Easy Tips to Reverse Constipation and Bloating

 

 

Constipation is more than the inability to have regular bowel movements.

Having abdominal bloating, passing hard stone-like stool, straining excessively, sensing that there’s more that can’t come out, and resorting to manual maneuvers for a bowel movement are symptoms of constipation.

If you’re experiencing any of the above with 25% of your bowel moments, a visit to your GI or Functional Medicine doctor and following some of these tips can help reverse constipation, but if this problem is affecting an older adult should be handle differently, hop over to this website to get the most useful information about the special cares they might going to need.

Help Your Gut Get Happy

Like the photo above, eat a variety of colors which include a balance of soluble and insoluble fibers.

Soluble fibers dissolve in water, making a gel-like substance that protects the gastrointestinal tract, slows down digestion, and gives you that “full feeling”. Examples of soluble fibers include: oatmeal, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

Insoluble fibers adds bulk to stool, and stimulates the digestive tract. Examples of insoluble fibers include: barley, brown rice, broccoli, dark leafy vegetables, and root vegetable skins. If you’re experiencing a common complaint of seeing pebbly, dry stool, add more insoluble fiber to your diet.

For a tailored diet, see a nutritionist.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

 

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation. An inadequate about of hydration makes it hard for stool to move and glide throughout the colon, leading to dry, hard, stool which can be painful and/or difficult to pass.

Drink at least 6-8 cups of water/day- more if you are active, pregnant, or larger in frame.

Perform a ILU (I Love U) Colon Massage

 

When you’re upright during the day, gravity acts on the colon, helping stool move down the descending colon towards the rectum. Gravity doesn’t help when sleeping, so when you wake up, give your colon a little kickstart by doing perform an ILU ( I Love U) massage.

Using your hands, gently trace the outline of the colon through your abdomen. This gentle manual pressure does wonders to help direct blood flow to the colon, move gas/stool content, and can decrease abdominal bloat/discomfort.

  • Place fingers under the left front ribcage, on the soft abdomen tissue. Make small circles, applying a gentle pressure with your finger pads and trace the descending colon from the left front ribcage down to the left pelvic bone. This is the “I”.
  • Place fingers just under the right front ribcage and trace the transverse colon, making small circles towards the left front ribcage. This is the “L”.
  • Place fingers under the right pelvic bone and trace the ascending colon by making small circles towards the right front ribcage. This is the “U”.

Do 5 to 10 ILU’s  every morning.

Stretch! – These stretches help massage the gut, and improve blood flow throughout the digestive tract.

Single Knee to Chest

Perform three 30 second holds on each side

Spinal Twist

Perform three 30 second holds on each side

Cat/Camel

Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions in each direction

Perform a Daily Meditation  

Our gastrointestinal (GI) system is mainly under the direction of our parasympathetic "rest and digest" nervous system. Our GI system works effectively and efficiently when there’s a sense of calm and comfort throughout the body. To calm an anxious nervous system, listen to a 5 minute guided meditation upon waking and/or prior to bedtime. Some great apps to try include: Headspace, 10% Happier, or Calm. You-tube guided meditations are free and give clear instructions for beginners!

If the above tips do not provide you with relief, schedule an appointment with EMH Physical Therapy to assess and treat your pelvic floor, as high tension in these muscles may be the cause for your constipation.

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