What Is Your Constipation Telling You About Your Overall Health And How To Fix It

Episode 49 31m


Constipation is an often uncomfortable and extremely prevalent condition affecting close to 80 million people. And while constipation might be common, it is definitely not normal and it can have disastrous consequences. Having healthy digestion and eliminating waste every day (ideally twice or three times a day!) is critical to your overall health. Your liver flushes out toxins and dumps them into your intestines.

However, if your digestive system isn’t working optimally, then all those toxins and waste can get reabsorbed into your body. So, it makes sense that constipation has been linked to multiple diseases, including cancer and even Parkinson’s disease, plus it actually makes you feel like crap!

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. George Papaicolaou to discuss the importance of getting to the root cause of constipation. They share information on the most common drivers of constipation including diet, chronic stress, antibiotic overuse, and a wide range of many other issues. George Papanicolaou is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine from Abington Memorial Hospital. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner. Upon graduation from his residency he joined the Indian Health Service. He worked on the Navajo reservation for 4 years at the Chinle Comprehensive Medical Facility where he served as the Outpatient Department Coordinator.

In 2000, he founded Cornerstone Family Practice in Rowley, MA. He practiced with a philosophy centered on personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just not the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”. Over time as the healthcare system made it harder for patients to receive this kind of personal care Dr. Papanicolaou decided a change was needed. He began training in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. In 2015, he established Cornerstone Personal Health – a practice dedicated entirely to Functional Medicine. Dr. Papanicolaou joined The UltraWellness Center in 2017.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Papanicolaou discuss:

  • Symptoms of constipation
  • The conventional vs. functional medicine approach to constipation
  • Are over-the-counter constipation remedies safe?
  • Why constipation can be a dangerous precursor to other health conditions
  • Main causes of constipation
  • How to heal your gut
  • Lifestyle practices to heal the gut


This episode is brought to you by Cozy Earth, and Belcampo. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. George Papanicolaou: You need to be able to evacuate your toxins, your metabolic waste, and the more that stool sits there, there are biochemical changes that happen in that stool that allow for the toxins and the compounds that your body didn't want anymore to leak back into your system. Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman and that's Farmacy with F-A-R-M-A-C-Y, a place for conversations that matter and welcome to this special episode called house call where we dive deep into health conditions through the lens of functional medicine. And I'm here today with my friend and colleague, Dr. George Papanicolau and we are going to get deep into the poop story, or more importantly, why people don't poop, can't poop have trouble..

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Ep. 49 - What Is Your Constipation Telling You About Your Overall Health And How To Fix It