The Dr. Lam Show

Natural Ways to Ease Constipation and Bloating

March 14, 2021 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
Natural Ways to Ease Constipation and Bloating
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The Dr. Lam Show
Natural Ways to Ease Constipation and Bloating
Mar 14, 2021
Dr. Lam

Constipation and bloating can occur at any time and anyplace. This is part of what makes them so distressing and embarrassing. If you experiencing these symptoms, here’s an expert’s guide to naturally and effectively getting them under control.

0:55 - Constipation Physiology
4:29 - How to help constipation naturally
5:45 - Types of Magnesium
6:30 - Vitamin C for bowels
8:50 - Fiber, Foods, Lifestyle Changes to help with Constipation
12:14 - Bloating Etiologies and Causes
15:48 - How to help bloating naturally

Trying to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor who understands what you're going through? Lam Clinic does Telemedicine all over the world and is only a phone call away.

1. Educate yourself by visiting our website: www.lamclinic.com

2. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to schedule an appointment.

FIND US ONLINE HERE:
» Website: https://www.lamclinic.com/
» Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamclinic
» Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lam_clinic/
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Show Notes Transcript

Constipation and bloating can occur at any time and anyplace. This is part of what makes them so distressing and embarrassing. If you experiencing these symptoms, here’s an expert’s guide to naturally and effectively getting them under control.

0:55 - Constipation Physiology
4:29 - How to help constipation naturally
5:45 - Types of Magnesium
6:30 - Vitamin C for bowels
8:50 - Fiber, Foods, Lifestyle Changes to help with Constipation
12:14 - Bloating Etiologies and Causes
15:48 - How to help bloating naturally

Trying to find an integrative medicine or functional medicine doctor who understands what you're going through? Lam Clinic does Telemedicine all over the world and is only a phone call away.

1. Educate yourself by visiting our website: www.lamclinic.com

2. Call our office at 714-709-8000 to schedule an appointment.

FIND US ONLINE HERE:
» Website: https://www.lamclinic.com/
» Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lamclinic
» Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lam_clinic/
» Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@lamclinic
» YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWtdb4L5h5EuxKvkNq3M7yw


Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Is there anything worse than having an upset stomach or other stomach symptoms? These types of problems are not only irritating, but they can also be embarrassing and affect your quality of life. Stomach symptoms are very common with adrenal fatigue. That's what we're going to talk about today on The Dr. Lam Show. I'm Dr. Carrie Lam, family medicine physician, board certified also in anti aging and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Hi, I'm Dr. Jeremy Lam. I'm a board certified internal medicine physician, also in anti aging medicine as well. If you've been struggling with painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing stomach symptoms, then you're going to find something in today's podcast that will help. We're going to first start with constipation, what causes it and how to correct it. Dr. Carrie, what really goes on with constipation?

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Most commonly, when you have adrenal fatigue, your energy drops not only outside your body but inside your body. In an effort to conserve energy, a lot of your systems actually start to slow down, notwithstanding your digestive tract, because that will also want to slow down. When your metabolism is slow, your digestion also slows down. When your digestive tract slows down, things don't move as quickly through your bowels and you can get slow bowel movements, or constipation. Sometimes that constipation, it doesn't have to be very extreme. It can just be maybe not going every other day or not going every day, or it's just harder than normal. This is a normal physiologic construct when you have adrenal fatigue in order to conserve energy.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

What you're actually trying to say is, this is kind of your body's way of trying to actually conserve energy and constipation is its way of trying to fight off that stress. To be able to only have your most vital organs have the most effect, basically, so it's going to shut down your digestive system. That's what you're trying to get at?

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Yes, I guess we should have put a disclaimer in our front if you're eating, maybe not the best time to listen to this. Because we are going to get down into the nitty gritty of the stool and sometimes these are things we do need to talk about. You want to make sure that you are having daily stools or else something is going on in your body and you have to think what could be actually slowing your body down. Dr. Jeremy, what are some symptoms you can get when you are constipated? What do people feel when they are constipated.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

One of the other symptoms is getting a lot of bloating that also comes with constipation. You can get a lot of gas as well, because when your bowels slow down, then your food is getting digested slower and passing through your GI system slower. You have that gas buildup, and we all know how uncomfortable that can be for us.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Sometimes people have pain when they're trying to push the stools out. Sometimes the gas can be so bad, it can cause abdominal pain, especially also in children. They may not be able to know what is causing their pain, but it could just be constipation. If you strain hard enough, maybe hemorrhoids can show up when you do finally get the stools out. That's very common. When you get bloating, you have to see, is constipation one of the biggest things that are going on? What can you do when you have constipation?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

I think the first thing, again, like you had said is to make sure that you know that this is not normal. A lot of us deal with constipation and you kind of just sit on the toilet trying to go and trying to push and then there are side effects of that like Dr. Carrie had said, which hemorrhoids is one of them. Really, you want to make sure that your bowels are moving every day. Also that's because that's your way of getting rid of the toxins in your body is to have regular bowel movements, so making sure you have those. One of my favorites is to always recommend magnesium. Magnesium is really nature's natural muscle relaxation, and it also helps relax your bowels. Also at the same time it relaxes your mind and relaxes your muscles and relaxes your body overall. Magnesium is a really great supplement to really help with constipation.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

One way I remember that is the chemical on the periodic table is mg and I think 'makes you go'. Magnesium makes you go and really there's no there's no overdosing on magnesium. I tell my patients all the time, it's very hard to overdose on magnesium, the only side effect you might get is feeling a little more calm and sedated. But ultimately just diarrhea, which is one of the symptoms you might want, especially if you have constipation, it causes loose stools. The way you would dose the magnesium is you just keep increasing, keep increasing, until you get to bowel tolerance, we call it, which is the loose stools, and then you just back off by one. It's a great way to relax your bowels.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

I know we always get this question a lot about what type of magnesium. Do you have any preference on what magnesium you recommend?

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

I would say if you're using it specifically for the bowels, probably mag citrate, as it would be able to help loosen your bowels. Other types of magnesium that might be easier to absorb would be magnesium glycinate, or mag chelate. If you're using magnesium for blood pressure to relax your blood vessels, mag taurate. There's a lot of different ones, but I would not recommend magnesium oxide, which you can see very frequently in the store. That's not something that I would recommend because absorption is not that great. So it does depend on what you're using the magnesium for. But if you're thinking for stools, mag citrate would probably be really good for helping to loosen your bowels. Other than magnesium are there some other tips or supplements that you would recommend to help people get their bowels moving?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Our next supplement that would be good is vitamin C. It's really great not only for your bowels, but also for the adrenals. It's one of the critical vitamins to really help your adrenals heal and repair. Now, actually in a small number of people, it can actually cause constipation. But this is normally happening in adrenal fatigue sufferers who have paradoxical reactions where they take magnesium and they get excited instead of actually feeling relaxed. Or, they take vitamin C, and then they actually get more tired. Those are the cases where you need to be careful in taking vitamin C. But most often times, vitamin C at high doses can sometimes help with constipation as well, because that's also one of the things where- if your body has too much vitamin C, then you start to have diarrhea. That's also when we know that you have to back off from it.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

The same question about the vitamin C, Dr. Jeremy, any specific type of vitamin C or delivery systems that can be causing this?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Liposomal versions we always prefer. The liposomal version of vitamin C is actually vitamin C, which is water soluble, and it's encapsulated in a phospholipid bilayer, which is fat. It gets slowly absorbed more through the small intestine, as well as it's able to penetrate some of your cells more because your cells are also surrounded in fat. Liposomal versions are very good. Other types are also just regular ascorbic acid. That's more for the constipation aspect. If you're wondering more about how to help in adrenal fatigue, that's a whole other podcast that we can talk about with just the different types of vitamin C's that we use. The different routes, the different formulations as well that we use for adrenal fatigue sufferers.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

What's also very important in constipation, is to think about your fiber intake. A lot of times people on a standard American diet might not be getting enough fiber in their diet. Either increasing their amount of vegetables or whole grains or whole bran or fiber is very important in your diet to bulk up the stool in order for you to pass it smoothly, but the fiber needs hydration. Most of the time, people who are constipated are not drinking enough water, they're dehydrated. Because they're not drinking enough water, there's not enough water to moisten the stool up and it causes it to be hard. So drinking enough water is also very important to help moisten up your stools and be able to get it moving. What's a good fiber or other types of supplements that could be used, Dr. Jeremy?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Psyllium husk is very good because it helps pull the water into your bowels and then it helps keep that flow going. So we, again, need to stay hydrated. Also supplements like psyllium husk can help pull more water in to really get those bowels going. Like you said, staying hydrated is very important. Actually, I catch myself doing this all the time where I already start to feel thirsty. When you already have that feeling, that means you're already dehydrated. You should never really get to that feeling where you're feeling thirsty, then you're already falling behind with how much water you should drink. Always stay ahead in taking the amount of water you should be.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Water is good. Some other fruits that I would recommend start with a P, that can actually help you poop. I guess if this will help you remember, peaches, pears, prunes, and papayas. They're all very great for helping to loosen your stools too. If you wanted to change more your diet, rather than go to supplements first, those are also very important. The last thing for constipation is to make sure you are moving. If you're just sitting around all day, your bowels don't have an opportunity to actually have peristalsis, which is movement of the bowels. You want to be able to maybe do gentle walking. Or if you are too weak to walk, you can do abdominal massage, where you massage it in a clockwise fashion where you're just moving the stool along. Movement is also very important to help constipation.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

That's right. As you can tell, constipation can be very uncomfortable and more difficult to correct than you might think. Try some of the ideas that we had just mentioned before. But, if you're really suffering, then it might be time to get some help from an adrenal fatigue expert by talking to one of us. You can give our office a call at 714-709-8000 and we can help you with your constipation.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Now that we've talked about constipation, we're going to move on to another very common symptom in people with adrenal fatigue. That is bloating, or the feeling of feeling just really distended from a lot of gassiness. There are multiple reasons why someone can feel a lot of bloating. Dr. Jeremy, what are some common ones that you've seen?

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Some of them can be from, again, if you have undigested foods going through your bowels. That could be one reason. The second could be from adrenal fatigue as well if you're having slow bowels, there's going to be backing up as well. Other times can be either if you have not enough stomach acid or too much stomach acid, sometimes that can cause bloating. Also, things like leaky gut or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth all can be reasons that can cause bloating in our patients here. Dr. Carrie, there's such a wide differential of what can cause bloating, and we can spend a lot of time going into how we investigate it. Because, first, i think is you kind of have to find the root cause of what's going on, which is not really about today's topic, but we want to just give our listeners some tips on what they can do to help with the bloating. What would you recommend, Dr. Carrie, for that?

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

The first thing would be to say, "Hey, when do I get the bloating?" That can give you a little more insight into what the bloating is from. Some people have bloating around their cycle time and that's maybe more of a hormonal issue. A PMS or premenstrual symptom of more bloating or just feeling very swollen in their body. That means you have to look more at the hormones. Some people they get bloating right after they eat. If you eat a meal and then you get bloating right away, you have to think about your stomach acid content. Maybe you don't have enough stomach acid in order to help you digest your foods very well and therefore you get bloating right away. Some other people they get bloating a few hours after eating because it takes time for your food to go through your small intestines. Then you want to think about the small intestine bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, like you called it. Finding the root cause is very important and you kind of need a good experienced practitioner to tease apart what it could be. I do suggest that you call one of us to really find out what the root cause of the bloating is. Our office number is 714-709-8000 for a free initial phone call just to talk about your bloating or the constipation that you might be going through. We can also put you on some challenges. But if you wanted to try something at home, if you think that it's due to the stomach acid, low stomach acid, try either taking some betaine hydrochloric acid if under under an experienced practitioners care. Or you can try some apple cider vinegar with your meals or right before your meals and see whether that does help you. If it's hormonal, get down to the hormonal root cause, like I said. There is also additional testing you could do for SIBO, if it were that and your doctor would be able to order that for you.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Some other things that could also be helpful is taking some digestive enzymes. Sometimes that might help with the bloating and take it before each meal. But again, it depends on what the underlying root cause is because it can potentially make things worse as well. Sometimes you might just not even have enough good bacteria. Sometimes probiotics help but it also depends if you might have SIBO, then it might make it worse. Like you said, betaine HCL is also very good. Some people also find that cordyceps can also sometimes help with bloating as well. We have a very good recipe where you take some flaxseed and then you put it in some water and you heat it up, and then it becomes kind of slimy. It kind of actually helps coat your stomach as well. Sometimes that helps with bloating as well. If you want this recipe, then you can actually call into our office and make an appointment. We can kind of discuss further into what could be the underlying root cause of what your bloating is, and really target that root cause. Kind of just shooting in the dark, but doing some targeted therapies that would help you get better, get on the right track, and kind of just solve your problems once and for all.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

That's really great. Getting to the root cause, like we keep saying, is just so important in what we do in integrative and functional medicine. Trying to put band aids on symptoms like, if you go to a doctor, a conventional doctor and you just tell them you had stomach pain, they might just put you in an acid blocker like omeprazole or pantoprazole. But long term, those are not good medications to do. They reduce your stomach acid, they reduce the ability for your food to be digested. Long term mortality risk actually increases if you're on those acid blockers for more than six months.

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

Can affect your bones as well.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Osteoporosis leeches the minerals from your bones. You're right, there's just so much that's not getting to the root cause and so finding out why you have these, the constipation, the bloating, or other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea is very important to healing from the bottom up, rather than just fixing with the band

Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:

The next time you find yourself constipated or bloated, remember all the tips that we have mentioned and you can try a few of them to see if they help. But ultimately, again, like we mentioned throughout this podcast, getting down to the root cause and finding out what's causing those symptoms is very important. Or else we'll just be putting band aids on and things might snowball and get worse. So give our office a call at 714-709-8000 and we'll help you investigate and find out what the root cause is so that you can get your health back on track.

Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Remember to call us if you have any questions. I invite you to subscribe to our podcast The Dr. Lam Show anywhere you are listening right now. Stay tuned for our next episode and we thank you so much for listening. Remember that we're here to empower you to take control of your health.

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