Artist: Jana Brike
Poop… Yes, I said it, and I know this is a subject that is often swept under the rug!
Our poop patterns constantly change throughout the unique flow of our digestive system and menstrual cycles.
Have you ever noticed diarrhea becoming more prominent at menstruation? How about constipation during the weeks leading up to menstruation?
Growing our awareness, and understanding the health of our poop as a health signal has not yet become the norm’. We seem to only dig deeper when something seems ‘off’ and our abdomen becomes uncomfortable, although many of us are naturally intrigued with what is happening down-there. Our pooping flow is yet another sign we can use to determine the health of our entire body!
Gratefully, we have the magical ability to flow with and learn the phases of our cycles in aid of easing any discomfort or unexpected happenings that may arise.
The relation between the Reproductive Cycle and Digestive System
Estrogen and Progesterone influence our flow of digestion, directly relating to the two phases of our cycles.
Progesterone levels decrease on cycle day 1, while estrogen levels rise for the initiation of moon time. Our bowels release more-easily as a result of this estrogen increase, and sometimes too quickly. I’m talking about diarrhea!
Our intestines and reproductive organs are already naturally next-door neighbors in the body. The contraction of one has been found to affect the contraction in the other through the body’s release of prostaglandins. If prostaglandins are imbalanced, uterine contractions may activate and discomfort in other body parts (ie: menstrual healdaches and too-quickly passing bowels) may arise.
Include Tumeric into your daily routine to reduce Prostaglandin levels.
Natural Remedies for Diarrhea
- Rice (a go-to Traditional Chinese Medicine approach)
- Apple sauce
The flow of food through our digestive system is controlled by peristalsis, a naturally fluid muscle contraction in the intestines.
Peristalsis in the intestines allows the body to absorb proper nutrients and digest at the most optimal pace. Ovulation causes progesterone to release, sometimes affecting the wavy movement of peristalsis. Peristalsis does not easily function when hormones are off balance.
Natural Remedies for Constipation
- Chew food well before swallowing
- Dandelion Root Tea (read instructions, use only as needed)
- 3-5 Dates or Prunes
- Hot water bottle for instant relief
- ‘Squatty Potty’ – position yourself naturally to poop
A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach on constipation
In TCM, it is believed that the stomach needs acid in order to digest properly. When we drink while eating, the stomach acids that are necessary for digestion become dilute.
Digestion Tip: Drink water at least 30 minutes before, and 30 minutes after putting food in your body.
- Processed white sugar
- White bread
- White rice
Track your digestive flow in a Chart Journal to become aware of your unique cycle!
Keep in Mind
There is much more that comes into play when diagnosing digestive medical issues. Besides estrogen and progesterone, many other bodily functions affect the flow of the digestive system. If diarrhea or constipation continue, find a caring professional (naturopath, traditional Chinese medicine doctor, etc) that can help your needs in person.