Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have constipation.
You may have constipation if you have an easy bowel movement less often than once per day. If you have chronic constipation it can cause fatigue and inflammation in the body as toxins recirculate. Below I have listed foods to prevent constipation and lifestyle tips that you can do to make you more regular.
Causes of Constipation
- Diet high in refined foods and low in fibre
- Low water intake
- Lack of exercise
- Underactive thyroid
- Poor liver function
- Lack of magnesium in the diet
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid all animal products especially red meats which have a long transit time through the bowel. Only eat these foods in moderation.
- Cut back on dairy foods which are mucus forming and add to the plaque in the intestines. Instead have organic rice, almond, oat or goat’s milk.
- Also cut down on full fat cheeses and don’t eat melted cheese over food as it sets like plastic in the bowel.
- Avoid refined sugars found in cakes, biscuits, desserts and highly processed foods which ferment in the gut causing gas and bloating as healthy bacteria are destroyed. If these healthy bacteria are missing, your digestion and elimination are impaired.
- When you mix flour and water it makes a gooey paste, it does the same in the bowel, therefore cut down on pastries and flour-based foods.
- Also avoid foods which you have an intolerance to, for example cow’s milk. Many people do not have the enzyme needed to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk. This can lead to putrefaction in the bowel.
Foods to Eat
- Flaxseeds (linseeds) are a blend of insoluble and soluble fibres which bulk up the stool encouraging it to move gently through the bowel. Ground flaxseed and use 1 tablespoon on your porridge or in a fruit smoothie every day. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
- Other high fibre foods are fresh and dried figs, blackcurrants, apricots, prunes, almonds, fresh coconut and all mixed nuts. Try eating 8 prunes per day with breakfast for an easier bowel movement.
- Eat more lightly cooked or raw vegetables and salads to add more fibre to your diet.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
- Replace one meal a day with a fruit smoothie whilst eliminating all flour from any source for at least 2 days. Blend 1 banana, 1 organic apple, 30g blueberries, 1 teaspoon of green powder, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds (linseeds) with 500ml almond milk. It’s delicious and packed with fibre.
- Additionally eat more magnesium rich foods including green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate, which relax the colon muscles and encourage a bowel movement.
Why does constipation cause fatigue?
- If you have constipation, you have toxins recirculating in your system. This can lead to inflammation and fatigue.
- Also being constipated can put a strain on your liver to constantly try to process and detox the recirculating toxins, leading to chronic fatigue.
- It can cause bloating and tummy pain leading to discomfort and disturbed sleep, which can lead to fatigue.
Furthermore if you would like to find out more about foods to prevent constipation, contact Kate on 07562 868342 for a free 15 minute consultation!
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