Dealing with constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. If you’ve ever struggled with the urge to have a bowel movement without success, here are some steps you can take for relief.
It’s important to note that occasional constipation is normal, but if you experience it frequently, it could indicate an underlying health issue. Consult your doctor if you have concerns about the frequency or severity of your constipation.
Here are some tips on how to alleviate constipation, with varying timelines for effectiveness. Whether you’re looking for quick solutions or can afford to wait a bit, these suggestions can be beneficial.
If you’re looking for immediate results, coffee is a beverage known to stimulate bowel movements. Opt for warm coffee rather than iced, as warmth enhances its effectiveness. Keep in mind that coffee contains caffeine, so consume it in moderation.
Change Your Pooping Position
Try squatting when you poop by placing the soles of your feet on a small footstool in front of the toilet. This position can be more effective for a smoother bowel movement.
You can purchase fiber supplements at stores or online, containing types like psyllium, calcium polycarbophil, or methylcellulose. These supplements add volume to your stool, facilitating its movement through your digestive tract and out of your body.
Stimulant laxatives make your intestines contract, pushing contents further down your digestive tract. This action usually takes 6 to 12 hours to induce a bowel movement. Doctors recommend using stimulant laxatives only if other treatments have proven ineffective.
Osmotic laxatives assist in moving fluids through the colon, providing relief from constipation. While effective for many people, they generally take 2 to 3 days to work.
Substances like mineral oil coat the intestinal walls and your stool mass, helping stools retain water. This makes it easier to pass them.
Stool softeners draw water from the intestines into your stool, making them softer and bulkier. This softness aids in the easier movement of stools through your system.
Suppositories, available over the counter at pharmacies, are designed to soften stools and facilitate bowel movements. You insert the suppository into your rectum.
Gentle massages of the colon can aid in moving stools through your digestive system. Online videos can guide you on this technique.
Engaging in physical activity boosts blood flow to your abdomen, stimulating your digestive tract and promoting the movement of stools.
Enemas, found in pharmacies, involve introducing fluid into your rectum to soften stools and ease the process of elimination.
Incorporate high-fiber foods into your diet to address current constipation and reduce the risk of future episodes. Examples include oats, brown rice, beans, whole grain bread and pasta, fruits like bananas and apples, nuts, and fibrous vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens.
Maintain adequate hydration by drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. This helps your body move softer stools more effectively. If you’re currently constipated, drinking a large glass of water can promote a bowel movement.
Consider natural remedies like probiotics, which some people find helpful for regular bowel movements. While generally safe, it’s important to consult your doctor, especially if you are immunocompromised, to ensure these remedies are suitable for you.