It happens to everyone. Maybe you ate a little too much cheese at dinner. Perhaps you haven’t been eating your Wheaties or drinking enough water.
Whatever the case, you and your bathroom have spent more quality time together than you’d like.
Constipation can range from uncomfortable to genuinely distressing. And whether it's a chronic condition or an occasional annoyance, you want relief and fast. That's why we're going to go over methods for fast constipation relief and long-term changes for preventative care.
1. The Low Down on Constipation
You're probably painfully aware of the effects of constipation. But why does it happen? And what exactly is the hold-up?
Constipation is a common bowel disorder of varying severity. It often occurs when the stool becomes too hard, dry, and infrequent to pass easily. This happens when the colon absorbs too much water as stools pass through the digestive tract.
If you frequently struggle with constipation, you’re not alone. According to Johns Hopkins, about 4 million people in the US struggle with consistent constipation.
A person may experience constipation for various reasons, including:
- Incomplete digestion
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Medications such as narcotics, antidepressants, and antacids
- Lack of physical activity
These can all cause pain or difficulty, particularly if a combination of factors exists.
2. Long Term Consequences
The short-term experience of constipation is no fun. But there can be more severe complications if it becomes a chronic condition.
If you are experiencing chronic constipation, it is vital to know some of the possible long-term complications of this condition. These consequences include:
- Fecal Impaction
- Rectal Prolapse
- Anal Fissure
Less severe issues include a decrease in the number of bowel movements, an increase in the size and weight of stool, and an increase in abdominal pressure.
It is important to treat chronic constipation as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.
3. A Simple Method for Instant Relief
While it's essential to be aware of long-term preventative methods, if you're reading this article, odds are you want relief fast. One of the best methods that doesn't involve laxatives (which have many adverse) is using a defecation posture modification device. It’s more commonly known as a squatting toilet stool.
The concept behind these straightforward devices is that toilets don’t accommodate our nature defecation position. Sitting isn’t the way human bodies evolved to defecate. Sitting ends up messing up the angle of our colon and making it physically more difficult to defecate.
Flexing our hips in a squatting position aligns our rectal canal angle and opens it up. Squatting allows your sit bones to separate and eases the motion, so you don’t have to strain.
While squatting outdoors may be the most beneficial way for humans to go from an evolutionary standpoint, it’s not the easiest in other ways. Enter squatting toilet stools.
These go around your toilet and raise your feet to mimic the squatting motion and gain the benefits of a more natural colon position. This can help those who struggle with hemorrhoids or find themselves straining when they go to the bathroom.
4. Constipation and Diet
While the squatting stool can help with the mechanical element of passing waste, it doesn’t address the other primary cause of constipation: diet.
Many different types of food can help with constipation. Some foods can help by adding bulk to the stool, while others work to stimulate muscle contractions in the intestines.
Some foods that are good for constipation include:
- Fruits and vegetables, which contain fiber and water
- Lentils, which have both soluble and insoluble fiber
- Nuts and seeds, which contain protein
- Prunes or prune juice, which contain sorbitol (a natural laxative)
- Bananas or other fruit juices with sorbitol or pectin
Drinking too much alcohol can also cause constipation as it slows down the movement of food through your digestive system.
Hydration is the backbone of good intestinal health, so make sure you’re prioritizing drinking water above everything else.
Constipation is a common condition affecting nearly everyone at some point in life. However, that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. A healthy diet and exercise will help your digestive tract regulate, as will taking advantage of a better bathroom posture with squatting stools.
It's also important to note that constipation is a frequent side effect of other medical issues, like diabetes and kidney stones. So, consult with your doctor to ensure that chronic constipation isn't a warning sign of a different condition.
Find a squatting stool and other beneficial tools to help your overall health by shopping our online store.