Constipation.... it is something that I believe many of us have experienced, but we simply do not talk about it.
In fact, 16 of every 100 adults experience some symptoms of constipation (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). I'm not sure if that seems like a lot to you, but it is!
When I am talking about constipation, I want you to understand that it is a change in your normal bowel habits. This can mean you are pooping much less than usual, feeling a lot of bloating and pressure in the abdomen, having a lot of trouble getting the stool to come out, or feeling like you haven't emptied fully. These are all symptoms of being possibly constipated.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Constipation can cause some unwanted symptoms like cold sweats, pain, gas, nausea, and more. There are a lot of different "remedies" for you to try in order to help with constipation.
I want you to take the 3 tips here and try them out to see if they help you. Remember that everyone is different, and what works for some may not work for you and vice versa.
Tip # 1
Get a squatty potty. I talk about this frequently on my social media platforms. These are wonderful tools to be able to allow your body to be in the optimal position to let the stool pass without difficulty. You sit on the toilet, with your feet on the stool, and your knees are higher than your hips. You then can lean over and let your forearms rest on your knees. Now you have a wide base with knees high and your bowel tract is in a great position to let the stool pass directly through.
You can purchase a squatty potty HERE
Also, check out this instagram post from our very own Dr. Andrea sharing with you other techniques if you do not have a squatty potty.
BREATHE. Try your best to work on breathing IN and relaxing your pelvic floor. Visualize yourself breathing in and opening up your anus so the stool does not have to fight to pass. IF you are able to breathe properly, visualizing the opening up, then you can add a small push. So, you can breathe in, add a push and exhale as you push. Thinking, "belly out, belly hard" may help you get the stool to pass. The key is to relax the anus and not resist by contracting it!
Gastrointestinal Massage. This is a technique you can do every night before bed, or when you're feeling the heaviness of constipation. You start on the right side of your lower abdomen, right above the right hip, and with clockwise circles and a good amount of pressure, you will move up to under the right rib cage, across to under the left rib cage, then down to above the left hip bone, and lift to start over again. DO this for about 5-7 minutes. Don't forget to use lotion or oil!
Check out this video to see a visual
I am hoping that one of the above tips helps you with your discomfort! Remember that the best option is to see a Pelvic Floor PT for assistance so we know WHY you are experiencing constipation in the first place, especially if it is frequent and seems to happen a lot!