Chronic constipation is not only highly uncomfortable but also harmful for our health, allowing toxins meant for excretion via the stool to be re-absorbed back in to the circulation.
Diet, lifestyle, stress or medication can all cause constipation. If you suffer from reduced bowel movement, do take note of the tips below. If you're chronically constipated and the tips below do not help, please see you primary caregiver (GP) and/or consider visiting a qualified, registered nutritional therapist.
I've also attached here a very tongue-in-cheek advertisement for a toileting tool, which can make a difference. High toilet seats don't support a natural 'squatting' position so this little tool can be helpful in acquiring a position required for a painless number two (note I'm not in any way involved with this product and there may be similar other products available).
TIPS for improved bowel function
Increase fibre intake Aim to consume 25 to 30 grams of fibre every day to soften the stool and encourage proper bowel function. In short - eat more non-starchy vegetables, seeds and whole grains! Aim for two fistfuls of vegetables with every meal, but if you're new to eating vegetables, increase the amount gradually to let your gut adjust to the changes.
Seeds, nuts and whole grains are also great sources for fibre; try soaking one to two tablespoon of flax seeds in some water overnight, enjoying this in the morning; you can eat these on its own or add this to your morning porridge, muesli or smoothie. Flax is a source of healing omega 3 oils and the insoluable fibre from the seeds helps to bulk up a stool, promoting healthy bowel movement. Don't forget to chew the seeds well for maximum benefit. The gel-like mucilage formed with water is soothing for the intestines, so this little 'seedy trick' works in multiple levels.
Drink adequate water To help prevent stools from becoming dry, hard and compacted, your daily fluid intake should be equivalent to 6 to 8 glasses of water. Aim for ~ 1.5L of liquids throughout the day (including teas/coffees), but note you may need more if you're exercising or moving a lot throughout the day.
Move every day Regular exercise is necessary to strengthen the lower colon muscles and promote normal muscle contractions in the bowel wall. A 30 minute walk will stimulate the bowels and reduce the risk of constipation - just remember adequate hydration which allows the stools to move.
Don't ignore the urge Disregarding the urge to move the bowel can not only cause constipation, but may also cause you to stop feeling the urge to go.
Don't overdo OTC laxatives Long-term use of over-the-counter laxatives can teach your bowel to rely on these medicines and can eventually cause constipation rather than relieve it.
Be aware of your medication/supplementation: Constipation can be
a side effect of many different prescription and non-prescription medications, including some supplements like iron.
And here's a link to the promised Squatty-Potty video (click to access)....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q