Healthy Foods and Healthy Bowels
Last updated: May 2018
We never realize just how much our daily bowl of food intake can play with our overall health and bowel movements until you are challenged with a health condition. It then requires moderation of certain things we eat. The liver is a PRIME example.
Healthy Bowel Movements Are Important
I am among the crowd of you who have to take "lactulose and Xifaxan" (medications to help my liver filter toxins out of my system and clear my brain fog). These medications are what help me stay clear and alert all day. It is primarily used to generate bowel movements. At first, I loved that sweet thick syrupy medication. But as the days, months, and years have gone by, this once-favored medication has become my gag reflex. Those of you now taking this GET what I am talking about here. It now has become my plug my nose and chug daily ritual...YUCK!!!!
With that said we know that we as patients must increase and decrease dosages of this medication based on our daily bowel movements. You see this medication goes into our system and gathers all those nasty toxins our livers are no longer filtering out of our bodies and rids them through a bowel movement (BM for short). Nobody loves talking about their bodily functions and quite frankly, it makes me uncomfortable writing this. But, I know that by education we all can live happy more liver-friendly lives. So, I am doing this for you all :)
It is critical for damaged liver patients to keep track of their BMs. It is not uncommon for myself to go several days without a BM, however, severe constipation can lead to serious issues. You must talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any brain fog, sluggishness, severe abdominal cramping as this could be something you too can be treated for. Again, it is serious and you need to address it as such. Hepatic encephalopathy can be monitored and regulated to some form of control with diet, prescribed medication like Lactulose and Xifaxan.
A Healthy Diet Can Help
We as liver patients ALL struggle with constipation in some form or fashion. I have learned that I can personally get by with minimal dosages of lactulose if I just add more fruits, vegetables, and fiber to my diet. By getting my bowl full of fruits and veggies I can stay on the lowest dosage of that medication. Anything I feel I can do personally to help my liver and not have to take any more of that medication - the better for me. I have found this to be my ticket to regular BMs, clear mind, more energy and the lowest dosage of medication. A WIN, WIN for my body :)
My daily intake includes fruits, like pineapple, apples, oranges, pears, plums, grapes. Once a week, I meal prep. I stir in together all these fruits and put into individual baggies and that way no time is needed when I am in a rush, I grab a bowl and go. I do love my veggies as well, anything from carrots, celery, radishes, peppers. You can find things that you love and get them prepped for easy snack options as well.
WHAT IS IN YOUR BOWL this morning? It could depend on what goes through your BOWEL at the end of the day.