11 ways to increase Bowel movement
Constipation occurs when your bowel movement decreases making it difficult to pass stool. We have all experienced this at some point. Bowel movement varies from person to person. Some people have them three times a day. Others have them just a few times a week. The longer you stay without emptying your bowel/ passing stool, the more difficult it becomes for stool/poop to pass. Staying more than 3 or more days without one poop(lol) makes your feces gets harder and more difficult to pass.
Constipation in Elderly
Constipation is common among the general population but it is more common among elderly people. Research shows that over 65% of people over age 65 experience constipation, with straining being an especially common symptom.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Decreased dietary fiber intake
- Side effect of Medication
- Imbalance in blood electrolyte some of which include potassium, calcium, or magnesium
- Insufficient water consumption
- Severe nerve damage can lead to slow bowel emptying mostly due to neurological dysfunction.(example Parkinson’s disease, diabetes neuropathy, etc)
- Some endocrine disorders, including hypothyroidism
- Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression, or even fear of pain during the bowel movement
- decreased physical activity (LACK OF EXERCISE)
- obstruction of the colon or rectum mass, lump, narrowing, etc
Symptoms of constipation
- Decreased bowel movements
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Dry, Hard or small stools
- A sense of incomplete emptying of your bowel
- Belly bloating
- Passing fewer than three stools a week
Constipation may be diagnosed as being chronic if you have experienced more than two of these symptoms for the past three months. See your doctor and get a proper checkup.
Some helpful remedies to relieve constipation includes:
Increasing fluid consumption can also help prevent and treat constipation. Drinking water, soft drinks and other beverages can enable and increase passage of food particles through the gut thereby, preventing the hardening of stool. Dehydrationcauses constipation and hardening of stool. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
Some oral over the counter laxatives include Oral osmotic Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, Miralax. Bulk-forming laxatives (Benefiber, Citrucel, FiberCon, Metamucil). Stool softeners (Colace, Surfak). Stimulants (Dulcolax, Senokot), Rectal suppositories (Dulcolax, Pedia-Lax). Some function by drawing water into stool thereby allowing easier excretion of feces while the rest stimulate muscle contraction.
3. Magnesium citrate:
Is an over-the-counter medication (OTC) that is often used to treat occasional constipation. It is an osmotic laxative, which helps to relax your bowels and pull water into your intestines. This will eventually soften your stool thereby making it bulky and much easier to excrete from the body.
Fibers are very important in our diet. They increase the weight and size of your stool making it bulky. These kinds of stool are easier to pass, therefore, they serve as a stool softener. There are two main types of fiber: Soluble fiber, which soaks up water. They help keep your stool soft. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, thereby increasing its movement through your gut. Examples of fiber-containing food include Wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole grain bread, oatmeal, barley, Peas, Beans, Nuts (Walnuts and almonds), and seeds.
5.Fruits and Vegetables:
Fruits like Berries, avocados, peaches, pear, apricots, plums, raisins, citrus fruits and prunes are some great high-fiber fruits. The peel also contains more fiber. I also noticed that mangoes are helpful in increasing my bowel movement. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, spinach and other green vegetables, and sweetcorn.
6. Regular Exercise:
Exercising helps prevent constipation by decreasing the amount of time it takes for food to move through the intestine. It also limits the amount of fluid absorption from the guts. Simply getting up and moving can help constipation. Regular exercises like walking, jogging, dancing, swimming for about 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can improve the health of your digestive tract.
7. Colonic massage:
8. Once you feel the urge to pass stool do not ignore it. Try not to store up stool
9. Stop any medication that causes constipation: please see your doctor for proper checkup and directives.
These are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, protein and lots of nutrients that make them very healthy and a great addition to any food. Also, flaxseeds have natural laxative properties and have been proven to be effective in the treatment of both constipation and diarrhea.
11. Drinking coffee:
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant, it makes the muscles in your digestive system contract, causing an increase in bowel movement.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this blog post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care, diagnosis, or treatment. it is intended for informational purposes only. Ensure you seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or in the case of a medical emergency.