Constipation and Other Health 'Mysteries'

Photo credit:  hermaion

Photo credit: hermaion

Helping people has always been important to me. I grew up loving science, and by the time I was in college I was fascinated by how nutrition affected the body, and overall health. When I found out I could study nutrition and actually major in it, well, I knew I had found my calling. 

I feel fortunate that I have been able to work with many people and help them find relief from chronic symptoms that Western/conventional medicine has not been able to help them with. So many of these 'mystery' conditions are rooted in imbalanced digestive and metabolic function. While these root causes are a mystery to Western/conventional practice, they are not in the functional medicine world. As a clinical nutritionist, I practice with a functional medicine approach, and these aspects of our health is where I focus my attention.

GA is a client of mine that had been experiencing severe, chronic constipation for over 40 years. She had been told by her physician that her bowel habits were normal. Normal! Let me tell you, this is anything but. If you are not having a bowel movement at the very least once per day (this isn't even enough to be honest), you are constipated. Constipation is defined as difficult, infrequent, or incomplete defecation, and symptoms of chronic constipation are continuous, and can adversely affect an individual’s physical and mental health, and quality of life.

There are a variety of causes of constipation, and first line approaches to resolve it include making sure you are eating enough fiber, and drinking enough water. When this doesn't help, underlying causes rooted in digestive and metabolic dysfunction may be involved. This was GA's case. Working together as a team, we were able to resolve her 40 year struggle with constipation. Forty years! Here's what GA had to say about our work together:

"Together, with Jennifer Brand, we have been able to identify not just what foods triggered the symptoms I was having FOR MORE THAN 40 years, but also what was behind them. The most problematic of my symptoms was chronic constipation. I would have episodes of not being able to go to the bathroom for 15 days at a time! She guided my path toward better health practices, and understood from the very beginning that something was not right. Jennifer has been my mentor, and health coach, and held my hand in down moments, celebrations and laughs. She showed me that a healthy lifestyle is about more than just eating the right foods, and that everything is connected. I can't thank her enough!!! "

If you have been experiencing symptoms that just won't let up, and no one has been able to figure out what's been going on, or if you have been managing symptoms by taking prescription medications, finding the root cause of the problem can help you feel better. When the root cause of our health issues is not addressed it can continue to wreak havoc on the body, and cause a wide variety of additional problems over time. This does not have to be the case. There is hope, and there can be relief. As your teammate, I can help you get to where you know you can be to feel better, and solve your health mystery.