I’ve been wanting to talk about how prune juice saved my ass for a few years now.
But every time I would think about it, I would realize that talking about the awesome power of prune juice would mean that I would have to talk about my bowel movements. (That means pooping.)
I write a lot about my addiction and mental health issues, so why is it still so hard to talk about pooping?
Sure it’s gross and it smells, but everybody does it. So why don’t we talk about it?
And if I was a person who was having trouble in that department, as many people do, I would want more people to write about simple solutions to my trouble.
So it’s time I shared my simple solution: it’s called prune juice.
The Trouble With Bowels
I used to have a lot of trouble going #2.
Often there would be bleeding.
One of the causes of bleeding is hard stool.
The hard stool causes anal fissures which can be painful and they never heal because we all have to move our bowels eventually.
A few years ago, the bleeding and fissures got really bad and I started to worry. I tried changing what I ate, and it didn’t seem to make a difference.
The internet told me that I might need medication or even surgery. This was all very upsetting.
So I went in to see the gastroenterologist and after he examined me he said two words:
I was to drink 4 ounces of prune juice every day and report back in 2 weeks.
No medication. No surgery. Just prunes.
But actually he was very clear that eating prunes wouldn’t do the trick.
It had to be prune juice.
Something about the liquid form that makes it effective.
I was a bit skeptical but I bought some prune juice and every morning for 2 weeks I took 2 shots of the brown liquid.
The thing about prune juice is that it doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste good either.
It’s just medium.
It’s like if you put a bunch of raisins in a blender with some water. Like a mincemeat pie smoothie.
But if taking a couple of shots of shriveled plum essence could get rid of my anal fissures, I’m all for the idea.
And guess what. It worked.
No more hard stool. Eventually the fissures healed up and stayed that way.
And the solution was so simple: prune juice.
I feel a million times better now.
And every day I have my 2 shots of magical mediocre brown liquid.
I don’t love it but I’m used to it now so it’s really not so bad.
And I’ve learned that if I stop, even for a day, the hard stool starts to come back. It’s just the way I’m built, I guess.
So whenever I travel, the first thing I do is find prune juice.
Sometimes I have to buy a huge bottle because that’s all they have, but I don’t care.
The alternative is not something I’m looking to experience again.
I want everyone to have the opportunity to escape from a life of uncomfortable bowel movements, so I’m glad I decided to put aside whatever hangups I had about writing about this topic.
We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about things if talking about them might help others.
So, in conclusion…I love you prune juice!
(Ok, that’s really not true, but it did save my ass.)
And now a word from Grains:
According to Beans, prune juice is the one and only magical food to relieve all of your constipation woes. And while I admire his fervour, as a health professional I must point out that there are many foods that can help.
Foods and juices containing sorbitol
Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol with a laxative effect, is the secret sauce that makes prune juice such a great mover and shaker. However, it’s not the only juice with sorbitol, you might also consider apple juice, or, better yet, pear juice.
Foods rich in fibre
Dietary fibre helps to add bulk to stool and draw water into the colon, making it easier for things to move along in a more comfortable way. What foods contain dietary fibre… why, just two of my favourites: grains and beans!
But that’s not all, here’s a list of some foods you might consider if you want to up your fibre intake:
- Grains: think whole grains, oatmeal, multigrain cereal, etc
- Beans and other legumes: I’m talking chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc.
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds