Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. Its basic nature helps in balancing the pH of your stomach. Baking soda is one of the most commonly used home remedies to treat indigestion due to its laxative nature (28). When the baking soda solution enters the gut, it causes water to be pulled into the intestines by a process called osmosis. This softens the stool and increases its volume, thereby helping in cleansing your colon easily.

But constipation is a severe problem in the developed world. According to a 2007 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the incidence of chronic constipation in the United States is just over 17 percent, or well over 50 million people.10 With a bowel movement once every five days (towards the low end definition of constipation), you're talking about 10 pounds of fecal matter stored in the colon -- at once every seven days it's 14 pounds. And statistically, we're still talking about several million people. So, my statement that 10--20 pounds is not as unusual as you might think, holds up…again, mathematically speaking. And let's keep in mind, these numbers assume that 100% of this stored fecal matter is evacuated from your bowels during your once a week movements -- a questionable assumption at best. As for the 65 pounds, I did say that has been reported "only in exceptional cases." The simple mathematical truth is that the concept of people storing pounds of fecal matter is not "false, false, false" as Dr. Carroll asserts; It's mathematically "true, true, true!"


If you find packaged instant oatmeal boring, turn to some of the many creative oatmeal recipes out there! This recipe for Elvis oatmeal will satisfy your morning sweet tooth. Or switch things up with savory cheddar and fried-egg oatmeal. As you prepare your oatmeal, start with the whole-grain type, such as old-fashioned or steel-cut oats. They take longer to cook but provide more fiber.
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