Cure Constipation Naturally

   Rock the Squat

First, do the squat! Elevating your feet while on the bathroom throne brings your body into the elimination position nature intended. A squatting position fully relaxes the puborectalis muscle, while the conventional seated posture actually puts a kink in the anorectal angle.

I’m using words like “puborectalis” and “anorectal” because I really don’t want to scare you off with personal details about how squatting rocks. So I’ll just say that proper pooping alignment means no straining.
I keep a step stool by my toilet to elevate my feet. You can also get a Squatty Potty, which is much less of an eyesore.

   Get Things Greased Up

Want to cure constipation? First, start by ignoring this ridiculous claim made in an article on

“Saturated fats are difficult for your body to digest and can contribute to hard, difficult-to-pass stools. Your child should eliminate consumption of saturated fats to help alleviate abdominal pain associated with constipation.”

Thankfully, many of us understand that old-fashioned saturated fats play a vital role in health, and should compromise generous part of the diet (get these fats from pastured animal sources and coconut oil).
Your body needs saturated fats to prevent constipation. Nourishing fats work to make the entire digestive process effective and efficient. The first step in any healing process, I believe, is reducing grain consumption and increasing traditional fats.

Try to include at least three tablespoons of healing fats a day, along with grassfed beef and pastured egg yolks. I eat 4-5 tablespoons of healing fats along with 2-4 duck eggs every day, as well as full fat, homemade goat milk yogurt and fatty cuts of grassfed beef.

   The Magnesium Cure-All

I love magnesium. It makes me sleep better, it gives me energy, and it gives me good poops! Ann Marie wrote a great article on why you need magnesium and how to get it in foods.
I use two different magnesium supplements:

~  Natural Vitality Natural Magnesium Calm  contains a highly absorbable powder form of magnesium which dissolves in warm water. I love the mildly tangy, warm drink before bed. I buy the Vitacost Store brand - same product, but nearly half the price. It may take a period of adjustment to find the proper serving size for you. I take 2 level teaspoons a day.

~  I also rub magnesium oil on my arms a legs a couple times a day . You can buy inexpensive magnesium oil at Vitacost, or follow my friend Caroline’s instructions to make your own magnesium oil.

   Balance the Beneficial Bacteria

Healthy gut flora lays the foundation for all areas of health. When these good probiotics get ravaged by processed foods, sugar, and toxins, the whole digestive process deteriorates.

Often, incorporating a fermented food with each meal significantly improves irregularity. Include a tablespoon of lacto-fermented veggies with lunch and dinner. Enjoy a cup of yogurt (homemade or the plain, whole milk type) with breakfast and snacks. As a bonus, these naturally fermented foods will boost your immune system!

Balancing gut flora also means addressing an overgrowth of opportunistic flora by limiting or restricting sugar, grains, and processed foods. In serious cases–like me–it means following the GAPS Diet regimine for a couple years of intensive good bacteria breeding.

   Water Enemas

Yes, I know. That hole is supposed to be as an exit, not an entrance. And the ick factor of this healing routine sometimes takes a bit of effort to overcome. But if you want a natural constipation cure that works immediately, this is it.

Before reading about water enemas in GAPS, I tried this herbal healing implant enema to stop the intestinal bleeding during an ulcerative colitis flare. I remember laying on my towel-covered bed, tears of distress running down my cheeks, as my mom tried in vain to help me through the process.
It was a mortifying experience.

A year later, when I read the GAPS book, I nearly flushed the book down the toilet when I saw that Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends water enemas for constipation. I had already–unfortunately–decided to go full out with my healing journey and so I would have to try this enema thing again.
After spending an entire day summoning the courage, I set aside a whole hour that evening (an evening when I had the house entirely to myself) to just do it.

Guess what? I lived through it. In fact, the results were so… *desperately searching for discreet adjective*… profound that I now do a water enema once a month. And yes, the process is not pleasant. But it’s not painful, either. 

There are a couple tactful and helpful sources on the web to teach you how to do an enema. I like this one.

Follow the instructions in the GAPS book for a plain water enema. You can also use a detoxing coffee enema. Don’t add anything else to the enema, such as sea salt or epsom salt. Don’t even use a coffee enema if you have Crohn’s, colitis, or any kind of bowel/intestinal inflammation or leisons.

  Sitting with legs elevated, like a crouching position in the natural position for a bowel movement

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Breast milk found to kill HIV

Is it possible that breast milk contains the magic potion which kills the virus that causes AIDS? According to new research, that's a distinct possibility.

A recent study published in PLoS Pathogens, which was conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, found that mice did not contract HIV after ingesting virus-tainted breast milk.

Moreover, the researchers found, the breast milk actually killed the virus.

The mice used in the study had previously been injected with human cells to reconstitute their bodies, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte reported. Other reports said the mice were injected with human bone marrow, liver and thymus tissues so they would have fully functional human immune systems and be nearly as susceptible to the HIV virus.

It's the first study to examine the effect of breast milk on HIV in a mammalian model. Prior research has only been done in test tubes.

"The results of these experiments highlight the potent HIV inhibitory activity of normal human breast milk and demonstrate that the in vitro HIV inhibitory activity of human breast milk is also capable of efficiently preventing oral transmission of cell-free HIV," the study said.

   Breast milk serves a 'protective role'

Researchers who conducted the study hope it demonstrates that it's safe for an HIV-positive woman who is taking anti-retrovirals to breastfeed her children, even though for years they have been told not to do so if infected.

"[O]ur results highlight the protective role of human breast milk against HIV transmission and suggest that components in both the skim milk and lipid fractions may contribute to its HIV inhibitory activity," the study said.

Dr. Viktor Garcia, the study's senior author, said in a press release that this study will help "close this important door to the spread of AIDS."

"No child should ever be infected with HIV because it is breastfed. Breastfeeding provides critical nutrition and protection from other infections, especially where clean water for infant formula is scarce," he said in a press release to the university. "Understanding how HIV is transmitted to infants and children despite the protective effects of milk will help us close this important door to the spread of AIDS."

   Study results provide the path ahead

Angela Wahl, a post-doctoral researcher at UNC School of Medicine and lead author of the paper, said, "These results are highly significant because they show that breast milk can completely block oral transmission of both forms of HIV that are found in the breast milk of HIV-infected mothers: virus particles and virus-infected cells.

Wahl added: "This refutes the 'Trojan horse' hypothesis which says that HIV in cells is more stubborn against the body's own innate defenses than HIV in virus particles."

Despite the encouraging study, it's not a certainty that mothers with HIV who breastfeed their children won't pass the virus along. But Wahl said the research is, essentially, a good starting point for further study because it lays the foundation for the next step - figuring out what component of breast milk actually provides the protection. To do that, researchers will now have to study breast milk from mothers who did pass along the virus and the milk of mothers who did not, to find the difference.

"What we have shown is that breast milk is indeed a protective agent, so it should not be denied even to children of HIV-infected women," she told Fox News. "What we know is that infants who acquire HIV during breastfeeding weren't infected at the time of birth, and when you look at the virus that eventually infects the infant and the virus in mother's breast milk, it's the same. But it doesn't mean it couldn't be the result of [contact with] blood."

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Breast cancer - "overdiagnosis"

With Routine Mammograms, Some Breast Cancers May Be Overtreated

The endless debate over routine mammograms is getting another kick from an analysis that sharply questions whether the test really does what it's supposed to.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch coauthor of the analysis of mammography's impact, which was just published in The New England Journal of Medicine, tell Shots that the aim was to "get down to a very basic question."

That is, do annual mammograms among women over 40 discover early-stage breast cancers that can be treated so that they never become deadlier late-stage tumors?

 A mammographer prepares a screen-film mammography test for patient Alicia Maldonado at a hospital in Los Angeles

Welch, of Dartmouth Medical School, and coauthor Dr. Archie Bleyer of the Oregon Health and Science University, analyzed 30 years of data on breast cancer incidence.

"And what we see is a dramatic increase — a doubling — in the amount of early-stage cancer," Welch says. "But we don't see a corresponding decrease in the amount of late-stage cancer."
They say this means mammography isn't catching many advanced breast cancers — even though it's very good at catching early tumors.

Too good, perhaps. The duo says many of the early tumors revealed by mammography don't need to be treated at all. Doctors call that "overdiagnosis."

Welch says more than 1 million women have been overdiagnosed with breast cancer over the past 30 years. And the problem continues.

"Seventy thousand women a year are overdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily for breast cancer," Welch says.

This all may come as a shock to many women — and their doctors. No other diagnostic test has been more aggressively promoted than mammography — or, lately, been so controversial, with the possible exception of  PSA tests for prostate cancer.

"Whenever I see a paper like this, I say, 'Oh, boy, here we go again!' " says Dr. Carol Lee, a breast-imaging specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Lee is on the communications committee of the American College of Radiology, whose members often do mammograms. In a statement, the group says the new analysis "is simply wrong."

The ACR's main criticism is that Welch and Bleyer don't account for what the radiologists say was a steady increase in the incidence of invasive breast cancer. They say that can explain why mammography didn't lower the incidence of advanced breast cancer more.

Welch rejects that claim. "Why was breast cancer incidence so stable in the late '70s, only to shoot up in the 1980s — the very time mammography was introduced?" he writes in an email. "Why didn't incidence rise dramatically in women under 40 — those not exposed to screening?"

Welch is no newcomer to debates over the benefits and harms of diagnostic screening tests. In fact, he's a well-known iconoclast, who last year published the popular book Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health.

"He has a pre-existing bias, just as those of us in the breast-imaging community have a pre-existing bias," Lee says. "The truth probably lies somewhere in between."

Still, Lee finds it hard to believe that 70,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer that would not have progressed. And she says the debate isn't very helpful to most women.

"What my friends in Connecticut want to know is, 'Should I have a screening mammogram?' And ... this kind of study sometimes raises more questions than it answers," Lee says.

San Francisco breast surgeon Laura Esserman agrees that women are tortured by these endless debates. But she sees a way out of the dilemma.

"Our concept of cancer has got to change," she tells Shots. "We now recognize that there isn't just one pathway — it's not cancer, yes or no." And doctors know now that cancer doesn't always lead to death.

Esserman thinks mammography screening should be done more selectively. Women at lower risk of breast cancer — because they don't have close relatives who've had it or have a genetic predisposition for it — may not need to be screened so often.

Second, she says women and their doctors have to get out of the mind-set that any breast cancer should be treated maximally. For instance, doctors now routinely deploy surgery, hormones and radiation to treat a condition called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS

"We can watch a lot of those things and most of them turn out to be just fine," she says.

But this is a long way from how either mammography or breast cancer treatment is practiced right now.

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