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If Laxatives are a Major Food Group!

Janet Lewis: Hello and welcome to this week’s show. I’m Janet Lewis.


Dr. Lewis: And I’m Dr. Lewis.


Janet Lewis: We are Green Wisdom Health. We are here to help you with your health goals. We have a very exciting show today. It is called If Laxatives are a Major Food Group.


Dr. Lewis: I made that up.


Janet Lewis: That’s pretty good, because there’s so many people taking them. I do want to mention one exciting feature though we’ve done to our website, which if you guys have been following along with us and I apologize for all the glitches we’ve had along the way-


Dr. Lewis: That’s typical.


Janet Lewis: Growing pains hurts sometimes. We are getting everything lined out. Our new website is On that, you can now purchase your lab panels yourselves. We’ve gone through and we’ve actually figured out what featured labs Dr. Lewis would like to see on you so that you don’t have to go through the whole list of different panels. Of course, you can always pick out what you want. On the featured panels, Dr. Lewis has included the consultation supplement recommendations, there’s a functional medicine report and the labs, so we’ve bundled it all together, made it very low cost. There’s about five he really likes there, so take a look on our website under the lab panels tab when you get a chance. We’re pretty excited about it. That’s been a long time coming and we’re going to have some other fun stuff coming as well, so stay tuned. In the mean time, Dr. Lewis, can you tell us about why there are so many people needing laxatives and what’s going on with our colon health that we can’t go on our own anymore?


Dr. Lewis: Well, that’s a pretty multi-faceted answer. I think it gives a whole new meaning to people who are obsessive compulsive or anal about things, because sometimes the way you look at things mentally can actually contribute to that, stay all tied up. There’s many, many reasons. Janet and I made a podcast quite a while ago, it started about gut health and we had gotten down to bile salts, which I’m going to talk about. Constipation is a really, really bad thing. There’s so many possible answers. I think probiotics are really important, and you have to realize taking one capsule of probiotics, and some of them out there are not any good at all, it’s hard to overwhelm trillions and trillions and trillions of bad bacteria, yeast, fungus, and viruses. It’s best if you learn to brew your own and take good probiotic supplements.


The other thing you’ve got to realize, if you get good GI health just to fix constipation, these probiotics can actually alter genetic expression and increase the ability of your body to become more of what it can be and can suppress a lot of the genes that can cause cancer and other things. If you want to get to real technical, read the book The Microbiome Diet, it’s really good.


Constipation can be one thing or a combination of many things, like the bad bugs in the gut. They actually put out toxins and they sort of intoxicate or paralyze some of the nerve to muscle function. It’s very important to have good bile flow, good bacteria, because once you don’t, once your bile is excreted and it’s changed the estrogen and estrogen mimicking chemicals from a four and 16 hydroxy pathway down to a two, which is the safe for estrogens. If you don’t have the good probiotics there, it’ll reabsorb into the lining of the large intestine and can go back to the bad form of estrogen and is a major contributor to cancer. If that is happening, most people are also constipated. It’s usually also a lack of digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid being the main one. Most people say, “I have too much acid.” Most people have too much alkali, they both burn.


The other thing is food allergies that cause inflammation in the gut lining, which causes impaired function, which is not just gluten, but it can be gluten. Gluten’s like four to 40 times more common than it used to be because of the way they’ve hybridized wheat, et cetera, and the way we fertilize the NPK actually causes the plants to grow too fast and they put out more protein. People say protein’s good. No, because the protein is gluten.


Most of us have nutrient deficiencies, magnesium being the number one. It depends on what research you read. Some say a third of the population is deficient. Some of the government websites say that generally we only get 40% of the magnesium that we need, and I’ve read other solid research that says 94% of us are severely deficient.


People that take antacids, which are usually calcium based, or just take calcium for strong bones, which is not true folks. I don’t recommend straight calcium. The calcium will constipate you, because calcium actually helps the muscle tense up, and magnesium acts in conjunction to balance calcium, and if you’re low in magnesium, magnesium relaxes the muscle wall. It relaxes the wall of the arteries, so better blood flow, lower blood pressure in some cases. Magnesium is, I think, where it’s at as far as nutritional deficiencies, first place to start.


Then you’ve got to say, the processed foods, terrible. If it comes out of a box and it’s full of flour, you’re asking for not just constipation, but for GI and bowel problems. Cheeses can do it, although digested enzymes, which we’ll talk about, can help if it’s a good cheese, not the hydrogenated oil mimicking cheese. Bread, sugars, alcohol, god I hate to say that.


Janet Lewis: What? That’s liquid. How is that constipating? See, he’s clueless. He doesn’t know. He’s trying to defend it.


Dr. Lewis: I’m not going to stop it. I don’t do much of it really.


Janet Lewis: I guess it’s just very drying.


Dr. Lewis: The barley and the rye and the hops, so beer’s probably not the best alcohol. Although a good dark beer can be good, a stress reducer.


Janet Lewis: We’ll move past that one.


Dr. Lewis: It’ll help you relax your anal sphincter I guess. God, you get me off track.


For gut health, lack of B complex, which is all of us pretty much. That’s because the food processing takes it out, not that there’s a lot in our food anyway. Antibiotics do that, birth control pills, and the sugar that I mentioned, antacids. That all leads to inflammation, and inflammation leads to poor bowel function. It’s really, really, really common. Some say as much as 30% of the population is constipated. It’s like, I don’t know, I think it’s probably higher than that, or maybe we just see that and our percentage is higher than that.


Think about changing your diet and one of the best things you can do to change it is add fresh fruits and vegetables because they’re full of fiber. Our body is not designed to break down fiber, so it goes further down and then the good probiotics begin to eat on the fiber and begin to live. You can take probiotics, which I suggest you do, but if you don’t have fiber in there, they don’t have a home to live in. Think of that.


Some of these neurotoxic substances that I talk about from the bad bacteria and candida, they can contribute or create things like depression, panic attacks, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and people say all the time, brain fog, I have brain fog. You have to think if you do something to your body, it needs to be good, because sooner or later, most people will say, I’m glad I did or I wish I had. I talk to a young lady just a while ago, Kelly from Oklahoma, she’s sweet, her and her husband. They stay pretty much on track. They’re just so consistent and so concerned about their health.


Then I had a long conversation with Pete up in Missouri, he’s been our stuff for like four years and he says, “What about this, what about that? I’m sorry to bother you,” and it’s like, I love talking to Pete. Pete, you can call me anytime you want man. He’s consistent, that’s the key. He’s got some really good results.


When you talk about the bile, it’s really an alkaline so to speak, and it’s stored in your gallbladder and it concentrates. People say, “I don’t have a gallbladder.” Just because they took out the offending part doesn’t mean you still don’t have a digestive issue. You want to work on the bile, if you don’t have a gallbladder, digestive enzymes, or even more important, it creates all kinds of chemical reactions. That’s a good thing. The alkaline bile and the bicarbonate actually is secreted by the pancreas.


If the contents of the stomach is not very acid, which is very, very common, again, when I see people’s chloride on their lab and it’s on the lower end, I know they’re not able to produce enough hydrochloric acid. Then the digestive enzymes make a huge, huge difference. Low stomach acid, when it hits the bile, it doesn’t have that chemical reaction, so no magical digestion so to speak. Then you can’t really liberate the nutrients out of the food, and again, our food doesn’t have that many nutrients in it, and that’s why I’m a big proponent of supplements, good supplements.


If you spend the extra money on organic or grass-fed or pasture-raised, you know, some of the better food, it would be I think a very wise choice for you to make sure you have enough digestive enzymes, so you get more bang for the buck that you spent.


Janet Lewis: I have a question. You know the people that stay on a laxative all the time, is that a healthy thing to do to constantly need some sort of a laxative? Is there a certain kind of laxative that you would recommend that would be healthy that the colon won’t get addicted to?


Dr. Lewis: There’s a lot of things you can read about laxatives are not good and there’s the one, I don’t want to name the brand, but it’s kind of an offshoot of antifreeze. You can read about it on the internet if you want to. It’s propylene glycol.


Janet Lewis: Yeah, I was going to ask you what’s the ingredient in that they need to read on the bottle to stay away from.


Dr. Lewis: I wouldn’t take it. The reason it works is because it gathers moisture and then more moisture in the bowel creates better ability to have a bowel movement. Magnesium creates moisture and draws moisture, so why not take magnesium that’s non-toxic and your body needs anyway? Yes, you can get dependent. I asked a good gastroenterologist one time, I said, “Well, would it be better that they’re hooked on laxatives, which is not necessarily a good thing, or be chronically constipated and have a greatly increased chance of colon cancer?” He said, “Okay, you got a good point.” Pooping is very, very, very important. I know Janet is famous for her train story, because when I talk to people, people say, “I was having the greatest bowel movement this morning and I was thinking about Janet.”


Janet Lewis: I know. It makes me hesitant to tell it anymore because I’m not sure I want my face associated with that picture.


Dr. Lewis: Maybe they hadn’t seen your face.


Janet Lewis: Okay, just hear my voice.


Dr. Lewis: Some of the natural laxatives … I’ve had a bad GI tract, so I understand this personally. Senna and Cascara are harsh, harsh, harsh. I personally think they shouldn’t be used much and certainly not every day. I don’t think that’s a good thing. Our favorite one here, and we have several different choices, is called Super Aloe by Ortho Molecular. It’s 450 milligrams of cape aloe, and people say, “I’m taking cape aloe.” Folks, when they get these raw materials, they’re not all the same quality. Some are contaminated, and some are not.


I’ve got a patient that says, “Yeah, my daughter works for this particular company, and they get crates of stuff coming down the conveyor belt that says rejected by another company that has more integrity,” because it’s either not strong enough, or it’s contaminated. Some companies encapsulate it and sell it to you. Know who you’re dealing with. Don’t get it off Amazon. Not that you can’t get good stuff off Amazon, but you have a much higher chance of getting something that’s adulterated or actually counterfeited, so be careful there.


I think Janet looked like she had a question there or a statement.


Janet Lewis: Well, you know the other thing, and we had a patient the other day, I just wanted to tell this really quickly, people take laxatives for constipation, and this man had been doing that for a very long time. We wound up putting him on a very strong probiotic. We have one that’s 100 billion probiotic-


Dr. Lewis: But was probably made at 200 billion. We don’t really know about that one. They make them at stronger than what they say.


Janet Lewis: I told him to take, it’s actually a 50 billion, but I told him to take two, so I told him to take 100 a day. He came in the other day, he said, “Man, I don’t need a laxative anymore.” I said, “That probiotic’s working for you?” He said, “I take four of those a day.” I said, “You’re taking 200 per day?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Am I overdoing it?” No, because you can’t overdose on probiotics. Now, there’ll be a time when he don’t need that much of it because he’ll be building up the good bacteria in his gut making his colon go better on its own. It’s not about taking a laxative and shoving it through, because you’re really not breaking down everything, you’re just shoving it through. It’s best to do something that makes the gut do it on its own, so as he builds good bacteria in the gut, then the body starts getting rid of the fecal matter like it’s supposed to, and he absorbs the nutrition from it.


That is the difference between doing digestive enzymes, which we’re a big proponent of Ortho Digestzyme, because it helps break the foods down and then you do the probiotic with it and then you have a cycle there of health and passing things through naturally instead of like I said, shoving it through with a big stick.


Dr. Lewis: There’s a difference between fixing the symptom versus fixing the underlying cause. That’s why I ramble so much, and hopefully you’re getting something out of it. Some of the things you have to consider if maybe you don’t have good bile function, which if you go back to the previous podcast we talked about that, it would start with hydrochloric acid and some of the other things like amylase and pancreatic substance, et cetera, et cetera.


When you don’t have good bile flow, I want you to understand please that the fats you eat, even if it’s healthy fat like coconut and walnut and butter, it can make you gain body fat, it can make you feel nauseous, the beginning of a gallbladder problem. Itchy, believe it or not, and skin issues like acne and rashes, and I just talked to somebody about that. Well, go back, it’s always go back to the gut, go back to the gut. Or gassy and bloated and belching and all that kind of stuff. That’s real common to see on our health surveys, we get several every week and quite a few over the weekend. Think about the bile flow. We can help you with that, and then that begins to allow the body to begin to heal itself.


Janet Lewis: There are some whole foods that you can eat so you don’t think, “Hey, they’re just trying to make me take some pills to make everything go.” There are things you can do to help things move through better, like chia seeds and berries and almonds and cauliflower, beans, green beans, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, things that have a lot of fiber to them.


Dr. Lewis: The only Brussels sprout I’ve ever eaten that was good was wrapped in bacon.


Janet Lewis: Everything that’s wrapped in bacon is good.


Dr. Lewis: Well, when I go to Janet’s dad’s house, I wrap stuff in bacon and tell his wife it’s possum or armadillo, and she’s says, “I’ve gotten where I don’t care, it tastes good,” and she never knows what I may bring.


Janet Lewis: What about fermented foods? They’re very healthy to the colon as well, correct?


Dr. Lewis: Yeah. I just told Pete from Missouri, he was talking about probiotics, and I said, “You need to learn to brew your own,” and especially for his 11 year old child. I have not brewed my own, so Janet, one of the things I might like for Christmas is some kit to learn to brew our own probiotics.


Janet Lewis: Is that not like a vacuum cleaner then?


Dr. Lewis: No, I think that’d be a good thing. I’ve got two different beer brewing kits and I’ve never brewed beer. I guess I need to learn to brew probiotics first.


Janet Lewis: In the mean time, until you can make your own, you can eat sauerkraut and pickles, which are two of my favorite things.


Dr. Lewis: Don’t get the pasteurized sauerkraut because that kills the good bacteria.


Janet Lewis: On the jar it actually says there’s a difference? How do they know it’s pasteurized or not?


Dr. Lewis: It’ll say that. One time, Janet and I went to the health food store and we got everything they had that probiotics in it. It said, “With many probiotics.” Well, yeah, okay folks, the bragging point is how many is in it, so if it says many, there are not enough to brag about. One of the fermented foods says one billion of Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a yeast, they call it a prebiotic yeast that actually adheres to the bad bacteria and carries it on through the system. It said a billion. I said, well, okay, they’re bragging about a billion, our capsules are five billion and we have it in some of our probiotics that’s in with the good bacteria too.


Janet Lewis: You know it’s interesting about probiotics, it takes a minimum of three months to start inoculating the gut with them, but if you kill, if you do a round of antibiotics, how long is the time frame on that where it takes it to regrow again in the gut?


Dr. Lewis: There’s all kinds of articles that say different things. I’ve read as little as two months, you can reinoculate your gut. I’ve read one that says it takes you 10 years to reinoculate your gut and heal your gut 50%. No, it’s actually 9.7 years to heal your gut 50%. It’s a continuous effort. It’s not like it’s a destination. It’s just a journey towards better and ever increasing health, and you can get there, because you’re going to say I wish I did or I’m glad I did or wish I had. You might as well say I’m glad I did.


Janet Lewis: One of the very inexpensive products that people take many times for constipation is magnesium.


Dr. Lewis: We sell the holy heck out of magnesium. There’s different ones for different people. I’ve had a lot of people back when I was practicing chiropractic real hard and heavy, and they’ll say, “Doc, I feel so good, I don’t need to be adjusted as much.” They said, “You’re going to run yourself out of business.” I said, “Well, I’m seeing 50 people a day, so I’ll go fishing if I run myself out of business, don’t worry about it and just keep taking the stuff.” Magnesium is an incredible thing, you just have to kind of tailor it to what that particular person needs.


Janet Lewis: I know. We sell a bottle of magnesium citrate, I think it’s like 13 dollars and something. Literally, if you take enough of that, it will make you go to the bathroom. Plus it does like over 300 other functions in the body.


Dr. Lewis: Yeah, just in the brain itself.


Janet Lewis: Eliminate constipation and get smart all at the same time, and help yourself sleep. That’s really kind of what it does. There’s some additional tips for constipation to help you do it effectively, like modifying your diet. You need to remove all the sources of gluten. You need to make sure that things that are common of gluten like wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains that will lock everything up and you won’t go well. Avoid artificial sweeteners, especially excess sugar like fructose. The chemical additives, MSG, big one. I’m going to say this very quietly in front of Dr. Lewis, but avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, because it’s really bad for your colon.


Dr. Lewis: I just took a big draw on my coffee right then.


Janet Lewis: He drinks lots of water too, so don’t let him fool you.


Dr. Lewis: I bathe in water, doesn’t it count?


Janet Lewis: That was my next step. Make sure you stay well hydrated with fresh pure water, and it’s more than just taking a bath. It’s actually drinking it. When you’re thinking of fresh pure water, make sure you get the kind that’s reverse osmosis, the filtration system on it, not some of the brands that say they’re spring water that actually are coming out of places you wouldn’t drink anything from. It’ll say on the bottle itself, “reverse osmosis filtration.” That’s what you’re looking for, because it’s the cleanest water you can drink to get chemicals.


Make sure you’re exercising every day. That’s a very important part of colon health. There are actually some yoga poses you can do to help colon motility, help things move through a little easier if you’ve got low back problems or whatever. Look them up online, because you guys are good at googling.


Dr. Lewis: Yeah. Now that we’re associated in some degree with a three times Mr. Missouri, and of course he looks really good buffed up is like, dadgummit, I feel guilty because I don’t exercise and he exercises like crazy. It’s like, yeah, you look good for 55, because you look about 30, so there you go.


Janet Lewis: It’s also interesting that antidepressants and antacids and blood pressure medications can also contribute to constipation. If you can’t figure out why your colon doesn’t work like it’s supposed to and you’re on any of those things that might be a reason why, and we’re not telling you to stop them, we’re just telling you that you might need a little extra assistance if you’re going to take those for colon health.


You also want to make sure that you address any kind of emotional issues. Unfortunately for some of us, when we have emotional issues going on, we lock down the colon and we don’t go to the bathroom, because we’re not going to go until we get it solved. Sometimes you need to address the emotional issue or at least take enough stuff to help it pass through without your mind stopping it. Have you got more to tell us about?


Dr. Lewis: I can always talk. We were talking about bile and dietary fat. One of the things if you don’t have right bile and dietary fat deficiencies, I have this, I have a lot of vegans that are fat deficient. It can create unstable blood sugar and overreliance on carbohydrates for energy, which generally will lead to high cholesterol and diabetes. It contributes to low levels of the HDL, the good cholesterol. Bad diet or less fat than you need can contribute to hormonal imbalances and the retention of body fat and weakened libido. Those that say I don’t have a libido anymore, it’s like, well, I’m sorry, because it’s not supposed to go away when you’re 30 or 35. That’s not normal. I hear that kind of commonly unfortunately.


Janet Lewis: I do have to follow up here with the train story, because there are many people new to our podcast since we’ve changed our name and we’re on the business innovator’s radio network, so I want to make sure that anyone new out there gets to hear the train story, because this is all about constipation and you just can’t pass it up. If you people out there are eating three meals a day, there should be three meals that come through. If you have a train that has three cars on it, and they go through a tunnel, how many should come out on the other side? I hope you said three, because that’s the right answer. If your trains are not coming out with as many meals a day as you’re eating, then where have your cars gone? They are still stuck inside your body and they are not going anywhere. All of that leeches out to organs and makes those organs weak.


That’s why we’re all about teaching today about laxatives and getting things to move because we want to make sure that your trains come through the tunnel on a timely basis. You should be going within about 30 minutes to an hour after each meal. If you’re thinking out there, “Yeah, well, I’ve never done that, so that’s not, you’re not talking to me.” I am talking to you. Just because you’ve never done it, doesn’t make it right.


Dr. Lewis: Some people say it’s normal. It’s like, that’s not normal, it’s common. There’s a difference.


Janet Lewis: Right. It just means you’ve never had a great functioning colon, but you can change that, and if you will start with just that gut health and get your trains moving through the tunnel, you will see all kind of issues clear up, especially brain fog, anxiety, depression, because all of that is where it starts. I want to make sure you all realize, get your trains moving, whatever it takes. Magnesium, aloe, digestive enzymes, probiotics. Eat better. You need some things that actually make that go. Dr. Lewis, do you have final thoughts for us?


Dr. Lewis: Well, you know, you were talking about depression and anxiety and brain fog, which we get on our health surveys quite often and how intricately connected it is to your digestion, whether it’s constipation or diarrhea or how it alternates, does that mean your head is really intimately connected to your colon?


Janet Lewis: Well, actually your thyroid kind of is. I know that isn’t your head. Some people say, “Hey, I’m doing all these things, and it’s still not working for me.” That is why we offer the low cast lab work, because sometimes there are other things going on. Your thyroid actually does control your digestion. There have been many people that’s come in and said, “I do all the things you say and I still don’t go.” Well, we run their lab work and realize their thyroid’s not functioning like it should.


If you’re one of those people, you’ll go to our website,, and fill out the health survey. Like I said, there’s lab panels online, but if you don’t know where to start, which many don’t, fill out the health survey first. It comes directly to Dr. Lewis and myself. We’ll take a look at it, and we can guide you on which panel would be best for your particular circumstances. We want to make sure that when you’re doing something for health, you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck when you take something. Make sure everything’s functioning correctly and stop guessing at what you might need, and start testing.


With that being said, we appreciate you listening to this week’s show. We’ll be right back next time. Have a great week.



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