How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS

How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS

Food is foundational to our lives. What do we do when our food is causing us problems? With my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I was always trying to follow my diet and figure out what was triggering my symptoms. The thing was, I wasn’t like others and that was one of the bottlenecks that was keeping me stuck. Also the fact that I had to stay on a specific diet, which as you know is very difficult when you’re in pain and just want to eat your comfort food. From clinical practice and personal experience this is what I found to be the best way to modify your food choices when you are living with IBS.

Food as a Fixation when you have IBS 

I know I know, I too was super obsessed with my diet. I definitely googled it a variety of times, ‘what should I eat, what should I do?’

When you wake up in the morning with a flat stomach, put something in your mouth and BOOM!, you are 4 months pregnant, this does not make for a happy life. It’s proven that the quality of life for people dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is truly in the gutter1.

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Friend

Food should be our friend. It is supposed to nourish us, help us live well, and give us life. We get protein, fats and carbohydrates from our foods. These give us the building blocks to create the communication messengers of our bodies, like hormones, neurotransmitters, digestive enzymes and immune messengers. These are all created from the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest. Food is a messenger and it commands and tells our body what to do. 

How Communication Works in the Gut

The gut is so genius, that it can function completely on its own if it needed to. It has its own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system that responds to stimulus, like the food you are eating and pressure from volume of the food. It understands the messages because it has endocrine receptors2, yes that’s right, endocrine is another word for HORMONES. These receptors take in the stimulus from what you are eating to help you go about your day in a healthy way. 

The only problem is in irritable bowel syndrome, there is likely an issue with these receptors not working so well and this causes issues. 

Why Food Irritates your Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

If you’ve been dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, you are one of the 14-20% of the world’s population that may blame it on the following foods:

  • Spicy Foods
  • Caffeine 
  • Milk and Dairy Products 
  • Wheat and Gluten Products
  • Meats (but not all meats)
  • Cabbage and Cruciferous Vegetables 
  • Onion Family Vegetables 
  • Peas and Beans 
  • Fried Foods 
  • Smoked Food

This is just to name a few. But there has been some kind of correlation to food3.

Why should Food be One of the First Things you Address in IBS? 

Believe it or not, food is a strong messenger. It commands what our body should and shouldn’t do. It also provides antioxidants, nutrients and everything that we need to have our system working well and being protected. When you’re dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, part of how you’re feeling, (the fatigue, the stress) is because your body isn’t being nourished properly. You are feeling the backlash of that. 

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Foe

As much as food is the ultimate giver of life, it is also the ultimate stressor. If there are foods that you don’t do well with, then instead of giving you life they take it away. They are like a poison. If you haven’t been able to figure out what your aggravators and irritants are, I hope that in this blog you’ll get a good idea of your next steps.

Why your IBS Food Triggers Might be Different than what they Say in the Studies 

Your food foe is unique to you. In tummy trials, there is a significant different between scientific validity for foods that cause problems and the patient’s lived experience4. Which means that patients seem to experience food triggers differently than what it says in the studies. I know that for me this was absolutely the truth. 

Gluten and Wheat Products Weren’t my Problems? What???!!

Gluten and wheat weren’t my triggers. Ironically, a food that was being highly recommended at the time for cleansing and healthy diets was rice. However, for me being of Spanish origin and genetic background, the over consumption of rice in my family throughout my life had created a sensitivity in my body. I had been over exposed to this “health” food and because of this it was a food foe and not a food friend. 

Wheat, on the other hand, the villain of all diets, was well tolerated and I could eat it without experiencing symptoms.

So How Do you Know what your Food Triggers Are? 

There are a few ways to figure this out. They include diet diaries, elimination diets or testing of food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

It’s incredible that 70% of irritable bowel syndrome patients correlate their symptoms to foods5. Ironically, the most common foods that people avoid, which may be the case for you, are the likely the villains of wheat, dairy, citrus fruit, caffeine and alcohol. But removing these often show little to no improvement or change6

Do Diet Diaries Work?

Food elimination diets and diet diaries are actually the gold standard to help figure out what foods may be bothering your system. The biggest problem is that they are super hard to follow through on. I have seen this time and time again in clinical practice and in all honesty in myself as well. I attempt to do it, Because it makes sense to do it, but you lose track, you get confused, and you’re unsure what caused what and then it’s just frustrating and a total disaster. Been there, done that, saw too many patients do it too. Plus it’s supported by the literature that it is an ineffective way to do things. 

Why? Because you are not a scientist, and you can’t do a scientifically rigorous experiment to actually get it right. Plus there are too many uncertainties in life and this is what the research discloses7. Touché, I’m a doctor and neither can I. I’m human, just like you. So why guess? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counselled patients to invest in knowing. 

This is why for me, when it came to food, I opted to get food sensitivity and allergy testing done. Intolerances you know because it is pretty immediate. Let’s find out the difference and why it’s important to know. 

The Difference Between Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities and Food Intolerances

I commonly notice that my patients and I (until I learned better, which took time) really don’t have a solid understanding of the differences between food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. 

What does this have to do with IBS? Well, everything. You see, because food is affecting us in a certain way, the reaction could be immediate, within 72 hours. Or maybe the reaction is so far removed from your gut you don’t even know that you have a problem with it. So we need to figure out the mechanism of action to help improve what is happening. 

Food Allergies and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

These typically react immediately. I always explain it as being just like a peanut allergy. These are common in children these days, they can get exposure by touch, air and through food, depending on how sensitive you are to them. Then BOOM, throat closes, hives appear, swelling all around the face, eyes and throat. 

This is an outright medical emergency, requiring immediate epinephrine and a trip to the hospital. To a lesser degree, these allergies could manifest within 24 hours with mild to moderate swelling and are less worrisome. Food allergy is commonly tested by the skin scratch test. It is an IgE mediated reaction8

Food Sensitivities and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

This is my jam, I love food sensitivity testing! I was sick and struggling with food for a long time and this testing was my saving grace. I had visited countless naturopaths and doctors and no one had tested me. I spent thousands, not hundreds, of dollars on supplements and treatments and none were working because I wasn’t doing my due diligence. I was eliminating what everyone else was sensitive to. 

However, sensitivities are extremely personal. They have to do with exposure over time as well as cultural and genetic factors. It’s very hard to deduce them until you see them on paper.

Healthy Foods can be Sensitivities

As I mentioned above, rice was my villain, yet it was what I was consuming daily. It’s funny when things are brought to light and they make a lot of sense. I’m Spanish, so rice is a staple in  the cultural dishes, such as paella. Needless to say I’m confident that my entire life I likely ate rice with most of my meals, including refried at breakfast. Oy! So when I finally asked a naturopathic doctor that I was shadowing to test me, it all made perfect sense. I was doing these cleansing diets, all laden with rice and feeling like my world was ending. I thought I was never ever going to beat IBS or get better, only worse. 

So to prevent this, in my practice I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all my patients get this testing, especially those with IBS. It not only serves to demonstrate overexposure and your immune system’s overreaction to foods (as it tests IgG) but if those foods are eliminated as compared to not, symptoms in IBS can improve9

Sensitivities are REALLY hard to pinpoint. Very difficult because they are sneaky. They don’t always create symptoms in your gut, they can show up on your skin as eczema or rashes, in your mind as depression or anxiety, or manifest as fatigue or hormone and metabolic derangement. They can create low grade chronic inflammation and directly affect your guts as well with symptoms of loose stools, constipation, nausea and even vomiting. 

The biggest issue is that the reaction can manifest up to 72 hours after eating a food, which you can imagine makes it quite difficult to deduce which food could be your personal villain. 

Is Food Sensitivity Testing Valid? 

Many critics of food sensitivity testing argue its validity10. They say that yes, you can measure your body’s reaction to these sensitivities, but they discuss that an IgG response for food sensitivities is a naturally occuring phenomena and over time creates tolerance and desensitization11 12

The way I look at it is this, you can be tolerant to something, but that sure doesn’t mean that you are happy with it or that it isn’t doing you any harm. So if you’re tolerant with your husband who is cheating on you, or coworker that is constantly putting you down, or your mother in law that criticizes your every move, is this not causing some level of stress in your system? I do believe so. 

Food Sensitivity Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

With irritable bowel syndrome being so complicated and multifactorial, it’s important to reduce and remove as many things as possible so that you can find out what is causing your system stress. Otherwise you’re just gangbusters and in the wild west of craziness. 

Your ability to manage stress is like a fine glass of wine, you can fill it up only so much. If you keep on adding wine (or adding stress), guess what? It is going to overflow into a whole bunch of other systems and your gut is the one that feels it the most, as we clearly know the link between stress and irritable bowel syndrome13

I believe that the validity of critics or those that take food sensitivities as the end all be all of your treatment may be what is causing this uncomfortable reputation for food sensitivities. But I urge you to look at the whole picture, and food sensitivities are part of YOUR picture and your reaction to food. 

If you’re interested in having testing done, click here to see a lab I work with.

Do you Have to Retest your Food Sensitivities? 

Oh and by the way, everyone thinks that you test this once in your life and never again. This is not the case at all. As with all testing, It’s not perfect. It’s not a one time thing either. You will need to retest, usually in about 1-2 years. If you have been avoiding those foods that marked from medium to high immune reactivity, my experience and others14 has been that it will help a great deal. 

Please note that this is not a replacement test for IgE or food allergy testing. If you suspect that you or your child may have severe, life threatening allergies, please always make sure to consult your doctor for all your health care needs. 

Food Intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

As compared to food allergies and food sensitivities, food intolerances tend to be a breeze to deal with. As both food allergies and sensitivities are mediated by your immune system and based more specifically on a reaction to protein in your foods, food Intolerances are an inability to absorb carbohydrates. As an example, lactose intolerance is when your body is missing the ability to digest the carbohydrate lactose, found in milk15. You are more than likely familiar with dairy intolerance. 

Fructose intolerance is also common. The popular Fodmaps diet, which up to now has shown evidence of improvement in short term for irritable bowel syndrome16, is based on an intolerance or avoidance of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that aggravate digestive symptoms. 

The issue with intolerance is if it can’t be broken down and absorbed, then it stays in the intestine and becomes fermented by bacteria and yeasts as a source of food. What should be feeding you, feeds the dysbiosis in your intestine. This is a major aggravating factor for pain and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome. 

Where to Go From Here? What Would be the Best Strategy to Take? 

The number one strategy that is the most important is to try reducing as much stress as possible that is occurring in your gut and in your life. 

1. Skip Breakfast! Intermittent Fasting

Yes, that’s right! Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact for those with irritable bowel syndrome, since they already have a high level of cortisol in the a.m., higher than healthy subjects, it could be very beneficial to fast. This is a practice known as intermittent fasting and a staple in my clinical practice and personally. 

Firstly, skipping breakfast avoids many common supposed irritants of the digestive tract because most breakfasts are a combination of dairy/wheat/egg.

With intermittent fasting you eat less times per day, and only eat within an 8 hour period. Eating less frequently equals less reactivity when you do eat. So this is one way to reduce the irritation on the gut mucosal membrane. 

2. Drink Green Tea Instead of Coffee 

During the morning fasting period, it’s ideal if you ditch your coffee. Coffee promotes the stress response, which is a no-no for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Switch it for green tea! Green tea heals the gut lining, improves the microbiome and stimulates you like a coffee, but relaxes you at the same time, negating the cortisol spike that may occur. 

3. Castor oil Packs For Stress Reduction, Absorption, Reduced Inflammation and Better Bowel Movements 

This practices not only calms the nervous system so that you can heal17 18, but also helps with reduction of inflammation19 in the intestine. Castor oil packs help with improving your microbiome20 and regulation of your bowels21, so if anything is irritating them, it helps them to come out. More importantly, it helps to improve how you digest and absorb. In terms of food, this helps to reduce the irritability of the foods you may be eating that can affect you negatively. 

Buy your castor oil pack here.

4. Fix your Sleep Patterns

Your natural rhythm is extremely important to your healing and to the health of your gut. My first prescription is to get your body to produce its own factors for sleep. It’s so easy to do. Wear an eye mask to bed that support an increase in melatonin22 in the body and better hormonal, immune and nervous system balance. Castor oil packs help to also promote great sleep so get into a pattern of putting your pack and eye mask on before bed.

Buy your Beauty Sleep Eye Kit here.

4. Start Investigating Diets Beneficial for IBS 

Fodmaps, my Dysbiotic Diet (otherwise known as the Fermentation-Free Diet and Bloat Be Gone Diet) are all excellent ways to address your food dilemma. I would personally investigate what you feel would be best for you. Each of these work significantly better if you know what you are allergic, sensitive and intolerant to because then you can pick that which is suited best to you. Later on you can get into other more specific diets, after you have your food sensitivities tested. 

To access this testing, click here.

5. Before You Eat, Be Grateful

Be grateful, like saying grace. Use our grateful dung bracelet as a way to learn how to relax before you eat. Just relaxing your system and having a calm body before you accept food will significantly improve your digestion and the amount of stress that food causes to your body. 

Get your Grateful Dung Bracelet here. 

Grateful Dung Bracelet

6. Find Out what your Poo Says About you

Download the first step to understanding the weaknesses in your body, the 50 Shades of Poo. Getting to know how to analyze our stools for signs of nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues and hormonal imbalances is one of the easiest ways to figure out what’s going on inside our bodies.

Keep on following me and reading my blogs. Follow the links above to get more in tune with what is occuring in your body. I promise to continue helping you on your journey to regain your life, free from an irritable bowel, indigestion and problems going to the bathroom!

Let’s start a movement so together we can all have an improvement. 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

References:

 1 Han CJ1, Yang GS2. Fatigue in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pooled Frequency and Severity of Fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

2 Tarek Mazzawi1,2 and Magdy El-Salhy1,2,3 Effect of diet and individual dietary guidance on gastrointestinal endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2017 Oct; 40(4): 943–952.PMID: 28849091

3  El-Salhy M1, Gilja OH2, Gundersen D3, Hatlebakk JG2, Hausken T2. Interaction between ingested nutrients and gut endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (review). Int J Mol Med. 2014 Aug;34(2):363-71. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.1811. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

4 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

5 Farré R, Tack J. Food and symptom generation in functional gastrointestinal disorders: physiological aspects.Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 May; 108(5):698-706.

6  Moayyedi P, Ford AC, Quigley EM, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Chey WD, Talley NJ, Brandt LJ The American College of Gastroenterology irritable bowel syndrome monograph: translating systematic review data to clinical practice.Gastroenterology. 2010 Feb; 138(2):789-91; author reply 791-2

7 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

8 Susan Waserman,1 Philippe Bégin,2 and Wade Watson3 IgE-mediated food allergy. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018; 14(Suppl 2): 55. PMID: 30263035

9 Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T.A., Shaath, N., Whorwell, P.J. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004;53:1459–1464

10 Kelso, John M. Unproven Diagnostic Tests for Adverse Reactions to Foods. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice , Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 362 – 365

11 Gocki, J., Bartuzi, Z. Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016;33:253–256

12 Marinkovich, V. Specific IgG antibodies as markers of adverse reactions to foods. Monogr Allergy. 1996;32:221–225

13 Nagisa Sugaya, Shuhei Izawa, Keisuke Saito, Kentaro Shirotsuki, Shinobu Nomura, and Hironori Shimada Effect of prolonged stress on the adrenal hormones of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Biopsychosoc Med. 2015; 9: 4.PMID: 25632298

14 Mullin GE1, Swift KM, Lipski L, Turnbull LK, Rampertab SD. Testing for food reactions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Apr;25(2):192-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533610362696.

15 Kleine-Tebbe J1, Waßmann-Otto A2, Mönnikes H3. Food Allergy and Intolerance : Distinction, Definitions and Delimitation]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2016 Jun;59(6):705-22. doi: 10.1007/s00103-016-2356-1.

16 Schumann D1, Klose P2, Lauche R3, Dobos G2, Langhorst J2, Cramer H3. Low fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyol diet in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2018 Jan;45:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.07.004. Epub 2017 Jul 13.

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

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

19 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

20 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

21 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

22 Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

Constipation: I Keep Trying to Fix It, But It’s Not Working!

Constipation: I Keep Trying to Fix It, But It’s Not Working!

I remember my mom could never understand WHY she was always constipated. No matter what she did, she still had problems. Unfortunately, I followed in her footsteps. I dealt with being unable to let go and have a great bowel movement for the greater part of my life. 

If you’ve been there too, then you’re no stranger to sitting pretty on the toilet. Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s NOT very pretty… You might even be sitting on your throne right now, as you read this. Gotcha!

Do you know WHY your bowel movements aren’t what they should be? Let’s find out and see what we can do to fix them. 

Why I Am a Poo Expert 

I went to school to become a Naturopathic Doctor so that I could fix myself and all my toilet troubles. It became my mission to help people. Firstly because I needed to have good bowel movements myself, but more importantly, because I didn’t like seeing my mom suffering, and as a doctor, my patients. Constipation is an epidemic and it affects so many of the world population. It’s time we take a stand and do something about it. 

Why Is Constipation Called a Functional Digestive Problem?

The symptoms of constipation are varied1. A key component of it is functional, meaning you can’t find reasons for it. For instance it could be a mass that is blocking elimination. This is why it’s important to get checked out by your doctor. Usually your doctor will try different treatments or do a colonoscopy to visualize the intestines, dependent on your age. Other times they may try lifestyle changes and treatments first. 

The Symptoms of Being Unable to Have a Good Bowel Movement 

The most common symptoms are that you are uncomfortable in your abdomen or belly, you feel bloated, you may have gas and you may feel pain as well. You may produce dry pebbles or hard stools. Often you go less than 1 time per day. According to the Mayo Clinic2, constipation  is classified as less than 3 bowel movements per week. 

In my naturopathic practice, where living your best life is key, I have noted that my healthy, optimized patients all go daily.

How Does it Feel to be Constipated? 

There is a very distinct feeling of constipation. I recall my mother always being uncomfortable, unable to go and she would constantly complain to me and my sister, my dad and all her friends about it. 

She always seemed to leave the bathroom unsatisfied and this is a key aspect of constipation along with straining3

I’m sure you’ve had both. You push and push and may go a little but you feel like not everything came out and it was a lot of hard work. It also takes you longer than most to go to the bathroom. The term used is incomplete evacuation and straining. I describe it as there is still stuff left up there no matter how hard you try to get it out.

Why am I Gassy and Bloated When I’m Constipated? 

Gas and bloating is part of constipation and functional digestive disorders4. Even though gas is uncomfortable, it’s one of the natural ways that the body signals the intestines to move. Hydrogen gas, in fact, is known to have beneficial effects for the colonic mucosa, including functioning as an anti-inflammtory and antioxidant. This, in effect, would help it to move out your poo5

Good gas (I know, I know, how can it be good?) is produced by good bacteria, like probiotics. It stimulates the natural action of the intestines to move stools downward. If the bacteria in your intestines are unhealthy (conbiotics™ as I call them) such as the archaea species of bacteria that produce methane, then it can actually slow down bowel transit time. This is linked to constipation6

The scent of methane is like the smell that you get from passing by a farmer’s field after they’ve laid down manure. Can’t stand this smell in the bathroom? Check out Eau de Throne, our After you Poo Parfum™. All will delight in the royal scent that fills the room! Click here.

How Often Should I Have a Bowel Movement ? 

A normal bowel movement should happen every day.  Men seem to go more than women. The statistics show that on average, men go every 1.7 days and women every 2.5 days7. Ideally in my practice our goal is for all patients to go daily, for this simple fact. You eat daily, so what goes in, should come out. Otherwise there is backup. 

If you want to get more in detail about what your poo says about you, download my infographic, the 50 Shades of Poo. Click here.

Why Do Men Go to the Bathroom More than Women?

Men have a higher average of bowel movements because let’s face it, women are more complicated. Yes I am admitting that. But science shows this too. It has to do with the fact that we have a broader hormone mix than men. Estrogen can be very problematic to women and have an affect on your bowel movements. 

How Does my Thyroid Affect my Bowel Movements? 

When you have an underactive thyroid (A.K.A. hypothyroid) or a condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a common symptom is constipation. Think of a thyroid condition as an overall slowing down of your metabolism. If your body is slow, then your bowel movements will be much slower too, leading to constipation. 

Why Do my Estrogen Levels Affect My Bowel Movements? 

If you are carrying extra weight, taking the birth control pill or other estrogen-replacing drugs or are exposed to fake estrogens (A.K.A. xenoestrogens – which every human being on the planet these days is) you have a higher level of estrogen than most. 

Progesterone balances estrogen in the female body. Progesterone is necessary to have healthy bowel movements. When your levels of estrogen are too high, you lose the proper balance between estrogen and progesterone to have those healthy bowel movements. 

Why Can’t I Poo?

We’ve talked about a few, but there are so many reasons why you can’t poo8

It has to do with: 

  • Your nervous system
  • Your hormonal system
  • Your immune system
  • Your digestive system 
  • Inflammation that you have in your body
  • The amount of weight that you are carrying in your abdomen (central obesity) 
  • The types of bacteria you have in your gut
  • The types of foods you are eating
  • The Foods you may be eating that you are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to
  • How much fluid you are drinking 
  • How many caffeinated beverages you are having daily 
  • How much sleep you are getting
  • How stressed you are 
  • How depressed you are
  • How deficient you are in certain vitamins and minerals that support good bowel movements
  • Your genetics 

And the list goes on and on. You can imagine the workup I do with my patients to help them learn the reason why they have issues pooping.

The Digestive System/The Gut is the Center of Our Body Universe 

The gut and digestive spot is the center of the universe when it comes to your body. You have health if you have good bowel movements. That’s why I always ask about my patients stools, to determine the state of their health. 

So if you’ve had problems figuring out why you can’t go, it’s because you haven’t hit the nail on the head yet or you have a combination of different factors working against you, causing you to be constipated. You want to be looking at your stools for the clues. 

As you can see it is a HUGE topic! This is why I had to become an expert on poop, because there is so much to know. 

Download my infographic the 50 Shades of Poo to get you started on analyzing your stools! Click here.

How Often Should I Poop?

What goes in, must come out. If you ate every second day, then you should poo every second day. But because you eat daily, you really should be having a bowel movement daily. Otherwise, you are constipated. 

Your body is an environment that requires flow. Intake of good stuff, outpour of bad stuff. Think of it like a fish tank. When your fish poops, the tank must clean the water out from time to time or the fish begins to swim in his own filth. You don’t want the cells inside your body to begin to swim in its own filth. This is clearly not healthy. 

How Come Most of my Friends Don’t Poo Daily? 

The reality is that constipation is reaching epidemic levels. 14% of the world population9, which equals approximately 1 billion people, are constipated. The worst part is that it is a life threatening epidemic, because if you think about it, all natural environments, including your body, need to eliminate waste. If you can’t eliminate waste, the waste back ups and that is bad. 

Why Do You Feel So Bad When You Can’t Poo Daily? 

The best way to describe how you feel is like crap. Literally. It makes you feel really off because you aren’t eliminating the wastes that your body has created. Wastes are toxins, bacteria and things that the body needs to get rid of. When our stools sit in our body they are a source of toxic exposure and stress, which make you feel uncomfortable. It literally feels like a pain in the butt.

I know this all too well. I suffered from it, my mother suffered from it, and all her friends did too. I remember them always talking about how they couldn’t poo. So let’s get clear on what you can do about it to make things better. 

How the Anatomy of the Intestines Tells You How Much You Should be Pooping Each Day

Did you know that your lower descending colon is the length of your wrist to your elbow. This is the amount of food, fiber and fluids that you ate the day before and should be what you eliminate daily. Remember, what goes in, must come out. 

I remember thinking when I was younger and really constipated, wow, here I am eating all this food and where is it going? If it’s not coming out of me, where is it? It’s just sitting there causing problems. Let’s figure out what we can do to make it better! 

The First Step to Better Bowel Movements 

To know what to do, it is important to know what the problem is. Peeking after you poo every time you go is key. Start to keep a log about it (pun completely intended!) 

I love to teach patients to look at the colour of their poo at first. It is a quick and easy way to get an idea oh whether your stools are healthy or not. Click here to download the 50 Shades of Poo.

My Favourite Supplement-Free Tool to Help With Constipation 

Castor oil packs are legendary, biblical treatment that have been used since the beginning of mankind. They are used in all forms of medicine including the Ancient Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Egyptian and Caribbean cultures to help with all things having to do with the gut. 

Castor oil packs IMPROVE:

  • Digestion
  • Absorption
  • Elimination10

They have shown to reduce pain and inflammation 1112 associated with these processes no matter the cause.  So anything that might be irritating your intestine like food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances, it will make it better tolerated so you can digest better. 

You will have less pain and bloating because it helps to improve factors in digestion that are making you feel horrible when you eat food. I can’t tell you how many times I have thrown on a pack when i’ve been bloated or really suffering in my guts. Whether it be from butterflies rocking my belly, or from serious gas. The same goes for my patients, it has become their go-to.

If absorption is an issue, chances are you’re low on some of your vital nutrients. Castor oil packs help to replenish those deficiencies naturally, simply by helping you better absorb your food. To be able to digest food, you need amino acids from protein in order to make digestive enzymes. If you don’t absorb your food properly, how can you expect to make digestive enzymes? Improving this function helps your body work better. 

Not only do the castor oil packs stimulate the movement of the digestive tract, but they also help to get things out as well. It has been researched in comparison to stimulant laxatives and shown to produce improved satisfaction and sensation of complete evacuation, reduced straining and patients overall had a better bowel movement experience13.

On top of that it also helps to improve the antioxidants and factors in your body that help with  cleansing, like glutathione1415

Get your very own castor oil pack now! Click here.

Every patient in my practice does these packs, because as I mentioned before, gut health and digestion is the center of your body. The centre of your universe and the center and foundation of health.

Remember as well there are so many possible ROOT CAUSES for your CONSTIPATION so trouble shooting can be very difficult. This is an easy way to set the foundation and start off by removing the most common factors. Then as you look and learn from your poo, you can be your own best digestive detective to understanding what might be the underlying problem and then fix it! 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

References:

1 Sharma A1, Rao S2. Constipation: Pathophysiology and Current Therapeutic Approaches. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;239:59-74. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_111.

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/symptoms-causes/syc-20354253

3 Mearin F1, Ciriza C2, Mínguez M3, Rey E4, Mascort JJ5, Peña E6, Cañones P7, Júdez J8; en nombre de la SEPD, la semFYC, la SEMERGEN y la SEMG.[Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and functional constipation in adults: Treatment (Part 2 of 2)]. Aten Primaria. 2017 Mar;49(3):177-194. doi: 10.1016/j.aprim.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

4 Wilkinson JM1, Cozine EW1, Loftus CG1. Gas, Bloating, and Belching: Approach to Evaluation and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Mar 1;99(5):301-309.

5 Carbonero F1, Benefiel AC, Gaskins HR. Contributions of the microbial hydrogen economy to colonic homeostasis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Sep;9(9):504-18. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 15.

6 Sahakian AB1, Jee SR, Pimentel M. Methane and the gastrointestinal tract. Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Aug;55(8):2135-43. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-1012-0. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

7 Bohlin J1, Dahlin E1, Dreja J2, Roth B1, Ekberg O2, Ohlsson B1. Longer colonic transit time is associated with laxative and drug use, lifestyle factors, and symptoms of constipation. Acta Radiol Open. 2018 Oct 22;7(10):2058460118807232. doi: 10.1177/2058460118807232. eCollection 2018 Sep.

8 Sinagra E1, Morreale GC2, Mohammadian G3, Fusco G4, Guarnotta V5, Tomasello G6, Cappello F6, Rossi F1, Amvrosiadis G2, Raimondo D1. New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28;23(36):6593-6627. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i36.6593.

9 Larry E Miller,1 Alvin Ibarra,2 and Arthur C Ouwehand2 Normative Values for Colonic Transit Time and Patient Assessment of Constipation in Adults With Functional Constipation: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Clin Med Insights Gastroenterol. 2017; 11: 1179552217729343.Published online 2017 Aug 31. doi: 10.1177/1179552217729343PMCID: PMC5582663PMID: 28894394

10  Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

11  Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

12  Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

13  Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

14  Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

15  Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7. 

Why Am I Constipated? It Isn’t Just About Food

Why Am I Constipated? It Isn’t Just About Food

It isn’t a good time, sitting, waiting, wishing for something to manifest. In fact, it is totally painful. Yes, I’m talking about constipation. It affects millions around the world and is the most pressing health condition that exists. Why then, are there not better ways to solve this ever-pressing problem? (pun intended)

Many people think that constipation simply has to do with food. Of course, food is a huge factor. Not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water can be contributors to constipation. If we eat foods that we are sensitive to, the body often responds with bloating and constipation. But there are a number of other factors that contribute to this agonizing issue, which we will explore in this article.

How the Body Poops

The gut operates under a principle of pressure and lubrication. Without these, you cannot poo! This is why consuming a substantial amount of fiber helps you go to the bathroom. The fiber simply creates the pressure needed to push stools along the digestive tract, and allows for the lower sphincter to relax so you can go poo. Fluids also help to create pressure, and have a double purpose of lubricating the digestive tract. Another key source of lubrication for the gut is consumption of healthy fats.

The Physiology of Constipation

Without proper pressure and lubrication, there is a high chance of constipation. However, it is not this simple. Constipation is not only about food, it is mediated by a variety of other mechanisms.

Hormonal Constipation 

Hormones are another influencer of constipation. For those with thyroid issues, metabolism is moving at an incredibly slow rate, processing food and nourishment very slowly, so they evacuate it in the same manner1.

Estrogen dominance, which is an epidemic these days, also causes constipation2. High progesterone is required to have healthy moving bowels. Progesterone levels are high when there is no stress, allowing the lower sphincter to work properly.

Nervous System Constipation 

Stress is the other highly notable factor in constipation3. If you’re stressed, not only are you low in progesterone, but also in minerals that help with relaxation and laxation such as magnesium and vitamin C.

Lifestyle Constipation 

A sedentary lifestyle is a huge factor in constipation4. Movement of the body is required for movement of the bowels! Makes total sense. In order for the smooth muscle of the bowel to contract properly, regular exercise and movement is required5.

Emotional Constipation

In traditional Chinese medicine, the picture of constipation is correlated to being unable to let things go. You may have a tendency of holding onto things and not working through them. If you hoard, on either a physical and emotional level, you likely have issues with constipation. The body tends to freeze and slow down its activity to protect you.

3 Simple Fixes to Support Constipation

You can run but you can’t hide. With all of these factors contributing to constipation, it can be difficult to get away from it. Your bowels are dependent on what is going on inside your body. This is why it is so important to include health practices in your daily routine that will help to support all of these influencing factors.

1. Analyzing Your Poo

If you learn how to read them, your poops can become your FREE daily oracle of the state of your health. They can help you decipher which factors are contributing to your constipation, and from there you can take the necessary steps to improve it.

This is my expertise, in fact I encourage you to download my free infographic, Legends of the Throne. This infographic takes you through different characters in the Royal Kingdom that represent different types of poops, and what they mean for your health. Click here to get the free download.

Did you know that there are more than 50 shades of poo? Not really, but it sounds pretty cool, just like the movie 50 Shades of Grey. There are many, however, and it’s important to know what colours are normal and which ones could be a medical emergency. Download my free infographic, the 50 Shades of Poo, so you can find out what you should be looking for in the bowl. Click here for the free download. I promise you will be blown away by this one simple measure of poo yet there are so many more.

2. Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are an amazing tool for constipation. In a study done in a home for the elderly, castor oil packs were compared to conventional laxatives and found to be just as effective6. The amazing thing is, there was no harsh urgency to run to the bathroom, as with laxatives.

So castor oil packs work on the physiological aspect of constipation, but they also indirectly help to balance hormones. Castor oil packs have a long history of use in treatment of hormonal problems, including estrogen dominance and hypothyroid. They improve detoxification in the liver via glutathione7, which helps the liver to clear out excess hormones.

Castor oil packs work on the nervous system element of constipation by improving relaxation and reducing stress8 9. Another bonus of using castor oil packs is that they reduce inflammation10 11, which can be yet another contributing factor in constipation12.

3. The Three Legged Stool

In practice, one thing I like to teach my patients is the Three Legged Stool of Bowel Movement Success. Now we know that constipation is about so much more than just food, but since the bowel runs on the principle of pressure and lubrication, it is still an important factor to support.

1. Fiber (pressure) – We are drastically deficient in the amount of fiber we are eating. The recommended dosage is 30 grams of fiber per day. On average, North Americans consume only 4-5 grams per day.

Get fiber from vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, these are my favourite. I love CHIA SEEDS, they are high in calcium and fiber!

2. Fluid (pressure and lubrication) – Our bodies are 80% water. Water is the universal solvent so it moves and cleanses things. Ideally, each day you want to consume 30ml/kg (or 2.2 lbs) of body weight. More if you are exercising.

3. Fat (lubrication) – Fat is like lubricant to your colon. Avocado (fiber and fat), olive oil or coconut oil are all amazing lubricating fats.

So, bottom line, pooping is dependant on so much more than just the foods you are eating. Digestion and elimination function is mediated by hormonal and nervous systems in the body, as well as your lifestyle and emotions.

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones. Neither Queen of the Thrones nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thronesneither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner. 

References:

1 Anant D. Patil Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May-Jun; 18(3): 307–309. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.131155 PMCID: PMC4056127PMID: 24944923

Ji-Eun OhYong-Woon KimSo-Young Park, and Jong-Yeon Kim Estrogen Rather Than Progesterone Cause Constipation in Both Female and Male Mice. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct; 17(5): 423–426. Published online 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2013.17.5.423 PMID: 24227943

Yu-Ming ChangMohamad El-Zaatari, and John Y Kao Does stress induce bowel dysfunction? Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 Dec 1. Published in final edited form as: Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Aug; 8(6): 583–585. Published online 2014 May 31. doi: 10.1586/17474124.2014.911659 PMID: 24881644

Rong HuangSai-Yin Ho, * Wing-Sze Lo, and Tai-Hing Lam Physical Activity and Constipation in Hong Kong Adolescents. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2): e90193. Published online 2014 Feb 28. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090193 PMID: 24587274

5 Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School Constipation and Impaction. Published: March, 2016 https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/constipation-and-impaction-a-to-z

6 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

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

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

10 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

11 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

12 Marjan Mokhtare, 1 Rahele Alimoradzadeh, 2 Shahram Agah, 3 ,* Hossein Mirmiranpour, 4 andNiloofar Khodabandehloo The Association between Modulating Inflammatory Cytokines and Constipation of Geriatrics in Iran. Middle East J Dig Dis. 2017 Oct; 9(4): 228–234. doi: 10.15171/mejdd.2017.78 PMID: 29255581

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | Help to Get You Regular

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | Help to Get You Regular

I remember my mother always being constipated. She would hyper focus on food and what she should be eating. Sometimes it would help, most of the time it wouldn’t. This is the situation that most people find themselves in. You are trying to get all your fiber and fluids in, yet you’re still not going to the bathroom. You aren’t having those amazing bowel movements as you should. What gives?

Your poo is much more complicated than just the food that you eat. That is just the start of getting things going. The gut is also highly regulated via hormonal and nervous system pathways. In fact, if you didn’t know it, the gut is known as the second brain1. It not only relies on the brain to tell it what to do, but it is the only organ that can work independently. Meaning you can take it out of the body and it can function completely on its own. This system is called the enteric nervous system and it dictates what goes on in the gut. How interesting is that! There are only a few ways to engage its action. The easiest is the infamous castor oil pack, and this will be our focus in this article.

The Issue of Compliance with Castor Oil Packs

If you’ve been prescribed castor oil packs, you are probably cringing right now. You know all too well the expectation that your practitioner had for you to do them, but they are just too much of a hassle and too messy to do. I know exactly what you’re feeling because I’ve been there too.

That’s what stopped me for years from doing the castor oil pack. It was something that I was told to do for years by not one, but many people… doctors, health food store owners, people who had years and years of natural health experts. I wouldn’t listen. Only because I was lazy and didn’t have the time. I know you are too and that’s ok! It’s human nature, after all, to do that which is of the least effort.

Pooping Problems

I was seriously suffering hardcore with gut issues. I’d go from diarrhea to constipation, to major bloating and gas. Like many of you, I was in a constant state of crap in my guts.

I would be told that I had microbiome issues, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), food allergies, anxiety, depression, hormonal dysregulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and fatty liver. You name it, I was told that I had it, and above all, I had MAJOR pooping problems.

When You’re Doing Everything ‘Right’ But Still Feel Like Crap

I was addressing all of these things with my naturopath but it didn’t make sense because here I was, doing all the ‘right’ things but still feeling like crap. I was taking good quality supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, magnesium, I would even go as far as laxatives from time to time because my constipation would get so bad. I was eating the right foods and exercising, but for some reason, it wasn’t fitting the bill.

I remember vividly, the worst 10 days where I didn’t go poo once. I was literally beside myself, I felt soooo horrible in my own skin. I remember searching out for a way to manually extract my poo!

My First Castor Oil Pack

After weeks of constipation, I became super sick and decided that I was finally going to try this treatment that EVERYONE had told me to do. I made myself my own castor oil pack and tried it.

Wow, was my response. It changed my world from the first moment that I put it on my body. I was already feeling better, more relaxed and well in my body. I felt. For a long time, it was like I just wasn’t feeling anything, I didn’t feel present in my system. I know it sounds weird but I was dealing with so much discomfort, that I felt completely disconnected from my body.

You see, it’s easier to look for an escape. It’s no surprise that when you’re dealing with an irritable bowel, anxiety, and depression are usually a result. Some say it is the cause, my belief is it goes deeper than that.

Historical Use of Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs ended up being my saving grace. I’m not surprised, as I began my research and found that this practice dates back to biblical times. It is mentioned in the ancient Chinese and Indian medical texts as well as practiced by the ancient Mediterranean and Egyptian cultures.

These packs are not the new kids on the block, rather, they are THE most important tool that fundamentally supports all other treatments. No treatment is like the castor oil pack and the beauty of it is that now it’s easy, and it can be done in the comfort of your home.

Innovative Castor Oil Pack Design

Necessity is the instigator of the invention. I know myself and I’m pretty sure you know yourself too. When something is difficult, time-consuming, or a plain old hassle, it takes a superhuman effort to get it done. When I was told to do the castor oil pack, I would look at the process and snark, “There is no way that I’m going to do that, forget it! I’m busy, I’ve got too much on the go.”

It took me hitting rock bottom, feeling like I was “never gonna get better”. It took years of naturopathic school, to finally believe that it was good for every condition. It took me grabbing the bull by its horns and creating a pack that made the process simple, easy and less messy, otherwise, I was never going to keep it up.

The Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack was born. Simply apply oil to the cotton compress side and tie it onto the body over the liver. To get yours, click here.

How Castor Oil Packs Alleviate Constipation

But how does this treatment significantly alleviate constipation? How can this one treatment be the foundation of gut health? It’s because it supports the 5 pillars of our health. Without these pillars being strong and functional, our beautiful, supreme body temple does not work the way it should.

These are the 5 ways that Castor Oil Packs Improve Constipation:

1. Move the smooth muscle of our body

Smooth muscle is only in select parts of the body, notably the digestive system/gut, including the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. It is in the uterus as well. The other muscles of our body that you’re familiar with, like the biceps and triceps are made of what is called striated muscle. Smooth muscle works via signals of PG3— whats known as an eicosanoid. You are likely familiar with it because when you take fish oils to get your omega 3s, those are also eicosanoids. In a nut shell, they are messengers in the body (like carrier pigeons) that tell certain body parts to do something. When you take fish oils, you tell your body to reduce inflammation. When you do a castor oil pack, you absorb castor oil through the skin that tells the smooth muscle of the intestine to move2. Movement in the intestine is known as peristalsis. This is a rhythmic movement, like a dance that propels the contents of the intestine down so it can be eliminated. In the stomach it mixes things, in the intestine, it moves things around to absorb and then to eliminate what we don’t need. The nice thing with the castor oil pack is that it regulates this dance. They will make you go to the bathroom and have an excellent bowel movement. Studies show it works as well as laxatives without the uncomfortable gas, bloating, and harsh urgency and patients feel more satisfied and fully evacuated3. This one thing that castor oil packs do is incredibly important.

[Please note Caution if you are pregnant. Castor oil packs are not recommended in this instance because of the uterus also being smooth muscle. So to prevent an accidental abortion, it would be best to stay away4 5 6.]

2. Castor oil as an excellent tool to break down biofilm

Biofilm is a protective barrier created by bacteria on mucous membranes. You probably know of these gut bugs as probiotics, which is what we call them when they are beneficial for the body. When they are not good for our health, I have coined them “conbiotics”.Probiotics help us because they create nutrients for our body like B vitamins. The conbiotics on the other hand, use up our bodies’ resources, they don’t make our vitamins, they create byproducts and gases that actually slow down peristalsis, making us constipated. The more virulent conbiotics are the worst because of protective biofilm that they can create to stop us from killing them. In Lyme disease, as an example, the bacteria Borrelia is transmitted via ticks. It is known for creating a destructive biofilm that is very difficult to break down. People who are dealing with Lyme disease should absolutely be doing castor oil packs, as they are one of the tools that will help them to reset their microbiome.

The research shows that castor oil, compared to other chemical agents to break down biofilm, outperforms in vivo (in the human body)7 8 9. We need to have a healthy microbiome to have good bowel movements!

3. Castor oil packs reduce stress

Stress does not allow you to have healthy bowel movements because it tenses up the parts of the body that need to be relaxed to work. The intestines and bowels are regulated and working well in a relaxed state. You can take all the fluids, fiber, probiotics and digestive enzymes you want but if your body doesn’t know how to switch into the relaxed state for peristalsis and relaxation of the lower sphincter, you are a duck out of luck. For me, stress was severely impacting my bowels and regularity. Castor oil packs work via the nervous system by stimulating the nerves in the skin10 11. This only works when you wear the pack. This is probably the most important action. Improving the microbiome and getting the smooth muscle to function won’t matter if your lower sphincter can’t relax enough to let go! The topical application of a castor oil pack is exactly for that, to “LET GO”.

4. Cleansing with glutathione

We all know that cleansing is important, and there is one molecule known as glutathione that stands out among all of the antioxidants. It cleans and protects the body, and helps to detox heavy metals12.

It is well known that heavy metals impact our bodies in a variety of ways, inhibiting the immune system, therefore aiding and abetting to an unhealthy microbiome. They impact our hormonal system and detrimentally affect the nervous system. Glutathione is well known to be an antioxidant that in this day and age is in lower concentrations in our bodies because of the physiological demand due to industrialized pollution. There are very few ways to get glutathione. It is found in whey protein (which I never recommend since it is dairy based and for those that have an irritable bowel it is just plain torture), rooibos tea, (well known for its antioxidant effects) or oral supplementation (the jury is out on whether or not glutathione is absorbed well via supplements). Supplementing with magnesium and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) may help as they are precursors to glutathione. The other way is via IV therapy, known as a Glutathione Push. Recent research demonstrated that castor oil improves the recycling of glutathione in the lenses of rats, greater than even a solution of glutathione13. This is very impressive, castor oil packs improve antioxidant status14.

5. Castor oil reduces inflammation

When you are inflamed in your intestines, it becomes very difficult to go to the bathroom. Castor oil packs reduce inflammation15 16, allowing for smooth passage of stools out of the body.

It’s incredible that this therapy can be such aid for those that suffer from constipation. Constipation contributes to more serious conditions and diseases and if something is not done, your body can be severely damaged in the long term. A system that can’t eliminate waste backs up, and the back up is the cause of many problems.

No different than when you garbage removal goes on strike or the sewer back ups. That is always bad news. Now you have the tools at your disposal to make it all better.

Time to act.

Buy your castor oil pack here. 

1 Gershon, Michael D. The Second Brain. HarperCollins World, 1999.

2 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

3 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

4 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F.[Effects of castor oil-diet on the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 in pregnant rats].[Article in Chinese] Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 1999 Mar;34(3):147-9.

5 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F, Hao N.[Effect of castor oil-diet on the initiation of labor of pregnant rat].[Article in Chinese] Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 1998 Oct;20(5):367-70.

6 Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 24;(7):CD003099. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003099.pub2.

7 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

8 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

9 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

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

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

12 Jan AT, Azam M, Siddiqui K, Ali A, Choi I, Haq QM. Heavy Metals and Human Health: Mechanistic Insight into Toxicity and Counter Defense System of Antioxidants. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(12):29592-630. Published 2015 Dec 10. doi:10.3390/ijms161226183

13 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

14 Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP

15 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

16 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 

How stress, poor sleep, and too much sugar is messing with your bowel movements!

 

Bowel movements, defecation, going poo… the #1 most important process of the human body, and not the #2! If you’re one of the 14-20% of the world population with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that’s approximately one BILLION people1. And it is hypothesized that those who have gotten the diagnosis are only the tip of the iceberg, meaning that there are so many more people that have it but haven’t been diagnosed yet. You know all too well how it can negatively affect your life. Here are the first 3 things you need to do to take control of what is happening to your body. It has to do with 3 “s” words, and shit isn’t one of them. Stools, stress and sleep.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – What is it?

 

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, long term, recurring functional condition, meaning that when you are tested via labs or colonoscopy, everything looks normal. There seems to be no reason for your symptoms, nevertheless you have them and they are debilitating.

 

The Frustration of an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis 

 

This is extremely frustrating to hear from your doctor, especially after you have been suffering with these symptoms that have had a detrimental impact on all aspects of your life. From limiting your social life for fear of an adverse bowel movement, to affecting your work life by causing you to spend too much time in the bathroom or taking more sick days than the norm. Not to mention huge psychological impact on your well being, living with this ever growing problem.

 

Risk Factors for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most noted risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome are being a women, of young age, and having a preceding gut infection of some sort2. The risk is actually four times higher for those who have had an infectious gut condition3.

 

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most common symptoms of IBS include a combination of recurring:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Distension, bloating and gas
  • Abnormal bowel movements – diarrhea and/or constipation

 

The Categories of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

It is classified in three categories – constipation, diarrhea or an alternation between both.

 

  • IBS-C: Predominantly constipation
  • IBS-D: Predominantly diarrhea
  • IBS-M: Mixed, alternating between constipation and diarrhea
  • IBS-U: Unclassified

 

The classification is based upon the Bristol Stool Scale (see below), designating the form of bowel movements.

 

 

My Experience As a Naturopathic Doctor with IBS-M 

 

I have suffered with mixed type irritable bowel syndrome for the greater part of my life. In my youth I was constipated, mostly due to food choices and a home life that was incredibly stressful. The child of immigrants, with very little family or social support. We were poor and trying to succeed in a new world, which added an unbelievable burden to a family.  After an episode of food poisoning in my early 20’s I began to experience alternating constipation and diarrhea, in effect the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mixed (IBS-M). I didn’t get the diagnosis until about a decade later and suffered in silence.

 

You Think your Bowel Movements are Normal, But They’re Not

 

I didn’t go to the doctor, mostly because I thought my bowel movements were normal. Both of my parents had chronic bowel problems but were never diagnosed. Looking back now, the signs were very clear. My father had IBS-D, predominantly diarrhea and my mother IBS-C, predominantly constipation.

 

Dr. Google Can’t Tell You Everything About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

I went back to school to become a naturopathic doctor after being diagnosed and told, “You have IBS, sorry for your luck, there really isn’t anything you can do.” I had Dr. Googled it and became enlightened, realizing that this was an epidemic in my family. I soon found out that it was an epidemic in the world as well. I wanted to change that and help people, just like yourself, and in the process fix myself and my family. Much like what you’re probably trying to do right now.

 

My goal is to fix this, to create the platform to really help those that are suffering. To get the proper information to you, so that you can be empowered to live your best life, the legendary life you deserve. Together we can do it. Please share this article with your friends and those that you know are suffering.

 

The Things I Had to Do to Survive IBS – Warning: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

 

I lived with worries of not being able to go to the bathroom, mechanically (with my hand yes) trying to get the poo out. Gosh I can’t believe that I am sharing that. This is super embarrassing, but after sitting on the toilet for hours, feeling like I have to go and straining and I can’t, you do anything to get it out.

 

I would avoid social situations all together, preferring to hang out at home, close to the bathroom. I was worried I would have an accident at any given point in time. This was very hard for me, especially because I’m such an outgoing social person. I like my alone time, but being forced to spend time at home wasn’t pleasant. I even got into the habit of carrying a spare pare of underwear in my bag everywhere I went. Just in case. It was devastating. Not a way to live at all. I’m so deeply saddened as I write this, reliving the emotions that I went through in that time.

 

My Parents Also Had IBS But Weren’t Diagnosed 

 

I know both of my parents spent more time dependent on the nearest bathroom than not. I realized that they weren’t as social as they aged because this was also a huge pain point for them. It’s sad that they spent their entire life chained to the bathroom, not understanding what was wrong, and not knowing what to do about it.

 

I DON’T WANT THE SAME FOR YOU.

 

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Genetic? 

 

It is possible. There is a link to early life exposure to stress affecting the bodies’ natural response to stress. So, your exposure to stress in utero or fetal programming4 as well as  experiences as a young child can pre-program you into a maladaptive, unhealthy response to stress, changing the way that your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) functions5. These are the master organs that balance the regulation systems of your body, most responsible for the way your body deals with stress.

 

In a nutshell, if your mother was dealing with stress, or she was just a stress-head like mine was (and my grandmother, and grandmother before that – may they all rest in peace) while she was pregnant with you or if high stress was the norm in your household, it is possible that it set you up to have a weaker ability to adapt to stressors. Because remember, everything is about practice. If your stress response was over practiced in an unhealthy way in this formative time in your life, this could definitely be a precursor to irritable bowel syndrome and…

 

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, BUT IT IS UP TO YOU TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

 

The Regulatory Systems Impacted In Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

When you are under stress, whether it be emotional or physical stress, the body does not have the ability to differentiate6. Two processes occur in the body to try and maintain balance. The inflammatory arm of the immune system activates to try and burn off the stressor. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (a combination of the hormonal and nervous system7) also activates to turn off less important mechanisms that don’t deal with immediate life right now.

 

These three regulatory systems of the body, the immune, nervous and hormonal system’s goal in health is to keep everything in balance, everything functioning well. But under stress, they shut down non-vital functions for preservation of life. Therefore there’s dysregulation in these systems with IBS8. We also see an elevation of glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers.

 

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself with multiple conditions on top of your IBS. For me, I had both irritable bowel syndrome as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These are often conditions that respond to an elevation of the bodies’ immune inflammatory messengers and the neurohormonal glucocorticoids.

 

Hormone Problems and IBS

 

Is this a coincidence then, that I, like many who have IBS, also have PCOS? No it is not, because the body can only balance so much. In PCOS there are elevated levels of leptin, a hormone that affects food intake, energy balance and fat tissue stores but is also pro-inflammatory to the intestinal tract. Research shows that with irritable bowel syndrome there is also this elevated level of leptin in the intestine9.

 

When there is stress, many of our non-vital systems like being being fertile, having regular periods, or having a healthy metabolism go into preservation mode, because the infinite intelligence of our bodies doesn’t want to use up resources because it has no idea how long the stressor will last.

 

Another co-existing hormonal problem that is common with IBS type symptoms, like constipation, is hypothyroid10.

 

Immune System Problems and IBS

 

The immune system is regulated by the MICROBIOME. The ever important home of billions of bugs that live on our mucosal membrane and skin.

 

Healthy, friendly probiotics help to improve the mucosal immune system11, whereas conbiotics™, as I like to call them, or pathogenic bacteria cause total dysfunction of the immune system12.

 

This leads you susceptible to constantly getting sick. Overreacting to foods as your gut’s reaction to foods is based on the immune system. It is well known that people with IBS react to many foods such as lactose13, gluten14 and other components of wheat to name a few. This is a complex subject on its own and keep your eyes open for our blog on the interactions with food and IBS.

 

Nervous System Problems and IBS

 

Google IBS and you will soon find many links that discuss the coexistence of depression and anxiety with IBS, but also as a coexisting factor with most chronic conditions. Many say that it may be in response to the condition, but it very well may be the cause of the condition, (is it the chicken or the egg, which came first?) as stress significantly alters the bodies’ regulatory homeostatic mechanisms15.

 

Is Stress the Cause of IBS?

 

Stress is a root cause of many conditions and chronic diseases. It is likely that it is a root cause of IBS, as the overlap of anxiety, depression, hormonal disturbances and immune variations are all linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

It’s no surprise that at present the majority of treatments and medicines for irritable bowel syndrome are tools that mediate the functions of these three regulatory systems of the immune, nervous and hormonal systems, as the gut is the main hub for all three.

 

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used for IBS, as well as antibiotics such as Rifaximin, as a way to improve the gut microbiome16.

 

My Choice for Treatment 

 

When I was diagnosed, I was already doing all the supplements, I had done rounds of antibiotics, I wasn’t interested in taking anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants because I didn’t feel that I was deficient in them. I felt better supported if I would take multivitamins, a B-complex and other vitamins and minerals known to be low in people with anxiety, which for me was also a coexisting problem. The problem was I wasn’t getting any better.

 

Fix the FOUNDATION, Don’t Palliate the Problem

 

So I choose to look at things from a different, more foundational perspective, and this is how I got relief of my symptoms. Not by looking at what I could take to fix the problem, but what I could do and practice that would prepare my body to be in the best shape and target the regulation of the 3 systems that weren’t in balance. The immune, hormonal and nervous systems of my body. This was my 3 step plan to set the foundation for my healing of irritable bowel syndrome, and what become the foundational plan for all of my patients in clinical practice where I have treated thousands, improved their irritable bowel syndrome and healed their guts.

 

So I Just Got An IBS Diagnosis – What Now? 

 

These are the three steps to start with. 

 

1. KNOW YOUR STOOLS 

 

Your stools say everything about you. It’s no surprise that irritable bowel syndrome is classified based on the form according to the Bristol Stool Scale and Frequency.

 

After years of living with IBS, inspecting my stools, then becoming a doctor I realized that there was so much more to learn from your stools than just a diagnosis.

 

 

I found out that stools could tell you how your hormonal system, immune system and nervous system was working.

 

They could also tell you key nutrient deficiencies that were implicated in problems with those systems, like magnesium being low in hormonal problems and zinc deficiency in nervous system problems, as an example. They tell about B-vitamins and other necessities to keep the foundation of our bodies functioning in harmony.

 

I discovered 11 factors of our stools, I call them the Golden Nuggets about your poo. They can tell you about how your digestion is working and so much more. It’s a wealth of information to the extent that if I sat with a patient, I would know exactly what I needed to do just by what they told be about their stools.

 

This is the most important place to start, because as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

 

It’s time for you to know better. Download my free guide called the 50 shades of poo that is the first step in understanding what your poo says about you. This will set you up with an excellent practice so you can take control of your irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Download it here

 

 

2. ADDRESS YOUR STRESS

 

Stress plays such a key role in IBS and the problem is we are constantly bombarded with stress. Massages and acupuncture are great ways to balance our stress levels, but we can only do them from time to time because cost is prohibitive and we are so busy, it’s hard to go to an appointment.

 

I was told for years to do a castor oil pack. A legendary health practice that has been in existence since biblical times and practiced by all systems and cultures of medicine. Indian, Chinese, Greek, Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.

 

This tool is predominantly used to practice the pause, or the relaxed state17. It is the staple of my clinical practice, the very first prescription before anything else. Because in the relaxed state you can heal. Your gut microbiota is healthier, your inflammation is down, you cleanse better and your bowels move (these are also all the things the castor oil pack does, independently of helping you to practice the pause). This is the tool that was the MISSING LINK for me in my treatment, as I was doing everything else ‘right’. A healthy diet, good quality supplements, and regular exercise… but once I did this my world changed.

 

Get your pack here

 

 

3. FIX YOUR SLEEP 

 

Sleep resets the body and it undeniably helps with cleansing and calming, so that the nervous, hormonal and immune systems have a fighting chance.

 

One way to improve your sleep is simply by wearing an eye mask. Like the castor oil pack placed on the liver, the eye mask stimulates the pituitary gland to produce melatonin naturally18. This is a supplement-free way to help your body sleep and it’s amazing how a simple strategy can help to improve the bodies’ ability to heal overnight.

 

Get your Beauty Sleep Kit here

 

So there you have it. Those are the first three things that need to be done once you know you have irritable bowel syndrome. Had I known about these at the beginning of my journey, I would have had a much easier time. My hope is that you take these and let them help you to  make a difference in your life. Because you don’t need to suffer. You need to learn and do what will help you to get your best body balance.

 

If you want to get more in depth, stay tuned for my first book dropping later this year, “Oh Sh*t, The 3 Step Solution to Reset an Irritable Bowel, End the Bloat and Be your Best Digestive Self”

 

It’s basically the irritable bowel syndrome bible. It is how I fixed my IBS and have helped thousands of patients to do so as well.

 

Make sure to follow me on social media so we can stay connected! @queenofthethrones

 

xoxo

 

1 Padhy SK1, Sahoo S1, Mahajan S1, Sinha SK2. Irritable bowel syndrome: Is it “irritable brain” or “irritable bowel”? J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2015 Oct-Dec;6(4):568-77. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.169802.

 

2 Paul Enck,1 Qasim Aziz,2 Giovanni Barbara,3 Adam D. Farmer,2 Shin Fukudo,4 Emeran A. Mayer,5 Beate Niesler,6 Eamonn M. M. Quigley,7 Mirjana Rajilić-Stojanović,8 Michael Schemann,9 Juliane Schwille-Kiuntke,1 Magnus Simren,10 Stephan Zipfel,1 and Robin C. Spiller11 Irritable bowel syndrome  Nat Rev Dis Primers. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Aug 26.Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016; 2: 16014.PMID: 27159638

 

3 Fabiane Klem,1,2,* Akhilesh Wadhwa,1,* Larry Prokop,1 Wendy Sundt,1 Gianrico Farrugia,1 Michael Camilleri,1 Siddharth Singh,3 and Madhusudan Grover1,# Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Infectious Enteritis: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysisGastroenterology. 2017 Apr; 152(5): 1042–1054.e1.PMID: 28069350

 

4 Mariann A. Howland,1 Curt A. Sandman,1 and Laura M. Glynn1,2 Developmental origins of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axisExpert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep; 12(5): 321–339.PMID: 30058893

 

5 Miranda van Bodegom, Judith R. Homberg, and Marloes J. A. G. Henckens* Modulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by Early Life Stress Exposure. Front Cell Neurosci. 2017; 11: 87. 10.3389/fncel.2017.00087PMID: 28469557

 

6 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732. PMID: 26977323

 

7 Kate Ryan Kuhlman,1 Jessica J. Chiang,2 Sarah Horn,3 and Julienne E. Bower1 Developmental psychoneuroendocrine and psychoneuroimmune pathways from childhood adversity to disease Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Sep 1.Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Sep; 80: 166–184.PMID: 28577879

 

8 O’Malley D1. Endocrine regulation of gut function – a role for glucagon-like peptide-1 in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Exp Physiol. 2019 Jan;104(1):3-10. doi: 10.1113/EP087443. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

 

9 De-Rong Liu, Xiao-Juan Xu, and Shu-Kun Yao Increased intestinal mucosal leptin levels in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jan 7; 24(1): 46–57.PMID: 29358881

 

10 Anant D. Patil Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May-Jun; 18(3): 307–309.PMID: 24944923

 

11 Salvucci E1,2. The human-microbiome superorganism and its modulation to restore health. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Mar 7:1-15. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1580682. [Epub ahead of print]

 

12 Shi N#1, Li N#2, Duan X2, Niu H1. Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system. Mil Med Res. 2017 Apr 27;4:14. doi: 10.1186/s40779-017-0122-9. eCollection 2017.

 

13Bayless TM1,2, Brown E3, Paige DM3. Lactase Non-persistence and Lactose Intolerance. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017 May;19(5):23. doi: 10.1007/s11894-017-0558-9.

 

14 Rej A1, Sanders DS1,2. The overlap of irritable bowel syndrome and noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2019 Feb 12. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000517.

 

15 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732.Published online 2016 Feb 8. doi: 10.1155/2016/5460732PMID: 26977323]

 

16 Emanuele Sinagra, Gaetano Cristian Morreale, Ghazaleh Mohammadian, Giorgio Fusco, Valentina Guarnotta, Giovanni Tomasello, Francesco Cappello, Francesca Rossi, Georgios Amvrosiadis, and Dario Raimondo New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28; 23(36): 6593–6627.PMID: 29085207h

 

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

 

18 Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

 

How To Optimize Cleansing and Detoxification with Castor Oil Packs

How To Optimize Cleansing and Detoxification with Castor Oil Packs

When I first heard about cleansing I was under the impression that it was just a fad.  A trend that would soon disappear.  Something that Gwyneth Paltrow or the latest Hollywood starlet was promoting.  When I began my journey and dove deep into the science and learning of what natural medicine truly is, I fell in love with the ways that natural-focused care givers activate the healing powers of the body, known as the “vis” in naturopathic medicine.  I soon realized that cleansing and detoxification practices are not a new-age Hollywood hippie thing.  In fact, their roots date back to before biblical times.  Basically to the beginning of the conscious human! 

There is evidence in historical texts, in the literature of practices since the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine.  It is no wonder that this specialization in functional medicine is taking on a whole new science-based appreciation.  More and more practitioners are realizing the benefit of incorporating these treatments and therapies into their practice.  They help with rebalancing the system, whether you are suffering from a hormonal problem, a digestive issue, or any of the other hundreds of labels given to problems in the body.

The Difference Between Cleansing and Detoxification

To begin, I think it is really important to understand and define the terminology.  I am often confused, as I know you are too, by the manner in which people use the terms cleansing and detoxification.  Are they interchangeable?  Do they mean the same thing?  Which one should I be doing?  Let’s start by clarifying these Uber important terms and then delving into the 5 most important keys to re-engaging these vital life-promoting, disease-destroying functions of our glorious bodies.  Then I’ll share my most important tool that I use in my clinical practice to jumpstart these functions in our bodies.

Cleansing is the ability for our bodies to eliminate waste created in our systems by the foods we eat, our natural metabolic processes and what we accumulate just by living on planet earth. 

Cleansing Pathways of the Body

Our most important cleansing pathways include:

  1. Stools – Your poo is the primary vehicle for the elimination of leftovers/roughage from your food.  The majority of stools consists of bacteria, as well as fat soluble substances such as cholesterol, toxins of all types including heavy metals like mercury and lead, and excess hormones like estrogen.
  2. Urine – A primary vehicle that eliminates what the stools cannot, often excesses of heavy metals and other substances such as uric acid. 
  3. Sweat –  A secondary elimination pathway.  This pathway should be encouraged if stools and urine are functioning optimally.  People will often note worsening body odour if they are having problems with constipation.  This is because the genius of our bodies will always search for a way to get the things out that are no good for us. 
  4. Breath – Breath is well known for the elimination of carbon dioxide.
  5. Periods – For women, our periods are a vehicle for elimination of toxicity.  It is researched that women in menopause, after loosing their periods, are more toxic and will experience hot flashes as an adaptation to continue elimination, since they are so toxic.

Detoxification Sites of the Body 

Detoxification on the other hand, is the metabolic transformation of a substance, usually from one thing into another.  It occurs mainly in the following places in the body: 

  1. Liver – Phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification help to package and transform substances that are not easy to eliminate via the cleansing pathways. 
  2. Kidneys – Part of phase 3 of detoxification, where further filtration occurs.
  3. Mucous Membranes – Part of phase 3 of detoxification, this is most predominate in the gut. Phase 3 is the final stage of detoxification before cleansing.
  4. Various cells in the body – All aid in the detoxification process. 

Both cleansing and detoxification are deeply connected.  They are both extremely inhibited by 5 occurrences that can happen in our bodies. 

Reduced Ability to Cleanse and Detoxify

The causes of reduced ability to cleanse and detoxify properly are:

1. Stress

This is the #1 problem for the body, and unfortunately, because we live in today’s industrialization era we are bombarded.  The body doesn’t differentiate stressors as chemical, emotional or physical.  It puts all stress into the same mixing pot.  So you could be having an altercation with your mother-in-law, be exposed to high levels of pollutants, or injure your leg.  All of these instances would cause stress and significantly inhibit your ability to transform (detox) and eliminate (cleanse). 

Stress is now being touted as the #1 cause of disease in the modern world.  Something very interesting to note for women with hormonal problems, specifically those with estrogen dominance; is that with increasing stress, our adrenals produce increased cortisol.  Increased cortisol depletes your progesterone levels, which can leave you with a relative progesterone deficiency.  This can severely aggravate estrogen dominance related issues such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

2. Inflammation

Has also been pointed out as a villain, A.K.A. the ‘silent killer’ in modern medicine and it’s no surprise.  When we have high inflammation we also experience elevated levels of acidity in our bodies.  Ironically, inflammation is a purposeful mechanism that helps us heal. 

Hippocrates stated, “Give me the power to create inflammation and I will heal every disease.”  However, too much of a good thing can damage us.  Inflammation is purposefully destructive, to actually help rebuild our tissues.  But when the fire of inflammation gets out of control because there is too much junk to burn, that’s when we start having problems.  The body often responds with trying to control the fire by adding water. 

The result is we get bloated, we may also experience weight gain, often in the central core of our bodies.  For others this may translate to excessive aches and pains in the joints.  And for others, mood can be greatly affected because the inflammation impacts their neurological system.  It all depends on your unique biology and weak areas.

3. Lack of Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect our cells against damage from toxic substances, and they help to clear them out of the body.  Glutathione is known as the master detoxification agent.  We are constantly exposed to thousands of toxins – in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the products we put onto our bodies.  Glutathione helps to move most (if not all) of these harmful substances OUT.

4. Inability to Eliminate

When you can’t eliminate properly, recirculation of toxins happens.  Constipation is a huge issue in our society.  We should be going each and every day, the length of our elbow to our wrist bone.  If we aren’t eliminating this much, our stools are sitting in the body holding waste materials that are reabsorbed and a source of repollution to our system.

How To Improve Cleansing and Detox – Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are my number one recommendation for every single one of my patients.  Why?  Because the 4 problems listed above – stress, inflammation, lack of antioxidants and problems with elimination – are issues that occur in every single condition.  If you have a hormonal, immune or nervous system problem, I can guarantee you’ve got these issues somewhere in your body, dependant on your individual physiology and your weak zones. 

Main Modes of Action of Castor Oil Packs

So what are the main actions of the infamous castor oil packs? 

1.Practice the Pause

Stress, as mentioned above, is touted as being the #1 cause of dis-ease in the body.  The ‘pause’, A.K.A. parasympathetic state, is difficult in this day and age because we are bombarded with daily to-do’s that can feel out of our control. 

Like an Olympian athlete, to perform well we must practice.  As a whole, we are out of practice on the relaxed state.  It can be difficult to find things that are quick and easy to help us reset, or that don’t involve another person.  A hug, massage, acupuncture treatment, reiki, all require the presence of another person.  It’s difficult to schedule all these appointments.  Castor oil packs are an easy, at-home health treatment that feel like a warm hug1 on the body.  If done daily, they retrain the body into the pause state2.

The pause is the only place that we heal.  It is the panacea, the Eden on earth.  All of the body’s cleansing functions are NATURALLY turned ON in the relaxed, pause state.  All you need to do is make sure that you have sufficient vitamins and minerals to drive these metabolic processes and you’re good to go!  Castor oil packs, if done daily, additionally help you to better absorb all the nutrients from your food and the supplements you take because they improve digestion and absorption3,4,5. 

So instead of absorbing 10% of your supplements in a stressed state, you would get 70-80% in the pause state (this is an estimation).  Practising the pause is extremely important and required for a healthy, happy life.  Gratitude is another easy way to engage the pause. 

(Tip: Grateful Dung Daily Dining Practice before meals to improve the parasympathetic state, allowing us to digest better.  Simply recite 3 things you are grateful for while staring into the tiger’s eye stones of the bracelet.  Tigers eye stone helps balance the 3rd, Solar Plexus chakra, while the black obsidian Dung Beetle stone balances the 1st, Root chakra.  The dung beetle is also a symbol of transformation and rebirth – it has the dirty job of rolling dung day in and day out.  But planted in the dung is the seed of the lotus flower.  The daily grind of rolling dung creates the most beautiful symbols of eternity, and flourishing life.  The bracelet is a simple reminder to stay on your grind and your life will flourish!)

2. Reduce Inflammation

When we are inflamed, our bodies are acidic.  The enzymes in our bodies, which are the keys to the lock that turn on metabolism, don’t function properly in an acidic environment.  They require an alkaline environment.  Castor oil has been demonstrated to be an effective anti-inflammatory, reducing water retention and swelling as much as capsaicin6, but without the rubefacient effect. 

Castor oil is almost identical in chemical structure to the body’s natural anti-inflammatory prostaglandin Ep3.  Coincidence?  Unlikely.  Like I mentioned earlier, inflammation is like fire, and what does a firefighter do to put out a fire?  They put water on it.  Central abdominal bloating and weight gain are often caused because our body sends water to the site of inflammation to ‘put out the fire’.

3. Improve Glutathione Status 

Glutathione is the master detoxification agent of the body.  Unfortunately, it is quickly depleted and its depletion is in part the cause of many chronic diseases including autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Glutathione is difficult to replete because there are not many food sources.  One source is whey protein, but I do not typically recommend it because it’s dairy. Rooibos tea is another source, which I recommend adding to your tea cabinet.  Glutathione can be supplemented via IV, and NAC and magnesium supplementation can help (although the effectiveness is debatable).  Bottom line is it is not easy to get. 

Castor oil was compared to a solution of glutathione in ocular lenses in rats, and was found to be more effective at preserving the glutathione levels than the actual glutathione solution7.  The researchers hypothesized the opposite.  Huge win for castor oil.   Glutathione is an antioxidant that packages toxins and pulls them out of the body, and that’s why we get depleted so easily.  It is vital to keep us healthy and young, our gut mucous membrane strong, our thyroid functioning optimally and many other essential functions.  Castor oil packs help with this very basic protection of your body, and the elimination of toxic substances.

4. Move the Bowels

Our #1 process of the body, (not the #2!) are our bowel movements.  If you can’t eliminate your  waste products, you die.  Bottom line.  You self-intoxicate, a very unhappy death.  Remember those anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that castor oil mimicks?  Well these are the same ones that attach onto the receptors of smooth muscle in the body, namely the gut and uterus.  This physical smooth muscle function moves things out of the body and castor oil packs are the ultimate way to stimulate it8,9.  They also help via reduction of the stress response.

5. Microbiome Balance

The microbiome is now being referred to as its own organ. This bacterial, extracorporeal organ helps to keep a tight balance on our wellbeing. When it’s off we are.

Biofilm is a big bad barrier that bad bacteria can produce in the microbiome. It keeps the conbiotics™ (bad bugs) in, and the probiotics (good bugs) out.  This causes serious stress on the body, therefore inhibiting cleansing and detoxification. 

The microbiome is discussed frequently as being the center of what creates our health.  But what really creates our health is the ability to keep a balanced body ecology (environment) that prevents buildups like biofilm from existing.  This is possible over time with good food, good practices like your pack, and more. 

Probiotic supplementation is also a must to balance out conbiotics™.  Biofilm prevents this, thus the breaking down of biofilm via castor oil packs10, 11 improves the microbiome in a very simple way, requiring less probiotics.  In combination with a good diet, adequate fluid intake (water/tea), flow (urine, poop) mindset and movement, castor oil packs are one of the cornerstones to living a legendary life.

What Goes In, Must Come Out 

In summary, what goes in must come out.  Otherwise, game over!  We are healthy if we can digest, absorb and eliminate.  The key is to move into the parasympathetic state, the pause, as often as possible and to practice until it is toned.  It is then that the microbiome can be maintained, the response to food is adequate and our body temples are nourished.  Poop is perfect. 

It is possible to achieve a state of no brain fog, feeling good in your skin, happy in your head and empowered in your lifestyle.  It’s your time to know your poo and own your throne.  Join the movement, so we all have improvement. 

If you would like to learn more:

Find Out About Castor Oil Packs Here

Castor Oil Pack Course – Fit for a Queen

Castor Oil Pack Bundle Purchase 

Grateful Dung Bracelet – Parasympathetic Pause and Poo Colour

Eau de Throne™ After you Poo Parfum™ Natural Organic Spray Calms Mind Makes a Good Movement

References:

1 Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

2 Rolls ET, O’Doherty J, Kringelbach ML, Francis S, Bowtell R, McGlone F. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

3  Snoek SA, Verstege MI, Boeckxstaens GE, van den Wijngaard RM, de Jonge WJ The enteric nervous system as a regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier function in health and disease. Expert RevGastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;4(5):637-51.

4  Keita AV, Söderholm JD. The intestinal barrier and its regulation by neuroimmune factors.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Jul;22(7):718-33. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

5  Kraneveld AD, Rijnierse A, Nijkamp FP, Garssen J.Neuro-immune interactions in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome: future therapeutic targets. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):361-74. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

6 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

7 Holm T1, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L. Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

8 Tunaru S1, Althoff TF, Nüsing RM, Diener M, Offermanns S. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5;109(23):9179-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109. Epub 2012 May 21.

9 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

10 Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

11 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7. 

DISCLAIMER:

The information delivered are suggestions and practices from the author.  It does not replace the advice of your health care professional.  These suggestions are not a recommendation for treatment.  Before proceeding with any practice suggested please consult with your health care professional of choice.  This content is for educational purposes only.