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Ten Steps to Eliminating Constipation
Articles by Dr. Connie D'Astolfo & Dr. Lydia D'Astolfo

     Constipation is defined as the condition of delayed, difficult or deficient movements of the bowels. Constipation affects more than five million North Americans, predominantly older adults and women. Over the counter laxatives account for billions of dollars in sales per year by offering a quick fix, however they can cause dependency if over used and can make the problem worse in the long run, ie. the colon gets accustomed to the artificial stimulation provided by the laxatives and gradually the muscles get too weak and lazy to function without it.

     Fortunately there are other approaches to curing constipation naturally, while strengthening the colon and the rest of the body.

     1. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. The enzymes required to break down and assimilate food are found in raw fruits and vegetables. Eating raw foods uses less energy from the body and enables the body to digest and absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently. Fibre, also abundant in fruits and vegetables, creates bulk in the intestines and colon, scraping away at hard fecal matter and allows the colon to move more freely. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintaining optimum health.

     2. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Good quality water (steam distilled) should be consumed in small sips throughout the day to maintain proper hydration. Water, or other liquids should never be consumed during a meal because it impairs digestion by flushing away essential enzymes, i.e. gastric juices.

     3. Eat whole grains and legumes. Processed foods are heavily consumed in North America and this is a significant factor in the high incidence of colon dysfunction. Processed foods, i.e. white refined flour and sugar act like “glue” in the intestines, covering the hair like structures (cilia) and inhibiting proper digestion and elimination. A diet rich in whole grains is also rich in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, otherwise depleted in refined foods. Fiber has the ability to “clean” out the intestines like a brush, sweeping away at the hard fecal matter stuck over the cilia of the intestines. Instead of white flour try adding whole wheat, kamut, rye, spelt and oats to your diet. Legumes, i.e. kidney beans, chickpeas, etc. are also an excellent source of fibre as well as protein.

     4. Avoid meat and dairy. Meat and dairy (except yogurt) contain no fiber and no enzymes and thus are very difficult to digest and eliminate. In fact it takes two to three days for the human body to digest meat since our intestines are long and winding. Meat along with refined foods are the culprits in fecal matter which tends to get trapped within the folds and pockets of our intestines. This fecal matter will ferment and rot creating a great deal of toxins within the system and halting intestinal motility as well as intoxicating other organs in the body.

     5. Exercise daily. Exercise increases the basal metabolic rate, strengthens muscles and pumps the lymphatic system, encouraging the release of toxins, mobility of the intestines and speeds up metabolism.

     6. Eat more frequently and in smaller portions. Try not to eat large meals, especially after 6:00pm. The biggest meal of the day should be breakfast since digestion is more efficient during the morning. Chew your food at least 10 times before you swallow. This will allow the first step in digestion to take place in your mouth and ease the burden on the stomach and intestines.

     7. Fast periodically. Fasting is an easy and efficient way of getting rid of toxins in the body and gives the digestive system a period of much needed rest. Juice fasting is recommended for 3-5 days at least twice a year. Never fast on water alone.

     8. Take supplements. Supplementing your diet with “essential fatty acids” from sources like Primrose oil or Flaxseed oil can remove excess mucous from the intestinal wall, which tends to interfere with the absorption process. Also taking probiotics like Acidopholus will help restore the normal flora in the intestine. Normal flora aids in the breakdown of food and fecal matter and also lowers the population of the “nonfriendly” or pathogenic bacteria. Garlic is another supplement which destroys parasites and other pathogens in the intestines.

     9. Stay regular with sleep patterns and behavioral patterns for elimination. Your body is like a time clock. Train your body to eliminate at the same time everyday even if the urge does not exist. Also try to sleep at least 6-8 hours a day.

     10. Maintain a proper posture and healthy spine. When your posture is correct and your spine is functioning optimally, the digestive system will be properly innervated. Regular treatments with craniosacral therapy, chiropractic and applied kinesiology will maintain the health of
your musculo-skeletal system.

     If you are suffering from constipation it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a Natural care physician, who can prescribe a specific treatment plan which may include homeopathic/ herbal remedies, cleansing programs or manipulation designed to address the cause of your problem.

Dr. Lydia D’Astolfo , B.A., DI Hom. has a degree from York University  and is a Homeopathic Doctor, CranioSacral Therapist, Applied & Educational Kinesiologist.

Dr. Connie J. D’Astolfo, Hons. B.A., DI Hom, has a degree from The University of Toronto and is a Homeopathic Doctor and CranioSacral Therapist. Dr. C. D’Astolfo is presently completing her doctorate in chiropractic medicine in the United States.

Both Dr. Lydia & Connie D’Astolfo have been featured on TV  stations though out Canada and the United States. They have also  published many articles on natural health care in various popular magazines.

Dr. Lydia D’Astolfo can be reached at The Centre For Innate Healing at (905) 738-1948 Email address: and Dr. Connie J. D’Astolfo can be reached at her Chicago office at 1-630-495-0564 Email address:

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