Even the occasional bout of constipation can affect an individual's quality of life, so maintaining regular bowel movements is a vital part of our overall health. The feeling of constipation can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful for many people. It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans suffer from constipation each year. An inability to have three bowel movements per week is considered constipation. Additionally, you may experience hard or lumpy stools, a feeling of a blockage in your colon, and straining when bowel movements occur. Most people, at some point in their lives, will experience occasional constipation lasting several days or weeks. Home remedies can effectively treat constipation, and there are several ways to do this.
You can learn when to treat constipation on your own and when you may need a medical professional's assistance by understanding the signs and which remedies work best for your body.
It can be frustrating to deal with constipation, but there have been several ways to help your body have regular bowel movements.
Positioning your body on the toilet can affect your bowel movement's ease and success.
According to studies, sitting on a footstool can encourage a squatting position, reduce straining, and assist with bowel evacuation.
Several other posture modifications may support bowel movements that are easy and successful, such as:
Furthermore, self-massage and self-acupressure techniques help improve bowel function in conjunction with relaxation techniques.
After just four weeks, people who massaged their perineum with their index and pointer fingers experienced improved bowel function and constipation-related quality of life.
Fibre deficiency is often to blame for mild constipation.
If your diet is causing constipation, you can try these high-fiber foods:
It is beneficial to increase fibre intake to increase stool weight and water content and to help it move more quickly through the digestive tract, helping to promote bowel movements.
To avoid unwanted side effects, like gassiness and bloating, it's important to gradually increase fibre intake if you're starting from a low-fibre diet.
Laxatives that form bulk are called bulk-forming laxatives. To make stools easier to pass, bulk-forming laxatives draw water into the stool. Even though these medications are generally safe, their effects can take 12 hours to several days to kick in. Gas and bloating are possible side effects of fibre supplements.
The following are examples of fibre supplements:
The desire to have a bowel movement is often associated with drinking coffee. Several studies have shown that caffeine in coffee stimulates colon motility. Most participants in one survey reported increased bowel motility from drinking coffee. Constipation may become worse if you consume too much caffeine during the day, as this can lead to dehydration.
A gut bacteria imbalance can cause constipation in some cases. A probiotic food or supplement can help to restore the gut's bacterial balance. It will take time for this treatment option to work. If you take probiotics, it can take time for the gut to be balanced again.
Laxatives may help relieve constipation when other remedies don't work, some of which are available over-the-counter (OTC) and some prescription-only. OTC laxatives are generally recommended as your provider's first line of treatment. In contrast, prescription laxatives may benefit people with chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The following are examples of prescription constipation medications:
A prescription constipation medicine will not provide immediate relief from constipation. Their primary purpose is to increase the frequency and regularity of bowel movements in those individuals who may benefit from them.
The urge to "force" your stool out may occur when you're constipated. You can, however, strain your pelvic floor, including the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles, causing haemorrhoids and negatively affecting your long-term bowel habits. Rather, you should relax and only use the bathroom when necessary. Get up and continue your day if your urge to have a bowel movement passes while on the toilet.
You can also retrain your muscles to make efficient use of your time by avoiding long periods on the toilet while reading or checking your phone.
A healthy bowel movement involves passing it easily, taking no more than 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and requiring little strain. You may be constipated if you have difficult, painful, or prolonged bowel movements.
An individual's "normal" bowel movement frequency can vary, but a healthy schedule may include three bowel movements per day to as few as four bowel movements per week. Constipation is characterised by fewer than three bowel movements per week.
Anyone can experience occasional constipation, but if your constipation persists or is painful, you should speak with your healthcare provider.
If you experience any of the following more severe symptoms, you should contact your provider as soon as possible:
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