Bloating and constipation can be caused by stress, dehydration, and dietary changes. Stomach problems can also be a cause of a bigger issue, like irritable bowel syndrome. Luckily, most problems can be fixed by a combination of natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes. If you need tips on how to make yourself poop when suffering from chronic constipation, this is essential reading:
1. Squat over the toilet.
It’s much easier to poop when sitting in a proper position over the toilet. If squatting is too difficult, placing a stool near the toilet will help mimic the correct position. This practice should begin at a young age because it will prevent the body from straining while using the bathroom. If the body does become strained, it could cause hemorrhoids, which occurs when blood vessels around the anus become swollen and irritated.
2. Drink a steaming hot cup of coffee.
When a body is dehydrated, the intestines cannot add water to its stool. This makes the stool hard, lumpy, and difficult to release from the body. Luckily, a hot beverage can relieve constipation. In addition to coffee, which contracts the colon muscles and pushes stool to the end of the digestive tract, warm water can also reduce constipation. In fact, a body needs at least eight ounces of water per day in order to have a regular bowel movement. Whether someone chooses to consume coffee or water, a warm beverage will help stimulate the urge to poop.
3. Swallow a stimulant laxative.
A stimulant laxative is a fast-acting laxative that forces a bowel movement by squeezing the intestines. Doctors can prescribe laxatives, like bisacodyl and senna-sennosides, to patients with irregular bowel movements. However, they are only meant to be used on a short-term basis. They shouldn’t be relied upon for longer than a week.
4. Take mineral oil two hours after eating.
Mineral oil can work as a lubricant laxative — and it is available over-the-counter. Mineral oil works by coating the walls of the intestines, which keeps water in the stool and intestines. This allows the stool to move through the colon easier so that it is easier to pass. It is considered a safe and effective way to ease constipation.
5. Massage the abdomen.
Applying pressure to the colon can cause constipation relief. In order to do this, make small circles on the lower righthand side of the abdomen. Then apply pressure to the hipbone with a palm. This should help release gas — and stool. Another trick is to massage the perineum, which is the space between a male’s anus and scrotum, or between a female’s anus and vulva. Push on the skin in a pulsing rhythm for three to five seconds to improve bowel function.
6. Drink prune juice or lemon juice.
Prune juice will soften stool in order to make it easier to pass. Eating dried plums and prunes can cause the same effect. However, a lesser-known home remedy involves drinking lemon juice. The citric acid will fight toxins in the digestive tract. It will provide fast-acting constipation relief.
7. Take a fiber supplement.
Psyllium husk is the main ingredient in the popular fiber supplement, Metamucil. Psyllium husk is made from a plant’s seeds and is considered a laxative. It increases the bulk of stool, which helps it move through the intestines easier. Taking a fiber supplement will lead to a much faster, smoother bowel movement.
8. Try taking an osmotic laxative.
An osmotic laxative helps fluid move through the colon. There are popular over-the-counter osmotic laxatives, such as Phillips Milk of Magnesia. However, with a doctor’s prescription, stronger osmotic laxatives are available. While they can provide constipation relief, they can actually cause other irritable bowel syndrome symptoms to worsen. They commonly have side-effects like diarrhea, dehydration, and bloating.
9. Eat food that is high in fiber.
Insoluble fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, is a plant-based nutrient that helps digestion. Some of the best high fiber foods include whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereal, oats, rice, beans, fresh fruit, and vegetables. When it comes to fruit, the best options are grapes, apples, and pears. In addition to containing fiber, they have high levels of water which will prevent constipation. That means, instead of eating processed food (like a fast food item that is high in salt and carbs), choose to eat high fiber food.
10. Use an enema.
An enema is a fluid injection into the lower bowel, which is given through the rectum. This process will soften stool enough for a regular bowel movement. Although this will thoroughly clean the lower bowel, it is the last resort for constipation. A doctor will only recommend it if diet, exercise, and other natural remedies are not enough to keep the body regular.
11. Use a stool softener.
A stool softener is a type of laxative that contains docusate sodium and docusate calcium. This helps soften stool in order to make it easier to pass without straining the body. Stool softeners work best for people who have temporary, mild constipation. It will provide an easier, more comfortable bowel movement.
12. Try a glycerin suppository.
Most pharmacies sell glycerin suppositories. They are a type of hyperosmotic laxative, which draws water into the intestines. This product aims to cause a bowel movement within fifteen minutes to an hour. However, there are several possible side effects, such as stomach cramps, burning, rectal irritation, diarrhea, and gas.
13. Press your ‘poop button.’
Acupuncture experts claim that there is a spot on the body that connects to the digestive system. It is also known as the Sea of Energy and is located three finger-widths below the belly button. Taking deep breaths and applying firm pressure to the area can make it easier to poop.
14. Take a short walk break — or engage in another form of exercise.
Although a runner won’t want to have an unfortunate bathroom accident midrun, exercising is a good idea when suffering from constipation. Exercising can increase blood flow through the abdomen and decrease the time it takes for food to travel through the intestines. It can also accelerate the breathing and heart rate. Overall, exercise will help regulate bowel movements, so it’s important not to get into a running rut.