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Why You Are Constipated and What You Can Do About It.

The autonomic nervous system is the part of the central nervous system that controls bodily functions we do not consciously think about (blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow, body temperature, sleep/wake cycles, blood sugar regulation/metabolism, hormone regulation, and gut motility (which is also known as “peristalsis”).

The autonomic nervous system is broken down into two parts:
1) The parasympathetic portion
2) The sympathetic portion

The parasympathetic nervous system keeps bodily functions going when the body is NOT in the alarm or stressed state. On the other hand, the sympathetic nervous system “kicks in” when we are in a stressed or alarmed state, such as exercising or participating in any physical endeavor. The parasympathetic nervous system promotes peristalsis (gut motility) and the sympathetic nervous system inhibits peristalsis (think about it, you don’t want your bowels moving during a physical endeavor!).

When our body is not in an alarmed or stressed state, our sympathetic nervous system (also known as our “fight or flight” nervous system) MUST be inhibited or kept under control. For the most part, it is our frontal lobes of the brain that do this. Many patients with chronic illness have poor frontal lobe activation due to underlying metabolic disorders and are therefore lacking the inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system. They live in a state of “high sympathetic tone” and suffer the symptoms of such a state including migraine headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, vertigo and balance disorders, insomnia, poor blood sugar regulation and thus weight gain/fatigue, hormone imbalances, high blood pressure, breathing problems, frequent urination and urinary tract infections, chronic pain, and CONSTIPATION.

Treatment includes identifying and removing the metabolic factors that are causing poor frontal lobe activation (blood sugar problems, inflammatory disease, nutritional deficiencies, etc.) as well as stimulating the side of the weak frontal lobe with brain based therapies (interactive metronome, eye exercises, oxygen, etc.) to remove the state of “high sympathetic tone”.

In the meantime, activation of the parasympathetic nervous system will go a long way in improving gut motility and constipation. This is done by activating Cranial Nerve X, or the Vagus Nerve, which lies in your lower brain stem (the Medulla Oblongata) and controls much of gut motility. Common exercises to activate the parasympathetic nervous system include the following:

– GARGLING with warm water, humming, swallowing, and gagging with the back end of your toothbrush. These activities should be done for 60-90 seconds in the morning and at night. Humming and swallowing can be done throughout the day.
– Magnesium may also be recommended as a short-term solution.

I hope this was helpful and as always, If you have any questions – we’re here for you!

Dr. Benedetto

Tips and Tactics of My Most Successful Patients…

This week I had a consultation with someone who is unhealthy, suffering with fatigue, various aches and pains, overweight and really struggling to get her nutrition and workouts in check.

She has been researching and trying on her own to manage her health (because her Dr. wasn’t much help), with little or nothing to show for her efforts, and is considering getting our help.

Her doctor said she needs to lose weight to help control her diabetes but gave her no plan on how to do it. She’s a mom of a few young kids with a supportive spouse.

Frankly, she had a lot of excuses (not enough time, etc.) and did not seem ready to make a change; however, there were many teachable moments which I would like to share with you…

During our 20-minute visit we spoke about her health goals, struggles, and also some of the action items she needs to complete in order to achieve her goals.

All of my successful, healthy patients have a series of daily action items or “jobs” that they complete in an effort to achieve a weekly goal.

You see, we measure progress with weekly visits, counseling and specialized tests to get to the root of their condition and regain their health. We keep our patients on track towards their goals and ‘force’ them to get well.

So I wanted to share with you this short list of tips and tactics that my MOST successful patients use to dominate.

1) Win your mornings and you will have a more successful and productive day. While most folks wake up right before work or school, the most successful people wake up early to prioritize training. Waking up and dominating your “to do” list is the fastest way to success.

2) The actions you take determine your success or failure. Your beliefs determine your actions. And the thoughts in your head determine your beliefs. If you want to operate at the highest level then you’ve got to protect your thoughts and beliefs by being aware of the people you allow around you.

3) Plan, purchase, prepare, and package your daily meals. Every successful patient batch-preps meals ahead of time. Take time to plan your grocery list. Order online and get groceries delivered to your door. Cook everything on large baking sheets in the oven. Then package in stainless steel containers because they won’t leak chemicals into your food (like plastic containers will) and are much lighter than glass containers.

4) Identify the “triggers” or “switches” in your life that spark you to make both good and bad decisions. So if your missed workout is caused by oversleeping, and oversleeping is caused by a late-night Netflix binge—well, you just identified the “trigger” for a missed workout. Turn off the TV and get to bed early. Now take a moment to think about all the “triggers” that result in your bad habits and poor health.

It’s not magic. Successful folks, who are in great health, avoid these predictable triggers.

5) Become a role model to others simply by getting healthy and in the best shape of your life. This is the best way to live: Leading by example.

6) Systematize your workouts, nutrition, and recovery. Have a step-by-step process so that your weekly routine is mapped out and predictable. Of course you can do this on your own or get some help.

Some of you have been reading my blogs and emails for YEARS, yet you are still on the fence about the importance of having a doctor on your team to help you achieve your health goals.

If you or someone you know is unhappy, and struggling with their health and wellness, give us a call and schedule your consultation to see if we can help. 610-974-9911

Yours in health,
Dr. Benedetto

Advice from MY coach…

Not many folks know this but I have a coach, a few coaches actually, but the message I’m going to share today comes from Coach Joe at WorkoutEngine Allentown and it’s short and sweet. He’s my (and my wife’s) strength and conditioning coach and he helps keep us in tip top shape with his structured strength building, fat burning workouts.

Everyone should have a coach.

He shared some advice with me that I will pass along to you…

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If you want to change your life for the better, listen to this very closely:

Only YOU can make a life change. And all changes occur in this order (6 steps):

Step 1. Change your input

Step 2. Change your thoughts

Step 3. Take action

Step 4. Change your habits

Step 5. Change your character

Step 6. Change your destiny

Eliminate the negative input that you are receiving via news, gossip, and skepticism.

Distance yourself from people in your life who give you negative input.

These folks criticize, condemn, and complain… and they get pleasure when you do the same (misery loves company).

And remember this:

Nothing in life comes easy. If you want to be successful and achieve your health goals, you must be relentless in the pursuit of these goals.

Eliminate excuses. Be persistent. You must never, ever give up.

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If you’re tired of making mistakes on your own, and want an experienced coach to guide you every step of the way, we’re always here to help.

Sick of trial-and-error medical care you’ve had so far?

There’s no need to struggle on your own.

To your health,
Dr. Benedetto