Eating habits, gender, physical activity, health status, and age are some of the factors that affect the number of bowel movements you’re likely to experience each day. Though there is no set number of bowel movements you should have, it would be abnormal and probably dangerous to go three or fewer times a week. Constipation is one of the top causes of bowel movement problems and other inconveniences like hard stool. This causes excessive straining, and you might end up spending a long time in the toilet.
There are different causes of constipation. This health condition may simply be caused by dehydration or consuming foods with less fiber. In severe cases, constipation could be caused by hormonal changes, excessive stress, different types of cancer, muscle problems, spinal cord injuries, and other related structural problems that might affect your digestive tract.
It is challenging for you to figure out the specific cause of constipation on your own. This is why you should consult with your doctor to diagnose the severity of constipation and implement the right treatment plan. The doctor may recommend constipation tablets and other constipation relief methods such as.
1. Fiber supplements
Generally, fiber supplements are readily available in most pharmacies and effective when it comes to inducing bowel movements. This is recommended if the main cause of constipation was a low-fiber diet. Fiber supplements work by adding volume or back to your stool. That means you can easily push the stool through your colon and out of your body.
Some of the common fiber supplements include methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil, and psyllium. If you are taking any other kind of medication or have underlying health issues, it is in your best interest to first consult with your doctor before you purchase any dietary supplement over the counter.
2. Drink enough water
It is recommended for adults to take at least eight glasses of water each day. This is because proper hydration is necessary for healthy bowel movements. If you are constipated, and you already know that you haven’t been drinking sufficient amounts of water, taking enough water may trigger a bowel movement and solve this health issue.
3. Eat a high-fiber diet
One way of preventing constipation or relieving this condition is by eating foods that are high in fiber. Some of these foods include beans, oats, whole grain bread, fibrous fruits, rice, fibrous vegetables, and other foods rich in dietary fiber. Remember to drink enough water after eating these foods to help push your stool through your digestive tract.
4. Biofeedback (see a therapist)
Some patients get constipated just because they unconsciously clench their muscles every time they try to poop. If you have been experiencing this issue, consult with an experienced therapist who can help you train your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax at the right time.
Massaging your abdominal area in a certain pattern can help relieve constipation and encourage bowel movements. Your doctor will advise you on the right way of massaging your abdomen and keeping your pelvic floor muscle relaxed.
6. Take a laxative stimulant
Most laxative stimulants are designed to successfully induce a bowel movement by squeezing your intestines. You can buy these stimulants over the counter at a local pharmacy. Some of the common laxative stimulants include Senokot and bisacodyl. Unless you are sure of these medications, call your doctor and explain what you’re experiencing, they might recommend another more effective constipation reliever.
7. Lubricant laxatives are also a great option
Lubricant laxatives like mineral oils and a sleek coat to the patient’s intestine walls. This allows your stool to move easily through your rectum and out of your body. Keep in mind that you should not take mineral oil for more than 2 hours, particularly after your evening meal.
When you are constipated, your body is simply unable to get rid of some of the waste it needs to. If you have been experiencing constipation for more than three months, then this is chronic constipation and raises your chances of other health complications. The problem occurs if you have been eating, and the stool doesn’t leave your body. Some of the complications of chronic constipation include;
Annal fissures: straining to pass hard stool can overstretch and tear the tissue around your anus. The resultant small wounds can cause pain, bleeding, and itching. Anal fissures make it challenging for you to get the bathroom, and this worsens the constipation problem. This issue is very common among young children who tend to hold their stool out of the fear of excessive itching and pain associated with anal fissures.
Hemorrhoids: Constipation can force you to push your stool hard, trying to get rid of it. This makes the veins around your anus and rectum swell. Swollen veins are commonly known as piles or hemorrhoids. These small lamps may be external, that means they are under the skin around your anus. They may also be internal, meaning that they are inside the lining of your rectum or anus.
Impaction: If you cannot push the stool out of your body, the chances are that it will start sticking together in your intestines. The hardened mass can get stuck and result in an intestinal blockage. Even when you squeeze your rectum, it will be very hard to push out the stool as it is hard and large. In the worst-case scenario, the patient may require emergency medical attention.
Rectal prolapse: The rectum is the final part of a human’s large intestine and ends at the anus. If you are constantly passing your stool, it can overstretch and slip outside your body. In some cases, just a small part of the rectum comes out, but in worst cases, their whole thing might come out. This condition is very painful and can cause bleeding. In some patients, it can be hard to tell whether it’s hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse.
If you are constipated, and the condition doesn’t seem too ease or after implementing various constipation relief methods, consult with your doctor before things get out of hand.