Infant formula is 98% ultra-processed oil, sugar, and protein powder. Homemade infant formula can help a child thrive in many of the same ways as breast fed babies.
Table of Contents
- Does an aching belly and constipation get in the way of your life?
- It’s called “chronic functional constipation.”
- What causes functional constipation?
- The Colon Can Start To Enlarge
- How to diagnose functional constipation
- How to treat functional constipation, with or without dilation
- Retraining Your Colon
- Shrinking A Dilated Colon
Does an aching belly and constipation get in the way of your life?
Do you get bloating and cramping feelings throughout the day?
Do you worry you might have a food allergy causing your stomach problems?
Today’s article was inspired by the story of a recent patient. A busy professional woman in her mid-forties who had been suffering from progressively increasing daily digestive discomfort for over fifteen years. She had been through food allergy testing and tried restricting the foods she was most sensitive to. She’d tried all kinds of diets. She’d tried probiotics. She’d tried herbal tea and fiber and laxatives. But nothing helped.
This article is continued below...(scroll down)
It helped. I feel great.
"It’s helped. I feel great."
NBA baskeball player
This has been life changing
"Let me tell you this has been life-changing. I have all of her books, in audible and ebooks! I have gotten rid of all the hateful 8 oils. I have trained my body to eat its own previously toxic body fat. Download that pod it's a game changer!"
Broadcaster / The Megyn Kelly Show
Deep Nutrition changed my life.
Fox News Primetime host
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic.
I feel free
For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it!
I feel so much better
I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you
Mike Deb Wootan Burcin
Better than ever
I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.
Marnie Robinson, MD
My allergies disappeared
The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district]. In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Heart Palpitations have Stopped
I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
I’ve lost over 50 pounds
I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion
Knowledge I didn’t know I needed
Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!
Fatburn Fix reader
Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great
I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!
FatBurn Fix reader
Lost 20 lbs I could never shed
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn. I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!
I feel great
My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.
Completed Dr Cate's online course
The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches
Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Dismantles the lie
Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.
Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
She knows the chemistry
Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.
Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
No one is better at communicating nutritional truth
Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.
Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix
Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!
Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Respected in the sports world
Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Brought seed oil issue front and center
Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Optimal health starts with food
If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Helped me with endurance
Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.
Silver bullet for me
Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.
Paul Grewal, MD
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Radically improve your health…
Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Pull up a chair…
I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.
Author of the Bulletproof Diet
The key to unlocking my fatburn
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine.
> Tears of joy
I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.
After listening to her full story and doing a complete exam, I told this long-suffering woman that I suspected she was suffering from THE MOST common cause of all tummy pain and belly aches that I see.
It’s NOT food allergies. It’s NOT gluten intolerance. It’s not even irritable bowel. What IS the number one most common reason for stomach aches and digestive problems?
It’s called “chronic functional constipation.”
Chronic means it’s been going on for a long, long time.
Occasional constipation is more familiar to most folks, and they usually know what exactly brought it on. Maybe you were traveling and couldn’t find a bathroom. Maybe you got dehydrated. Maybe you ate something that constipated you. This kind of ordinary constipation is called “occasional constipation” and is, by definition, brief and resolves in a few days.
When constipation doesn’t go away after you’re back into normal routines or after using of evacuation aids (like laxatives or enemas), and once it progresses to the point it becomes a chronic, long-term ongoing issue, then we call it “chronic functional constipation.”
Functional constipation may sound like a silly name. After all, how can constipation be functional? It’s called functional constipation to distinguish it from structural constipation caused by certain kinds of birth defects and other rare disorders. Functional constipation is very common in pediatric practice and is widely recognized as the number one cause of constipation in kids.
In adults, however, functional constipation often goes undiagnosed, sometimes for decades. Whether you’re two or 42, functional constipation has the same cause–and the same solution. To understand why treating functional constipation is more difficult than treating occasional constipation, we need to understand what causes functional constipation.
What causes functional constipation?
Constipation is a problem of the colon, which represents the last five feet or so of the entire roughly 30-foot digestive system. The small intestine breaks down your food so you can absorb the nutrients. This process uses enzymes and water–lots of water, over 2 gallons per day. This way, the small intestine is able to absorb most of the nutrition from your diet including protein, fats, vitamins, antioxidants, and salts. The colon re-absorbs most of that water and some of the remaining minerals. It houses the vast majority of the good bacteria in the gut. And serves as a poop storage facility until you find a convenient time to head to the bathroom and heed nature’s call.
And therein lies the problem. The colon is very patient. In some of us, it’s overly patient. Those with overly patient colons are prone to developing constipation.
You know that special urge you get when your colon is talking to you about finding a bathroom, soon? Well, how many times have you been too busy to head to the bathroom when you’re feeling that calling? When the feeling is uncomfortably strong, its called fecal urgency. There seems to be no name for just regular signaling, so I just call it the special urge.
You know what happens if you don’t go in response to the special urge, right? You miss your chance. If you’re having a really busy day, well the colon just buckles down, dilates a bit to hold more of the poop that your body is constantly creating, and waits until you decide the time is right.
If the time doesn’t come for a certain amount of time, well the overly patient colon just figures it won’t happen today and waits till the next day to send the signal again. If you are too busy the next day, it can wait some more. If you keep putting it off, it just keeps waiting. Eventually, in some of us, it will stop creating that special feeling altogether. And that’s when we can really get into trouble.
Kramer Has to Poop
One of Seinfeld’s writers must have suffered from functional constipation because he worked it into a skit that I find very helpful in understanding the importance of keeping up-to-date with the requests from your colon to spend some quiet time alone. Here it is:
Kramer missed his chance and now he can’t go. Normally ignoring the special urge just once, does not cause a problem. So my medical experience tells me that Kramer must have been ignoring his special urge for years and this set him over the edge.
The Colon Can Start To Enlarge
Missing the urge over and over again can have a disturbing consequence. Over time, like years, in a person with an overly patient colon, the colon will have to go beyond just dilating (stretching out like a balloon) to accommodate the extra stool it’s been asked to hold, it can actually grow bigger so it can hold more stool all the time (see Xray image, below)
And therein lies the reason why this disorder often goes unrecognized. Because when your colon is dilated and distended, you can feel it. But when your colon has grown larger but is not also distended, you don’t actually feel constipated.
Instead, you suffer from frequent cramping–because the colon has to work much harder to move all that stool along when its overly wide and overloaded. You can develop a bloated feeling because your colon holds bacteria too, trillions of them. And the more stool, the more bacteria you’ll house in your gut as well. A lot more, like two, three or even ten times as many. And all those bacteria are producing that much more gas. You may not even be expelling that much gas that often, but because your colon is dilated, it’s holding more gas. And the gas can collect in air pockets and cause localized distention and discomfort from time to time.
How to diagnose functional constipation
This should go without saying, but I do need to say it: This is not legal advice. No one should diagnose their digestive issues as functional constipation without first getting a proper evaluation and examination by a qualified practitioner to rule out other causes.
When it comes to finding a healthcare provider who will consider the diagnosis of functional constipation as the cause, however, that’s where it can get tough. Pediatricians see this issue all the time. So if you’re under 18, go see a pediatrician. If you’re 18 or older, see a Family Medicine physician. Family docs usually see kids too, and while you may need to prompt your family doc to consider the diagnosis of functional constipation in adults, he or she has learned about this disorder and should know how to treat it. If you have an Internal Medicine doctor or another specialist (even GI), they may not be so familiar with functional constipation, and it may be helpful to show this article to your doctor.
Here’s what I look for when I suspect functional constipation.
Abdominal exam: Sometimes when people are thin you can feel a movable blob in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen at the location of a part of the colon called the sigmoid. Sometimes there is mild tenderness throughout the entire belly. Most often the exam is completely normal.
XRay findings: When people are overweight enough that it’s impossible to really feel what’s in the abdomen, I rely on XRay. I also will get an XRay if I feel a mobile mass, to verify the presence of extra poop. I often show my patients their XRay as a visual aid to help understand that treating functional constipation is going to require a very different protocol than treating regular, occasional constipation.
How to treat functional constipation, with or without dilation
The treatment of functional constipation requires more diligence, patience, and consistency than the treatment of occasional constipation. You’re not just going to have to empty out a lot of extra stool. You’re going to have to give your colon time to shrink up again to get back to its normal size. And you’re also going to have to maintain that normal-sized, smaller colon or you will just develop the same problem again.
To accomplish both, you’re going to have to retrain your colon to get back in the habit of sending you the special signal again. The best way to revive the special signal is to pick one mealtime per day that you can head into the bathroom for a few minutes of quiet, private time. Just like when you’re potty training a toddler–you don’t wait until he tells you he has to go number two. You just plunk him on the toilet with something to keep him entertained. This does more than teach your toddler cognitively; you’re also teaching the nervous system in his belly (called the enteric nervous system) that after breakfast (or whenever you have chosen) is the time it gets to do its thing.
Retraining Your Colon
The key is consistency. You don’t want to do breakfast one day, then lunch the next, then dinner. It has to be the same ritual trip to the bathroom after the same meal, over and over again, or the colon just won’t learn.
Retraining your colon once you’ve developed functional constipation will typically require two steps.
The goal of step one is to get to the point where your body’s stool volume is back to normal. This can take days or, in severe cases, even weeks. I’ve written out some of the therapeutics I use for this stage to give you an idea of how aggressive you need to be. NOTE: I do not use all of the bulleted items, usually just one or two.
After providing the Step One protocol, I usually see people in follow-up and do a repeat exam to determine if we have achieved the goal of reducing the body’s stool volume to normal or if we need to continue for another week or so with this more aggressive therapy.
Shrinking A Dilated Colon
Then we formulate a program for step two. The goal of step two is to allow the overgrown colon to shrink back to a normal size. During step two you will need to be able to evacuate every day. You will most likely need to take something every day to accomplish that. I’ve included what I find useful for this stage in the image above as well. NOTE: I do not use all of the bulleted items, usually just one or two.
The Poop Rock
Before you embark on any treatment, if this has been an issue for a long enough to dilate your colon, you may have developed another complication of chronic functional constipation called a fecalith. Fecalith is Latin for “fecal stone” and that hopefully gives you an idea of how hard it can be to break up and evacuate this resistant waste material. A fecalith is a hardened area of stool that may be too large to evacuate and requires a rather intensive protocol to break up, including enemas, suppositories, and aggressive oral laxatives.
When I’m working with kids I usually like to explain a fecalith as “angry poo” and draw a cartoon of the relevant anatomy so they can get on board with the treatment plan because they need to be on board or you will have a tougher time clearing the problem.
I generally start with 3-4 enemas over 2-4 days, suppositories for the balance of a week and oral magnesium citrate solution for the full 7 days. Such intensive therapy can easily cause dangerous fluid or electrolyte imbalances in small children or anyone with kidney, heart, or liver disease. So I do not advise attempting to break up of fecalith without professional help.
The total treatment time for functional constipation usually requires 4-8 months and several visits. But you can expect a complete recovery. Just remember, your colon requires your cooperation to function at its best. If you give it just a little time every day to do its thing, you’ll have the rest of the day to do everything else you want!