then the stool is moving through the body faster than things can be absorbed. I want them to absorb the nutrients from everything they ate. But again, it’s more of a case by case situation that you want to look at.
Will: Yeah. Yeah, totally. I think at least once a day we’d agree of depending regardless of the person’s imbalances, but yeah, the lower blood pressure individuals we’re happy if they go once or twice a day, whereas if you’re higher blood pressure and your main goal is weight loss, two or three is great. Yeah, go for it. So again, even this is like a nuanced thing.
Tony: Put a phone by the toilet and hang out there.
Kinna: Have a poop party.
Kinna: Amber, “Why approximately three days or so before my cycle every month do I get backed up? Seriously, every month like clockwork.” And I’m different, like right before it happens, like the day it happens, I’ll have this glorious, huge dump and then I know…
Tony: Here comes my period!
Kinna: …Aunt Flo’s on her way.
Tony: Captain Poop showed up! Here comes…
Tony: Well one thing that you know what Will was talking about how your body needs resources to make it’s own HCL and that HCL is helping the poop move. When a girl’s period shows up, that takes a lot of resources to make that cycle happen. So if more resources are going towards that, then there’s less for the body to use to make HCL.
Will: Yeah, and I think that person can also like just look at what their personal imbalances are cause like for like Kinna, it’s opposite and we can probably see some different measurements in her self-test before her period than this individual. Is she flipping to be way more anabolic during this period or does her blood pressure drop low, because like you said, the resources are going to that?
Tony: Yeah, and it’s important not to listen to somebody that says, “This was my problem and I did this so way to go,” cause like Kinna is the perfect example and let’s talk about your diarrhea on the radio.
Kinna: Yeah, I usually squirt soup a lot. It’s gotten a lot better, but recently I had been really, really constipated, which you know and you gave me a bunch of stuff for that, and my gas was off the chart. I was blaming it on the cats, you know, and now Betsy’s now all like, “I’ve got to take the cats to the vet. Something’s wrong with their poop!” and I’m like, “Oh, that’s me.”
Tony: But Kinna was a case where her stool was too loose, but and that’s usually the case of a stool that’s too acidic, but hers was too alkaline and the intestinal tract can still be…
Kinna: Too much bile.
Tony: Yes, it was too much bile and not enough stomach acid and that can, a stool that’s too acidic can irritate the intestinal tract just like a stool that’s too acid and then the body will move it through too fast. But it’s a good example of how one person’s different, so don’t just listen to what they did. Look at what your underlying causes and we have to work on that.
Kinna: Yeah, and back then I didn’t even have to keep a food journal because I could just look at my poop afterwards and say, “Oh yeah, I had pine nuts in my salad!”
Tony: Yeah, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look at your stool and know what it was.
Kinna: Exactly. All right, so moving on from my very personal life here, Steve from Newport Beach, California, “My friend uses glutamine,” or is it glutamine, how do you…
Kinna: “…Glutamine to build muscle, but I get constipated for weeks if I take it. Why is that? What gives?”
Will: Yeah, that again gets into the nuances of the catabolic-anabolic imbalance and glutamine is a very pro-anabolic amino acid, so when we look at when someone’s taking that, it could be a great solution to help fix diarrhea if they’re in a catabolic issue, but if that person’s already fairly balanced or already slightly anabolic, glutamine is gonna push them more anabolic, which is going to push more water through their kidneys and less through their colons so they get constipated from it.
Kinna: And if anybody is wondering what that noise is outside, it’s actually I’m getting a high-powered colonic right now in the office.
Tony: Yeah. And Will’s doing it and I was like, “That’s impressive that Will could keep talking about that while he’s shoveling water into Kinna…”
Kinna: He’s multitasking you know and it keeps my mind off what he’s doing because of his tank top.
Tony: Right, that works out. Colonic over.
Kinna: Okay. Judy. Oh, you were going to talk?
Tony: I was thinking you know with glutamine pushing someone more anabolic and making them plugged up. It reminded me of another thing that I use with a lot of clients, and if you do your test to look at your own physiology and you see that your blood pressure is low, you might be leaning anabolic, magnesium can be a really great thing for you and that’s why it’s good for a lot of people with constipation, because it not only lifts your mineral levels, but it also pushes a person very catabolic. And I’ll use there’s a some mineral drops called Concentrace mineral drops. You can get them at most Whole Foods or Amazon. And if you put some of those drops in your water, now you’re adding more electrolytes to give your body more minerals so it can start making more stomach acid, but it also has a lot of magnesium that will push a person really more catabolic and it will help them poop. They can be doing 20, 30 drops per glass of water four or five times a day, and you’ll know when you’re taking too much when it’s like, “Oh, I’m Diarrhea Captain all of a sudden.” And they’re usually excited about it at first because they’ve been constipated for so long, but then you know it’s time to back off that a little bit. But if you do use those drops, start with just a few, like maybe five or six in a glass of water, because if you start with 20 or 30, it tastes really nasty.
Kinna: Uh huh. I love those drops, yeah.
Tony: But if you build up, you start to acquire the taste and you like it.
Kinna: I do shots of those drops a lot of time.
Kinna: Okay, so Judy, “If I take laxatives, can I keep my bowels moving fine?”
Will: Yeah, well with laxatives like you could help push the contents of your bowels through your body faster, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re digesting stuff. You know, it’s kind of like if you took an herbal laxative, like Cascara- sagrada, like an intense irritant essentially that your body just wants to expel out. And if you’re trying to like rebuild your system or get nutrition from your food, you want to actually create digestion. You don’t want to just create an emergency that you have to expel, which is like essentially what kind of a colonic is. It’s like a big fire hose of water up your ass to force stuff…
Kinna: I love it.
Will: If you’re into that, but if you’re trying to digest your food, then you want to focus more on like actually having like the acid you need to break it down and the bile you need to match that acid, and a laxative may give you a bowel movement, but it may also like just leave you without digesting your food.
Tony: Yeah and leave you without nutrients and yes, your stuff came out like you were shooting for, but it’s not the result you’re looking for.
Kinna: Hmm, okay. Nancy: “Is there any help for improving peristalsis.” Peristalsis? Blah blah blah blah.
Tony: So that’s kind of like if you think about how a worm moves, it’s those muscles moving all in a row down the tube kind of thing, and that’s kind of how we move things through the intestinal tract. So I don’t know anyway to improve that if a person has a problem, but my opinion is that when someone is told they have a problem with peristalsis moving well, that it’s like someone a doctor telling them, “Well you just have a slower moving bowel,” and since the body moves the stool depending on the level of acidity, if it’s really acid, then it’s in a big hurry to get it through, and if it’s alkaline, then it’s not hardly moving it at all, then the thought is that I bet if you improved your acidity level in your stool, it’s going to increase your peristalsis.
Will: Yeah, I would agree. I would say you’re probably not gonna have a constipation issue if these digestive juices are on point. But I would say one thing that you could do on a physical level to help with peristalsis is to just make sure you’re getting enough good exercise, because that thing for a lot of people like they only go to the bathroom when they go to the gym or when they do yoga…
Will: Hopefully not in the yoga class, but movement of the stomach muscles and a lot of like things where your core is twisting or flexing and bending and your abdomen’s contracting and relaxing will definitely help improve peristalsis, so that’s why sometimes like when people start doing some jumping jacks, all of a sudden, they have to run to the bathroom because it triggers that.
Kinna: It’d be really cool if you could get a massage and say, “Hey, can you massage my bowels, get this peristalsis?”
Tony: Yeah, just put this out. I’m going to get a massage and put a bucket on the ground below me and get some stuff going.
Kinna: Yeah, I think I’ll pitch that idea. Tessa, “Water, veggies, fiber equals good poop.” Maybe for you, Tessa. Maybe for you.
Tony: Yeah, and one thing, that’s kind of the same situation where you put things in your favor that have something to do with it and that could improve your stuff. It may not be enough to fix the problem, but water’s a super big deal. Think about an anabolic imbalance not allowing enough water to go to the bowels, well another thing that won’t allow enough water to go to the bowels is if you’re not drinking any.
Kinna: Yeah, which it’s like what you say, every diet is not right for every person, because me, I have the problem of drinking way too much water and stripping everything out of me. So like some people need more water. Maybe some people need less.
Tony: Yeah, and water is not the answer to constipation because if you have low blood pressure, you don’t qualify to drink more water because you’re gonna wash out all your minerals.
Will: Yeah. One other thing to say on that is maybe it’s kind of implied in that is animal products maybe aren’t helpful for correcting constipation, because you’re saying just water and veggies and fiber and you’re good, well for a lot of people, because they don’t have the stomach acid that they need to break down protein when they avoid animal products, they experience less constipation. But that’s sort of like a diet by like problem avoidance rather than solution, of like actually maybe like a lot of people really need the proteins and nitrogen they get from it, and the solution isn’t to just avoid them for as long as they can until they break down and have to eat steak or eggs or something like that. It’s get your stomach acid on point and then you’ll be able to eat all the nutrients that you need rather than just avoid ones you can’t break down.
Tony: Right, because if you eat a steak, but you don’t have enough acid to break that down, as it’s rotting and fermenting, it becomes garbage and it won’t move through the system nicely like a bowl of lettuce could. You could break down a bowl of lettuce pretty easy even if you don’t have a lot of stomach acid.
Will: Right. And maybe one other thing I’d like to say on that, on Nancy, Tessa’s point was water can also cause problems in digestion, like if you’re eating too much that dilutes, or drinking water like say with a protein shake or with a meal, it can dilute your stomach acid, especially if it’s like alkaline water.
Kinna: Now Will, you have a protein shake, right, that you’re like coming out with?
Will: Yeah, we’re coming out with one and still working on the like exact formula, but with it, your protein shakes are typically easier to break down then like a whole food source, so you need less acid to do the job to break your stuff down.
Kinna: And your still getting the nutrients.
Will: Yeah, and some people can do just fine with taking some hydrochloric acid to help just ya know further breakdown those protein chains into amino acids, but they’re always working against themselves if they’re like blending that protein or any protein with alkaline water. Cause it’s just severely raising the content of the stomach pH when you want it to be as low as it can be to breakdown those proteins. So that can be another reason people get constipated when they start to alkalize.
Tony: Yeah, cause that’s a pretty popular thing to do now and not that some people need to move their blood more alkaline, but that’s not always the best way to do it because you kind of got to turn off digestion to make it happen.
Kinna: Interesting. You boys know a lot. Okay, Aaron from Las Vegas, Nevada. Now this really isn’t a question. It’s just I guess his motto that he lives by. “Coffee, really strong coffee, preferably early in the morning, by the time I get home after a long day at work, no pain, no strain.” Good for you, Aaron.
Tony: I just picture Aaron sitting there all day at work going, “Man, when I get home, I’m going to poop.”
Kinna: Yeah, I am gonna….
Tony: It’s going to be awesome.
Kinna: Make some poop spatter in that toilet.
Tony: So we talked about coffee and how that can push somebody more catabolic so…
Kinna: Yeah, coffee. Jacqueline, Kansas City, Missouri, “I’m good, regularly go two times a day and I eat lots of grains, not a lot of cheeses and very little meat, 80 ounces of water daily, flax seed and dark chocolates.” Oh, I like her. She likes dark chocolates. “I know it’s hard, but eating right is key. It takes effort, but it’s worth it. Thanks for addressing the issues. My granddaddy does push talk about keeping kids from four to eight regular,” so I don’t think there was a question there. It was just…
Tony: There wasn’t a question. I’m not sure why she’s talking about her daddy, granddaddy. Is he a doctor or is he just a creepy guy that likes little kids’ poop?
Kinna: I don’t know. I guess she just likes that he pushes pooping for 4 to 8-year-olds.
Tony: So with Jacqueline, it seems to me, and this is super common that I see is that people kind of figure out what works for them and it sounds to me like Jacqueline probably can’t digest meat very well, like we were just talking about, so she avoids it. She does better. She’s using flaxseed and flaxseed is super strong pro-catabolic, so it sounds like she’s probably too anabolic. So if she just drinks a crap-load of water, it ends up going to the right at least getting some to her stool and she can poop, but if your resources are already low and you drink that much water, you’re going to end up with depression or like dizzy and you could poop, but you’re crying about it, I don’t know. So that’s not always the best solution. We like to see people fix the real causes and then you get to be a happy pooper.
Kinna: So if I’m drinking a lot of water and stuff, I might be depressed for me because I flush things out that might be…
Tony: Sure, because Kinna’s a low blood-pressure person.
Kinna: I’m crying. It makes sense now. It all makes sense.
Tony: Give me the water. Lick this salt.
Kinna: Okay, so Julie from Bonner… I can’t talk today. Julie from Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, “Staying hydrated is key for me. It’s good for your skin too,” yeah.
Tony: It keeps you pretty. Yeah, so that’s another thing.
Kinna: The water.
Kinna: We were just talking about that. I could have consolidated, but I didn’t think that fast.
Tony: Yeah, so well what other points did we leave out maybe that you feel are important while we wrap up?
Will: Well I think just like any issue that we end up talking about, the person needs to do a little bit of self-assessment to figure out what single or multiple causes are at play for their specific situation. So when someone’s like, “Oh, maybe I don’t have enough stomach acid,” or, “Maybe I shouldn’t be drinking this alkaline water. Maybe I’m too anabolic,” whatever, all this stuff like doesn’t have to remain gray. It doesn’t have to be guesswork. You can actually do some simple measurements you can learn about through the digestive issues course and some little quizzes you can go through to figure out exactly what’s going on for you.
Kinna: Join the Facebook support group and you know Will and T.C. will help you out there you know and answer some questions.
Tony: Yeah. And Kinna, can I make fun of you a little bit?
Kinna: Yeah, exactly. I like to make fun of people.
Tony: But you’ll deserve it.
Will: But a lot of the times, we come up with these little partial solutions, like this last person talking about just avoiding animal proteins and drinking a lot of water and flaxseed, like kind of, sort of figured it out in a way for themselves, but there may still be some things that are off or compromises she creates for herself because of what she does, like all that water may be pushing her into electrolyte deficiency. She could find a real answer in real health and have a lot more fortitude in freedom in her diet and more stability in her chemistry if she does these measurements and really dials it in.
Kinna: I like that word fortitude.
Tony: I want to use that later today, but I don’t know what it means.
Kinna: Try to put it in sentences throughout the day.
Tony: Yeah, my hair is too long so I need more fortitude. That doesn’t fit?
Kinna: I need some fortitude to pass this poop.
Tony: Okay. Yeah, fortitude it up.
Will: And then maybe one more comment about it is like that it’s not just constipation that you’re fixing when you’re fixing this, because undoubtedly, if you’re constipated, you either have or very soon going to have some other more intense symptoms or problems like poor energy or depression or anxiety or obesity…
Tony: Weight gain…yeah.
Will: Or skin problems or whatever it is. So digestion, being like the literal root system of our body is a really important thing to really fix, and the great thing is that once you do fix it, there’s a whole lot of dietary like approaches you can take that will work pretty well for you.
Tony: Right, all of a sudden you don’t have to leave the planet to find food you can eat. You can actually eat things that you can kind right down the street.
Kinna: And having suffered from both diarrhea and constipation…
Tony: Do you pick one? Do you get to choose?
Kinna: If I could pick one, I would say I would rather have diarrhea, because constipation, you just feel so disgusting and bloated and like if you put a pin, you’re going to pop out poop all over the place.
Tony: That would not be a fun thing.
Kinna: Like your skin turns doo-doo brown and yeah. But I would choose diarrhea every day, but even that’s not comfortable either. I mean like what if you’re driving in your car and all of a sudden you’ve got to poop you know. And pretty soon it’s in your pants.
Tony: You don’t have an airbag for that.
Kinna: Yeah, exactly. So I mean it’s huge. Poop is a huge aspect of the whole health thing and definitely with weight gain and weight loss and all that.
Tony: So I’m not here to argue with a doctor, but if your doctor tells you it’s okay, you know when Kinna says that her skin turns poop brown, that’s literally a situation that can happen, just from the body trying to find…
Kinna: Oh really? I was kidding.
Tony: No, well it’s not going to turn brown, but you can cause skin issues from… You know the poop is out of the body to get rid of toxins, so if it’s not working right, the body has to figure out other ways and it will push toxins out through the skin and a person will get a rash and stuff like that so you’ve got to find ways to get things moving.
Kinna: Uh huh. You certainly do.
Tony: Awesome, that was poop-tastic. Well Will, we’re really glad you could be here and we’ll probably have Will on every couple of weeks or so to talk about something. He’ll be a regular.
Kinna: Maybe we could do some Skype so people can see what I’m talking about?
Tony: Yeah, we’ll put that up.
Kinna: He keeps flexing and there’s this one vein on his arm that I just want to touch.
Kinna: Uh, no. He’s very, very, very…what’s the word I’m looking for?
Kinna: Well that…humble.
Tony: Oh yeah.
Kinna: All right everybody, so thank you so much for joining us today and if you wanna learn more about how to look at your own chemistry and find out answers for yourself, you can read any of Tony’s books or take the free four-week digestion course at Kick It In The Nuts. Catch us next week. We haven’t decided what we’re gonna talk about, but we’ll talk about something and thanks for tuning in to Kick It Naturally, where it’s okay to talk about your poop.
Tony: Poop on!
Disclaimer – T.C. Hale is not a doctor and does not claim to be a doctor or licensed in any type of medical field. Any information found in any of T.C. Hale’s books, videos, newsletters, or websites are intended for educational purposes only and should not be used for medical advice. You should contact your doctor for any medical advice.
Download Our Free Digestion Assessment Guide
Sign up to receive our free Digestion Checklist that could help you improve your digestive issues.