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Filtering by Tag: constipation

Curing Digestion Problems at the Mall

Lisa Eberly

First things first, I asked my client over and over again if I could share this story with the world and she very generously said 'yes please!' so, first, THANK YOU to my amazing client willing to share her story. 

Second, this article is going to talk about what most health bloggers are scared to mention: bathroom problems. Yep.

My client's problem: she couldn't *ahem* "go" to the bathroom until...wait for it...she was at the mall. 

That's why she came to see me, a dietitian, to help her fix her situation and get her going to the bathroom more regularly. 

The mall thing was an interesting twist. 

When getting my masters and in my clinical internship I learned something very important about the career path I chose: if you work in medicine, more conversations than you'd guess will revolve around your client's pooping habits. Whether you're a doctor or nurse or dietitian, you've gotta get reeeeaallll comfortable around da P-word. 

Back to the mall. 

I'm not sure if any of you notice this pattern or a similar one ("I only get the urge to go when I'm ________"), but after careful scrutiny, my client and I determined the root cause of her shopping-induced urges. 

Can you guess what it was? 

I'll wait...


Yep, walking. After discussing her usual habits, my client and I discovered that, more often than not, she wasn't walking quite as much as she should be daily. That is, unless, she was walking around the mall that day! 

It turns out shopping IS great exercise! 

Cardio exercises, like running, jogging, and yes, even walking, all help digestion. 

How does this work?

Well, exercise helps constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, therefore limiting the amount of water absorbed from the intestines into the body (more water in the intestines --> easier it is to "go"!). Also, aerobic exercise increases your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles. These are the muscles that are going to move anything in your intestines out of your body. 

So, my client was using exercise to stimulate her intestines without even realizing it!

Needless to say, she and I had fun figuring that one out. 

If you've been having problems in the bathroom, try taking a walk around the block for 30-45 minutes and see if that 'gets things going,' if you will. :)

If that doesn't do the trick, you can always make an appointment with me to get to the bottom of things! Plus, since you're a reader, that means we're friends, which means you get 20% off an appointment with the code FRIENDS. See you soon!