Tips to Reverse Constipation and Abdominal DiscomfortOct 23, 2020
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, first visit to your GI or Functional Medicine doctor to rule out medical causes, and if all is good check out these tips to help reverse constipation.
Help Your Gut Get Happy
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, individual food plan, consider consulting a nutritionist familiar with SIBO and other gut motility issues.
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 "I Love You" (ILU) 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 aid in this process when sleeping, so when you wake up, give your colon a little kickstart by doing perform an I Love You (ILU) 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 letter “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 letter “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 letter “U”.
Do 5 to 10 ILU’s every morning.
These 3 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 works under the direction of our parasympathetic, rest and digest, nervous system. It works most 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.
PelvicSense includes detailed guidance of all the above body exercises, has a video of a colon massage and guides you in calming mind exercises. Our gentle daily program helps lower chronic tension of the pelvic floor muscles, improve gut motility and guides you towards optimum pooping function!