These 10 tricks will help you poop

These 10 tricks will help you poop
These 10 tricks will help you poop. Photo: Pexels

Let’s be honest: of all the digestive problems, constipation is not necessarily the worst thing your stomach could do to you. However, that doesn’t mean that not being able to poop is comfortable.

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Fortunately, there are ways to “speed up” things if, say, you’re going for a morning run or have a long car ride ahead. And the best part: most of them are totally natural and recommended by doctors. So, try one of these tricks the next time you’re feeling blocked up.

10 tricks that will help you poop

1. Eat something with fiber

Food high in fiber and water content are great options,” says Christine Lee, gastroenterologist from the Cleveland Clinic (USA). Raw carrots, apples with or without the skin, and avocados are excellent choices.
“When consumed, these foods create an osmotic gradient,” Lee points out. And what does that mean? “They cause more water to be pulled into the colon during digestion. This will help to relieve and prevent constipation.”

2. Take a fiber supplement

“You can get the same effects from a psyllium husk fiber supplement,” Lee suggests. Look for a daily supplemental dose of six to nine grams of fiber, which is allowed to consume without prescription.

3. Drink a bit of coffee – preferably hot

“Hot beverages in general (especially a cup of coffee or tea), especially in the morning, can help a lot,” the professional points out. Coffee, in particular, is a nearly infallible trick for anyone trying to go to the bathroom in the morning. Although its heat can stimulate bowel function, the drink itself and its high levels of caffeine are also known to stimulate colon mobility, according to Lee.
But it’s worth noting that while coffee can help whether it’s hot or cold, other cold caffeinated beverages, like iced tea or sodas, won’t have the same effect.

4. Do some exercise

Ever felt the need to poop in the middle of a run? You’re not alone. This happens because “walking, hiking on uneven terrain, running and biking can speed up your metabolism, which, in turn, improves bowel function,” says Lee.
It’s also important to note that if you’ve been busier than usual and have entered a dry spell, it might be a clue as to why you’re not pooping as much as you’d like. “Making sure to incorporate even short regular workouts into your routine might be the secret solution you need,” Lee says.

5. Try massaging your perineum (seriously!)

According to a 2015 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, a technique where you massage your perineum (the skin that separates the vagina from the anus), pressing it repeatedly with your index finger, can help relieve constipation because of the pressure points contained in that area.
In the research, participants who massaged the area to promote bowel movements experienced better bowel function compared to the group that did not do the technique. In addition, 82% of those who used this trick said they would continue to use it long after the study ended. Although more research is needed, it’s worth a try.

6. Try a prescription laxative

Lee also recommends talking to your doctor about trying prescribed laxatives if none of the other methods worked. “Prescribed remedies are effective. However, they can be expensive and, therefore, it’s worth leaving them as a last resort after trying the other methods.”
Also, your body may get used to them. With this, eventually, you may become unable to poop without them.

7. Or an over-the-counter laxative

“Polyethylene glycol 3350 is made from compounds that are non-digestible and non-absorbable, which means they cause a diarrheal effect,” says Lee. At lower doses, it can help prevent constipation and, at higher doses, it can induce diarrhea. “So you can adjust the use if you want to make things work a bit without them becoming disastrous,” she says.

8. Try squatting over the toilet when you think you’re ready to go

“The squatting position can be done by putting a stool under your feet to lift your knees,” says Peyton Berookim, gastroenterologist and director of the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California (USA). Squatting modifies the anatomy, relaxing the muscles in that area while elevating the part of the colon that facilitates bowel emptying. “The closer you are to a full squat, the easier it will be,” he adds.

9. Do a belly massage

“Really, applying moderate pressure and massaging your abdomen in a clockwise direction can help you move your bowel,” says Berookim. This can be done by lightly pressing the lower right belly. Then, continue up to the rib cage, across the stomach and under the ribs to the lower left quadrant, which is where the feces are emptied.

10. Check if you’re well hydrated

“One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration,” says Berookim. “When the body is poorly hydrated, it compensates by withdrawing water from the large intestine (colon), resulting in hard stools.” According to him, a good tip is to drink one gram of water for every two kilograms of your body weight.

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