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Jen Lochren-Loureiro, CT
Darlene Holloway, ND, CT, LMBT, ST

181 Wind Chime Court, #102
Raleigh, NC 27615
Telephone: (919) 665-9256

Meeting the Challenge of Chronic Constipation

As a naturopath, Dr. Darlene Holloway sees the colon as the foundation of health and the root of all illness. “When developing a healing plan with my clients, we look at many factors—diet, supplements, medications. But I always make one thing very clear: if we don’t take care of elimination, it doesn’t matter what else I suggest.”.

Jen Lochren-Loureiro (right) and Dr. Darlene Holloway in front of their state-of-the-art clinic in Raleigh.

Dr. Holloway, a national leader in the field of colon hydrotherapy, provides therapy and advises clients at Healing Waters of Raleigh, a comprehensive, holistic detox and healing education center, founded by colon hydrotherapist Jen Lochren-Loureiro.

“I couldn’t agree more,” says Ms. Lochren-Loureiro. “One of the most common challenges we see at Healing Waters is chronic constipation—a problem that affects every aspect of the client’s health. And sometimes, they don’t even realize it’s a problem. Many people think constipation means straining to have a bowel movement, and don’t realize that infrequent elimination is a serious problem. So, they don’t connect this issue to their headaches, low-back pain, or fatigue, or even recognize it as constipation.”

“That’s true,” agrees Dr. Holloway. “I’ve often been told: ‘No, I’m not constipated—I just have one bowel movement a week.’ But that’s not healthy. Actually, the body is designed to have elimination after each meal. And if that doesn’t take place, waste matter sits there and decays, ferments, and gets reabsorbed back into body. Chronic severe constipation results in the body staying in a state of toxicity.”

In a conversation with Health&Healing, Ms. Lochren-Loureiro and Dr. Holloway focus on this challenging health issue—a problem they address daily at Healing Waters of Raleigh.

Health&Healing: What causes chronic constipation?

Dr. Holloway: Many things. It can be due to a learned behavior, such as repeatedly ignoring the call of nature. But it also can have physiological causes, such as trauma or a tilted or rotated pelvis—a tilted pelvis puts pressure on the colon, making it hard to eliminate. And there can be psychological causes as well—sexual abuse, for example, can result in constipation.

Ms. Lochren-Loureiro: Medications can also be a significant factor in causing constipation. Opiate medications, iron supplements, even anti-depressants are among the many medications that may cause problems.
Another fairly common cause is scarring from C-sections or other surgeries in the abdominal area. An example is a recent client, we’ll call Kim, who had had multiple C-sections, which had created serious constipation issues. Different providers suggested laxatives and other approaches, but nothing worked.

That approach, actually, was unfortunate, because what a laxative does is overstimulate the colon muscle. The end result is still more constipation, requiring more laxatives. Our goal is to teach our clients what to replace that laxative with—what foods to eat, strengthening exercises, water, and supplements.

For Kim, we combined colon hydrotherapy sessions with castor oil packs to help with the internal scar tissue. Pelvic floor therapy also helped her to move again.

H&H: How do you go about addressing chronic constipation?

Dr. Holloway: Awareness is the first thing—and an important part of helping any client. But the solution is highly individualized. Exercise could be a key component for one person; counseling might be essential for a person who’s been sexually abused. We need to look at everything together—the source of the problem, health history, lifestyle factors, diet, medications, other health problems.

So, we start with a complete history form. Next, we do colon hydrotherapy, which is a flushing out of the colon.

We use state of the art, FDA-approved equipment for the hydrotherapy— flowing water in and out. But we’re doing more than simply flushing the colon. During the session, we carefully evaluate what’s released. We look for many things—metals, undigested food, whether there’s gas or fermentation, if the waste matter is solid or liquid. All of these help us to assess the health of the colon and to identify problems.

The colon is nothing more than four layers of muscle—five to six feet in length, two and a half inches in diameter. And, just like any muscle, it contracts and relaxes. Colon hydrotherapy helps get that muscle back to being strong, to moving on its own.

Ms. Lochren-Loureiro: Colon hydrotherapy is the starting place—and critically important in a detox program. But restoring healthy colon function is a comprehensive process, involving more than detoxification.
For one thing: we can’t forget diet; it can be a major part of the problem—especially here in the South, where we eat a lot of fried foods and takeout. Additionally, people are not drinking enough water; sufficient water is essential for colon health. 

In addition to detox therapies and dietary counseling, we also offer guidance on supplements therapy.

H&H: Over what period of time will clients get to a place of having normal bowel movements?

Ms. Lochren-Loureiro: Many people think it will happen overnight, but it takes time—especially when you’re dealing with a chronic problem spanning many years. 

Dr. Holloway: But people shouldn’t be discouraged. Some people will see a change within a week; other cases will take longer—but they can heal. It depends how long the condition’s existed—how long that colon has been held in a stretched-out position. It also depends on whether the cause was a matter of habit, a psychological issue, or a physiological one, such as a pelvic tilt. The cause will affect how long it takes to heal.