How to Make Yourself Poop

Janis

By Janis | Updated January 1, 2024

Occasional constipation can be both uncomfortable and inconvenient. Understanding how to prompt a bowel movement can relieve discomfort and improve digestive health.

By making simple adjustments to your diet, lifestyle, and hydration, you can ease constipation and get back to feeling your best.

This guide aims to provide actionable tips and techniques to help you make yourself poop. 

From dietary adjustments to specific exercises, we cover various methods to tackle constipation effectively.

Quick Constipation Relief

When constipation strikes, quick relief becomes a top priority. Understanding the immediate actions you can take is essential for resolving the discomfort promptly.

This section will outline several quick-acting methods to relieve constipation, such as dietary changes, specific activities, and over-the-counter remedies that can aid bowel movement.

Water and Food Choices

Navigating constipation can be uncomfortable, but dietary changes and proper hydration can offer swift relief. This section explores how these factors contribute to bowel regularity.

Implementing simple modifications in your diet and fluid intake can make a substantial difference. 

Food for Better Digestion

Consume high-fiber foods like raspberries, avocados, chickpeas, chia seeds, and nuts. 

These dietary fibers increase stool bulk, making it easier to pass. Stay away from processed foods that may contribute to constipation.

Drink a Glass of Water

Hydration plays a crucial role in constipation relief. Drinking water can help soften stools, making them easier to pass. 

Aim for adequate water intake daily, alongside fiber-rich foods and fluids.

Take a Fiber Supplement

Increase your fiber intake by taking a fiber supplement. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping it move through your intestines more easily. 

Supplements are convenient and available over-the-counter.

Medications for Constipation Relief

When dietary changes and increased hydration aren’t enough, over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be an effective route for quick relief from constipation.

Take Laxatives

Laxative stimulants increase bowel movement frequency. Over-the-counter options are readily available for short-term relief. Lubricant laxatives, such as mineral oil, coat the stool, making it easier to pass without straining.

Use these for quick relief under medical supervision. Exercise caution as overuse or long-term use may have adverse effects.

Use a Stool Softener

Stool softeners, like docusate sodium and magnesium, prevent hard stools by increasing water absorption. 

Magnesium citrate or magnesium hydroxide draws water into the colon, softening the stool. 

Home Remedies

Home remedies often serve as first-line solutions for quick relief from constipation. This section will guide you through natural alternatives that are both effective and convenient at home.

Squat Position to Poop

Squatting during bowel movements can reduce straining and promote faster relief. 

Use a footstool or squatting platform to achieve the proper position.

Move Your Body

Physical activity may improve digestion and promote regular bowel movements. 

Incorporate exercise like walking or jogging into your daily routine. Simple daily activities you enjoy, like dancing, gardening, or cleaning, will stimulate digestion and improve your mood.

Try Stomach Massages

Massaging your abdomen can help relieve constipation by stimulating the colon. 

Gently massage and move your hands in a clockwise direction below your ribcage.

Use Natural Remedies

Natural remedies like prunes, sorbitol, castor oil, and coffee can stimulate bowel movements and provide relief.

Include these in moderation to avoid dependence or adverse effects.

Direct and Quick Methods

In situations where immediate relief from constipation is necessary, direct interventions can be highly effective. This section will outline methods that provide quick results, often used under medical supervision.

Use an Enema

Enemas involve introducing fluids into the rectum to stimulate bowel movements.

Consider trying one like a saline enema or warm water enema in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Try a Suppository

Suppositories are inserted into the rectum to soften and stimulate bowel movements. Various options are available over-the-counter.

Constipation Relief for Children

When it comes to relieving constipation in children, the approach may differ slightly from that for adults. It’s important to remember that a child’s digestive system is still developing. 

Some adult treatments may be too harsh for young systems. It’s also worth noting that children may be less able to articulate discomfort or adhere to treatment plans.

Approach and Evaluation

In children, the first step often involves ensuring that the child actually has constipation. 

Misinterpretations can occur due to the child’s inability to effectively communicate their symptoms.

Behavioral factors, like “withholding” (where children resist the urge to have a bowel movement because of previous painful experiences or other fears), play a significant role in pediatric constipation.

Food and Fluid Intake

Infants might benefit from a change in formula or an introduction to pureed fruits or juices like prune juice.

For toddlers and older children, increasing dietary fiber through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended. However, the amount of fiber recommended for children is often less than for adults, based on their age and caloric intake.

Routine and Reinforcement

Establishing a routine toilet time, often after meals, can take advantage of the body’s natural gastrocolic reflex.

Positive reinforcement, like a reward system for successful bowel movements, can be effective for children.

Child Medications

While adults might use a broad range of OTC laxatives, some of these aren’t recommended for children. For example, mineral oil, often used as a laxative with adults, isn’t typically used with children due to the risk of aspiration.

Pediatric dosages of medications will differ from adult dosages. Laxatives like polyethylene glycol (PEG) and stool softeners are available for children in adjusted dosages.

Constipation Relief for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy brings its own set of challenges when dealing with constipation, as certain standard treatments may not be safe during this time.

Safety Concerns

Above all, the safety of the fetus is paramount. As a result, many medications that might be commonly prescribed or recommended for the general adult population might be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy.

Iron supplements, commonly prescribed during pregnancy to prevent or treat anemia, can contribute to constipation. 

Pregnant women might need to adjust the type or dose of iron supplements or ensure they’re taking them with plenty of fluids and fiber to counteract this side effect.

Many over-the-counter laxatives and herbal remedies are not well-studied in pregnant women, so it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before using them.

Fiber and Fluid Intake

Increased fluid intake is recommended during pregnancy to support the increased blood volume and amniotic fluid. This also helps in softening the stools.

While fiber intake is recommended for both pregnant women and the general adult population, pregnant women might be advised to be more diligent in ensuring they get sufficient fiber through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to combat pregnancy-induced constipation.

Activity and Gentle Exercises

Gentle exercises, like walking or prenatal yoga, are encouraged for pregnant women. 

Physical activity can help stimulate bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation.

Medications Safe for Pregnancy

Bulk-forming agents are often considered safe for pregnant women. They work by absorbing water and softening the stool.

Stool softeners, like docusate sodium, can be used during pregnancy and are often recommended to prevent straining, especially postpartum or after a C-section.

Some stimulant laxatives, like senna, might be used short-term but with caution. They can cause uterine contractions, so they should be used under medical guidance.

Osmotic laxatives are generally considered safe but should be used under a healthcare provider’s guidance.

Treating Occasional and Chronic Constipation

For short-term bouts, quick remedies, temporary dietary adjustments, and increased hydration can be effective. Physical activity and stress-reduction techniques might also provide relief.

For chronic constipation, long-term management focuses on sustained strategies under medical guidance. Plans involve consistent dietary habits, regular exercise, and possibly stool softeners or fiber supplements. 

Relying heavily on stimulant laxatives is discouraged, and prescription medications or biofeedback therapy might be necessary.

In both situations, avoiding over-dependence on certain laxatives is vital. If constipation persists or presents with concerning symptoms, seeking medical advice is crucial.

When to Get Help

Recognizing when you need to seek help for constipation is crucial. If your constipation has been persistent for more than three weeks, it might be a sign of chronic constipation. Consult your doctor for further evaluation.

In some instances, the causes of constipation can be more severe. If you’re experiencing severe pain while passing a bowel movement or straining too much, it’s time to see your doctor.

For some individuals, constipation might be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you suspect that IBS might be the reason behind your constipation, consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dehydration can also impact your bowel movements. If increasing your fluid intake doesn’t improve the situation, consider speaking with a healthcare professional.

In cases where constipation during pregnancy is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or other alarming symptoms, immediate medical attention is warranted.

Contact your healthcare provider or head to an emergency room if you experience these symptoms while pregnant. Delaying could risk your health and that of your baby.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Constipation

Adjusting your lifestyle and being consistent is essential for promoting regular bowel movements. 

First and foremost, focus on your diet. Consuming plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, can help prevent constipation.

It’s crucial to stay hydrated. Drinking adequate water keeps your colon healthy and supports digestion, easing bowel movements. Incorporate at least 8 cups of water into your daily routine.

Exercise regularly to stimulate muscle contractions in your gut, facilitating bowel movements. Even brisk walks can create a positive impact on your digestive system.

If you’re considering fiber supplements, consult your doctor before starting, as it’s better to obtain fiber through natural sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can constipation be treated naturally for adults?

Drink more water to stay hydrated, as dehydration can lead to constipation. Increase your fiber intake by consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine to improve bowel movements.

What are the most effective home remedies for immediate relief?

Drinking warm or hot water in the morning can help induce bowel movements. You can also try taking a fiber supplement or consuming fibrous foods. 

Additionally, practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can help your muscles relax and ease constipation.

How can I alleviate constipation pain?

To alleviate pain from constipation, you can try applying a warm heat pack on your abdomen. 

Gentle abdominal massage and taking deep, slow breaths may also help relieve discomfort from bloating and gas.

What are the common reasons for constipation?

Common reasons for constipation include a low-fiber diet, lack of physical activity, dehydration, certain medications, changes in routine, and stress. 

Medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, hypothyroidism, and diabetes can also cause constipation.

Which high-fiber foods can help alleviate constipation?

High-fiber foods that can help alleviate constipation include whole grains, fruits (e.g., berries, pears, apples), vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrots, spinach), beans, lentils, and nuts.

Gradually increasing your fiber intake can help prevent bloating and gas.