Dr. Conners answers the question: What are some ways to help with hard stools? This can be an embarrassing topic, but Dr. Conners gives us four ways to help!
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Dr. Kevin Conners
EDIT: Question: “My stools have been hard these past couple of weeks, which is abnormal for me. I’m still having two to three bowel movements per day, but I’m having a lot of gas, which is very embarrassing, any advice?” So whenever you’re having hard stools, the first thing you think of is, are you drinking enough water? Okay. Because if you’re dehydrated, you can have hard stools. Digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid are another first thing you think of. So the other thing that will help pull water into the bowel is magnesium. So the reason why a person takes magnesium and has looser stools is because you have a need for magnesium in your body. Matter of fact, probably of other nutrient there is, magnesium is utilized in more metabolic pathways than anything else. However, any excess magnesium will just be dumped back into the colon. And magnesium, because it’s a positive ion, will draw water to it. So if you take more magnesium than you need, then you will dump it into the colon. It draws water, and you will loosen your stools. So one of the easiest way, if you have real difficult stools, you have hard stools, constipation, my first go to is add magnesium, start taking some magnesium before bed. You’ll usually have looser stools just because it’ll draw water, but you can’t be dehydrated either, so make sure you’re drinking enough water also. You can have hard stools, and especially this last hint about lots of gas, because you’re not getting proper digestion. So if you’re getting a lot of gas, you’re getting food that’s sitting in your colon and your small intestine longer than it should, and it’s fermenting. And then that fermentation is causing gas. So different foods will ferment quickly. That’s why eating beans or something like that are “gassy foods,” because they ferment quickly. So you have to ask yourself, what’s your diet? Am I eating a lot of these foods that ferment? Or is food just staying in my colon longer, meaning I have a longer intestinal transit time. Therefore it’s has more time to ferment, and I’m not getting enough digestive enzymes. So adding digestive enzymes, adding HCL (hydrochloric acid) with each meal, when you eat your food is when you take the HCL. You can take digestive enzymes right then too, but you can take digestive enzymes anytime, make sure you have enough water consumption, and then make sure you add magnesium. So those are the things that I would suggest for that issue.
Dustin has been passionate about holistic health since he met his wife, Dr Mallory Ranem (Conners) almost 20 years ago. As the Digital Media Manager, he coordinates content across Conners Clinic’s large online presence, including written, video, and audio.