Retraining A Sluggish Bowel

Retraining A Sluggish Bowel

Proper elimination is essential to good health. The accumulated waste in the bowel not only causes tremendous abdominal discomfort but also leads to fatigue, brain fog, skin problems and many other health conditions.  

Constipation is defined as having fewer bowel movements than optimal or having bowel movements that are difficult to pass. Frequency of elimination can vary from person to person. However, most people feel best with two bowel movements per day, and when the stools are well-formed and easy to pass. 

Our body prefers routine. We are made that way. Therefore, we function better when there is a healthy habit to follow.  The following guidelines are tips to help you regain bowel regularity. 

Stretch Upon Waking

Do a light stretch from your fingertips to your toes for 1-2 minutes before you get out of bed. This morning stretch will help prepare your body for a bowel movement.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Our body has the largest contraction in the bowels during the mornings.  Having a good-sized breakfast can help support that contraction. If you don’t have a good appetite in the mornings, consider having a lighter dinner so that you can wake up feeling hungry.  

Drink Warm Water In The Morning

Warm water (or other warm fluids with a bit of fat) can stimulate gastro-colic reflex in the large intestines.  I generally recommend taking 1 tbsp of liquid fish oil as your fat, since most people don’t consume an adequate amount of omega 3.  Be sure to drink the beverage slowly.  

Squat During A Bowel Movement

Rest your feet on something elevated, such as a stool, while sitting on the toilet. This brings your knees in a position that may help make elimination faster and more complete, as well as help reduce straining. For more information, visit the squatty potty website: http://www.squattypotty.com.

Try And Go To The Bathroom At The Same Time Daily 

If you don’t have the urge to go, just sit on the toilet and practice deep breathing for 10 minutes.  Don’t strain.  Even if you don’t have a bowel movement, wipe, flush and wash your hands.  If you feel incomplete after sitting for 10 minutes, no need to stay on the toilet. 

Respond To The Urge Within Minutes

Ignoring the urge for a bowel movement can contribute to constipation.

Your Morning Bowel Movement Preparation Routine (within the first 45 minutes of waking up):

    • Stretch.
    • Drink warm water or a hot caffeine beverage with fat.
    • Consume a high fiber breakfast. 
    • Drink a second hot caffeine beverage or warm water. 
    • Go to the bathroom within minutes of getting an urge. 

Constipation can be caused by a number of factors.  If you have struggled with constipation for a long time, seek an experienced doctor for proper investigation and treatment.