Not being able to go “poop” has to be one of the WORST feelings. We get it! That’s why we wanted to put together some information on strategies to help get some relief from constipation.
MINDING YOUR STRESS HELPS WITH CONSTIPATION
Stress can impact your bowels and slow them down so instead….YOU slow down, if you can!
Make time for yourself everyday, even if it’s just 10 min. and…
practice slow, smooth and relaxed breathing exercises. Concentrate on breathing from the belly instead of the chest.
Statistics show that practicing deep breathing for 10 breaths every hour can reduce stress by 40%!!
Try the AIRBAG meditation on the toilet (RELAX): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9zsTUvNn-8
And, practice gratitude – try and find 3-5 things you are grateful for every day!
EXERCISING EASES CONSTIPATION
Moving your body externally keeps things moving internally.
150 minutes/week of exercise is recommended in Canada – so get out and walk daily!
EATING MORE FIBRE HELPS WITH CONSTIPATION
Aim for 30-40 grams of fibre/day, but increase slowly to this amount.
Fibre should come from FOOD rather than supplements – Benefibre, Metamucil etc. should not be used in the long term because of the added chemicals and additives.
Good sources of fibre in FOOD: nuts (almonds particularly) and seeds, dark leafy green vegetables, fruit (particularly blackberries, raspberries and blueberries), beans and legumes, whole grains, brown rice, quinoa
Soups and salads are a great way of adding both fibre and water into your diet.
A shot glass of prune juice (no pulp) at bedtime may be helpful.
Try adding 1-2 tbsp of ground flax seeds to smoothies, soups, salads, pastas, yogurt, apple sauce.
Try adding 1 tbsp of psyllium husk/powder in applesauce or yogurt after dinner with a large glass of water.
Mix equal amounts of psyllium, ground flax and chia seeds; take 1 Tbsp/day slowly increasing to 2 Tbsp/day if needed.
Magnesium bisglycinate can be a good supplement to help with bowels – discuss this with your health care provider or pharmacist.
A probiotic for gastrointestinal health can be very helpful.
Have some prebiotics every day in the form of fermented foods- refrigerated sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, miso.
PROPER TOILET TECHNIQUES ASSISTS WITH CONSTIPATION
Place your feet up on a stool – like a squatty potty. https://www.squattypotty.com/ . It changes the angle of your rectum from 90˚ to 20˚ and allows a “straight shot” down.
Blow out or make a hissing noise through pursed lips – this keeps the pelvic floor open – do not strain!!
Take advantage of the gastro-colonic reflex 30 minutes after a large meal by sitting on the toilet for 5 minutes.
DRINKING MORE WATER AIDS IN CONSTIPATION
Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol as this will dry out your stool.
Drink enough water or decaf beverages – approx. ½ an ounce of water per pound of body weight. Herbal/Decaf teas are a great way to get fluid in a flavourful way. Try brewing the tea cold and just leave the bag in if you prefer cool beverages to hot.
Try starting your day with a hot drink to stimulate your bowels like hot water with lemon.
Drink 1 glass of water for each glass of any caffeinated beverages you consume in a day.
PERFORMING AN “I Love U” Abdominal Massage ASSISTS WITH CONSTIPATION
Abdominal massage can be helpful for bringing relief from constipation, generalized pelvic and abdominal pain.
- Always do from right to left, using soap in the shower, or cream on your fingertips.
- Start by forming the letter “I” by stroking with moderate pressure from the left ribcage down to the left hipbone, 10x
- Next, form the letter “L” upside down by stroking with moderate pressure from the right ribcage, underneath the ribcage to the left, and down to the left hipbone
- Last, do 10 strokes from the right hipbone up to the right ribcage, across to the left ribcage, and down to the left hip bone, forming the letter “U”
- Finish with 1-2 minutes of clockwise circular massage around the belly button to stimulate the small intestine
- Do this massage once/daily
Clean-outs: if the above strategies do not bring relief from constipation and have not consistently created a type 4 stool on the Bristol Stool Scale, use Restoralax titrated to a type 4 stool for 12 weeks to clean out the bowel. A consistent type 4 stool for 12 weeks will also help the intestines to regain their natural size and shape after chronic constipation.