causes of constipation

Like mental illness, constipation needs its time on the speaker. Shit is dirty talk to most people’s ears, sometime smelly to our noses, including very shitty stuff for some cultures. For some, like Elvis Presley, it caused his death. Many claim how they get irritable or uncomfortable when they don’t go to the loo every day. What is constipation and how does constipation cause death? What causes constipation? (making it up to you with pictures of flowers!!)

Not sure all crevices can be covered in this short article and there may be bumps along the way, and to put it on record, I believe a good transit time (your ideal transit time) is ideal for our better health and natural, and that constipation is a symptom that can be caused by many things. Should this be a topic of keen interest to you, I suggest you explore the topic further outside of this article, and perhaps read ‘GULP’ by Mary Roach if your stomach is up to it. Next to that, ask for guidance if you want to know if you have constipation (a test) and how to deal with yours.

I do not want to shit on Elvis Presley. Let’s just say he isn’t the only person on this planet to have died from constipation and a megacolon, there was also Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette (so it is written). In these cases, there was paralysis in the large intestine/colon that caused a megacolon or large colon. In the case of Elvis, his colon was two to three times the size of a normal colon as discovered at his autopsy. Where there is paralysis, the problem would cause a halt of the fecal matter. Paralysis of some of the colon wall would cause that area of the colon to grow abnormally large with compacted matter…what’s the matter? This could be caused by drugs such as painkillers, antidepressants, and others. (Taking medications? Check the side effects – looking for constipation and nerve damage. Always a good thing to do anyway.)


How does constipation cause death? According to Elvis’ doctor, Dr. George Nichopoulos, he would be pushing and pushing and holding his breath. The technical term is the Valsalva maneuver (‘GULP’ page 296).

Not only is the Valsalva used to clear the ears (pinch your nose and blow) but also in pushing to have a bowel movement so much so that it puts a strain on the heart whereby the heart rhythm is thrown off and fatal. Elvis apparently had a compromised heart and arrhythmia is listed as the cause of death. In Roach’s book, it points to the possibility that Elvis may have had issues going to the bathroom as a child. The condition that is the main cause of megacolon is called Hirschsprung’s disease and most are diagnosed as young children even infants.

Why all this talk about constipation? What is considered to be constipation?

Definition: Constipation is a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened feces.

constipation Elvis Presley

In my research reading, I would read that constipation could mean that toxins would be reintroduced back into the blood and body. It seems that this may not be the case in normal colons hence no problem here unless someone’s colon ruptures opening up into the inner spaces of the body. This is life threatening. It is fair to say, that a normal movement of fecal matter (shitty stuff) needs to be removed from the body in a timely matter. Do we understand what the ideal time is? I only question this because if the stools are passed often and too loose then there are issues with malabsorption. We need the food to remain in our digestive tract long enough to extract the essential nutrients and such. No nutrients coming in then nutritional deficiencies occur which is connected to a number of unwanted symptoms but not the only reason.

For some, this could be once a day of large proportions while for others it could mean three times per day. I could tell you that my bowels moved according to the amount of food I ate to the type of food I ate. For my bowels including my rate of digestion, bananas are a big no go. I also find when I eat too much sugar this changes the stools up. When I eat highly processed foods which would include organic chips or even alcohol, movements would speed up like my body wanted it out quickly. When things slow down in my digestive system, it seems to exactly correlate to the slowing down of my high energy. You see, I like to experiment with my 50+ body because it gives me hands on experience not that my experiences would be your experiences. Please do share your experiences with me.

water helps constipation

The internet has listed these to be culprits of constipation repeating some of which I have experienced, how about you? I added a thought or two in case it is helpful and they may ‘move’ you to change some of your current habits.

  • #1 resisting the urge to go, from no go TO go right now, no questions asked, excuse yourself
  • #2 not drinking enough water, go with the flow, drink enough clean water daily (rough estimate: body weight / 2 = # of ounces per day)
  • #3 lack of wholesome foods (a.k.a nutrients) which may or may not include fiber, like the Inuit who are healthy and do not consume any fruits, vegetables nor grains but in this case for you, go with what your system and perhaps your culture consumes such as the Mediterranean diet
  • #4 lack of exercise, from stretching to some walking every day, from your favourite activities such as throwing a frisbee to gym classes or programs you enjoy – just do it! says Nike – on the other hand, too much sitting is the new smoking I hear
  • #5 medications such as painkillers especially narcotics (perhaps cannabis doesn’t have this problem?), antidepressants, antacids, and certain supplements such as those containing calcium or iron, check out the possible side effects of any thing you put into your mouth says I the holistic practitioner
  • medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid or other serious medical conditions, do your homework as you may be trying all of the above with no luck in helping your constipation, but also see below for some other culprits of slowing down the movement
  • foods such as bananas, peanut butter, hard cheeses, chocolate, and others whereas other foods may speed up digestion and bowel movements such as alcohol, and coffee which may create a lazy colon in the long run and a reliance on coffee/laxatives – best to create a natural peristaltic bowel movement using a good healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle such as exercise and relaxation because if the bowels move too quickly there may be a lack of nutrients absorbed from the foods
  • important: diabetes and other neurological diseases which cause nerve damage in the digestive system, just like in Elvis’ situation, best to connect with a doctor, and with the assist of a holistic practitioner to get at the root cause or according to the University of Toronto one could use raw seal oil to grow nerves back, which sounds like a good option to try alongside other healthy lifestyle changes – look at the big picture

Quite the list to be sure. This is worth repeating in every blog – get to know your body and your body will tell you things. Constipation is a symptom and the root cause could be one, two or several things. It could be a sign of serious things going on but best to not draw conclusions because the stress will cause worry and worry will affect your health.

With Iridology which is the reading of the coloured part of the eyes, it is easy to see the shape of the colon, and what may be the cause(s). Every month, I give a workshop to teach people more about the science of Iridology for your better health. There are other tools that indicate a sluggish colon or constipation (shitty stuff).

From all that I read, it is best to create healthy habits to see what happens and what is left over. There are ways to move things along in a healthy way but is the timing right for you – thinking about the internal salt water bath and various detoxes including herbs. If this is interest for you at this time, contact me to see what may work better for you.


About Cheryl

Cheryl Millett Holistic Nutritionist

Cheryl Millett
Champion for your better health…

Before the age of 20, it never dawned on me that what I chose to put in my mouth would have such a dramatic effect on my wellbeing.
On my path of discovery, I learned that our eating choices directly affected how much energy we have first thing in the morning or that it would build our immune system strength during flu season. Part of it was coming to understand how gentle nutritional cleansing directly helped overcome my health challenges. People keep telling me how beautiful my skin is or how I look younger.
As my studies continued, it became obvious that there is an intrinsic connection between the mind, body and spirit which directly affects our health and happiness. Also learned that Omegas are another critical piece of the wellness puzzle. I became convinced when the Auum omegas alone turned on some switches in my brain in just one day.
I have developed a deep appreciation for the wonderful miracle workers our bodies are in the recovery process.  Our bodies have a natural intelligence.  I am passionate to share the connection between nutrition and wellness in my practice and my presentations.

Contact Me