How To Poo In Peace
This is not the normal topic of conversation for many (unless you’re a physio, nurse or GP perhaps) BUT…let’s talk about “How to poo in peace”.
I’m here to address some issues around going to the toilet and being able to do a “number two” without straining or struggling.
I want to share with you some amazing tips to help you toilet easier if you are struggling with CONSTIPATION.
Did you know HOW you SIT on the toilet can affect your ability to poo?
Have you heard of BULDGE and BRACE?
Do you know that straining is really bad for your Pelvic floor muscles as it weakens them?
So to begin with a little anatomy always helps to increase understanding here with regards to bowel function and it all starts from the mouth down.
As we eat food and chew it, it travels down our throat via our oesophagus to our stomachs. There it starts the digestion process as lots of stomach acids break down our food to allow ABSORPTION of nutrients we need from our food.
This all takes place in the small intestines and then carries on into the large intestine where water is absorbed. Our waste products of food end their journey via our rectum and have to pass an almost 90 degree bend at the end of this passage before we eliminate it.
This angle helps prevent faeces “falling out” which is clever but it can also make hard stool extra difficult to pass.
Why is it sometimes hard to poo?
Constipation is often caused when the colon (large intestine) absorbs to much water or, if the stool moves slowly through the gut. This can be due to many reasons such as inactivity, some medications, dehydration or if pregnant the gut slows down to name just a few reasons.
It is important to know, constipation is not a disease but a symptom of the bowel not moving easily or regularly.
Normal bowel movements are different for everyone.
Normal can range from three times a day to once every three days!
If constipated, passing your poo can often feel painful and many experience straining or feel bloated. It can also feel like your bowels are full and need emptying or the feeling that the bowels are not fully emptied.
It is more common in women and adults 65 years plus, pregnant ladies and post childbirth or any surgery. Constipation is normally TEMPORARY and NOT serious.
So, what can we do to AVOID straining to pass a motion?
- Notice when you first get the signal your bowels need emptying. It is quite common for this to be first thing in the morning after breakfast as eating helps get your colon muscles working.
- Sit optimally on the toilet – may sound obvious but you would be surprised! Ideally you should have your feet flat on a small foot stool, have your feet wider than hip width apart, lean forwards placing your forearms onto your thighs and let your bottom sink lower than your hips in to the toilet. This then becomes like a squatting position which helps to increase the angle of the rectum allowing your muscles to work efficiently. The above position will massively help to reduce straining.
- When sat on the toilet, imagine your body as a pear shape and try to buldge out your lower tummy area to adopt this shape.
- Always try and breath out as you expel stool to help avoid straining.
- You can also massage your lower stomach region to help improve the colon muscle movements (peristalsis).
- Eat and drink regularly and avoid dehydration. Add fibre to your diet by eating more fruit, veg and oats. Foods that act as natural laxatives include prunes, kiwi fruit, figs and liquorice. Limit foods that don’t contain fibre such as cheese, processed foods, ice-cream and meat can also help.
- If you have had surgery, supporting the wound with a folded towel can help. For extra support holding a sanitary pad or large wad of toilet paper in front of the back passage can help reduce discomfort when passing a stool.
For most of us changing our lifestyle, diet and adopting the above toilet techniques should help tremendously.
Always seek medical advise if your symptoms…
- last more than three weeks.
- are severe.
- are linked to fever, blood on the toilet paper, weight loss or weakness.
Laxatives should be used for short term use only ideally as overuse can lead to the bowel muscles working inefficiently.
And finally, trying to poo in peace. – A lock on the bathroom door and ear plugs to reduce calls of demand often works well if children are the reason that prevent you doing this providing it is safe to do so!
Has this post helped you learn how to poo in peace? Let us know!
For more health care related information please take a read of my other blog posts which can be found here.