Having trouble pooping? You’re not alone. Many Americans have to deal with occasional constipation or even poop that’s hard and painful. Well, the solution could be as simple as eating more fiber or drinking more water. On the other hand, maybe you need a better way to poop. Yes, there is a better way to eliminate — a way that not only prevents you from straining but also helps you avoid certain pressure diseases. Here are some reasons why you may be having trouble pooping and how you can fix that.
1. Not enough fiber in your diet
Staying regular takes fiber. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool. Additionally, it keeps it soft and bulky. Bulky stool is easier to pass and lessens your chance of constipation. Even if your stool is loose and watery, fiber may help to solidify it, suggests the Mayo Clinic. A high-fiber diet can also help prevent hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. So, how much fiber do you need to stay regular? According to WebMD, getting regular means eating three to five cups of fruits and vegetables each day. But they also suggest going easy on meat and dairy, and skipping fast and processed foods, which are notoriously low in fiber.
2. Not drinking enough water during the day
Water is essential for survival — and even for pooping regularly. According to research from Nestle Water Institute in France, fluid loss and fluid restriction is the main cause for constipation. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function. Water rids the body of wastes through urination, perspiration, bowel movements and even breathing.
So, it’s imperative to keep your body working at optimum levels by replenishing lost water. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking about 15.5 cups of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women.This includes almost 20 percent of your daily fluid intake that comes from food and other beverages, leaving about 12 cups of water for men and nine for women. Now, if that seems like a lot, then stick to the eight glasses a day rule.
3. You’re too inactive
It seems that exercise can do more than tone your body and heart. If you’re having trouble pooping and suffer from constipation, maybe a little exercise will do the trick. Lack of exercise is one of the key reasons for constipation, suggests research from the University of Hong Kong. Exercise is essential for regular bowel movements and helps relieve constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. It also helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, helping move stools out faster.
4. You need a better way to poop
Pooping may not be rocket science, but what if I told you there was a better way to poop? A way that could streamline the process and stop you from straining. Even those who have frequent bowel movement occasionally strain. This is generally because of the modern-day toilet. You see, when you have difficulty emptying your bowels, the cause may be your rectoanal angle and its relationship with the sitting posture. What does that mean?
Well, you have a kink at the end of your rectum. Basically, a 90-degree angle that stops you from pooping yourself whenever you have the urge to go. But, the angle only straightens slightly when you sit on the toilet, which can leave you straining to eliminate your bowels. So, one of the best ways to eliminate without straining is by simply leaning forward while sitting on the toilet. Sitting with hands on or near the floor presses the torso against the thighs. That puts an extra squeeze on the colon, which helps eliminate straining.
5. Maybe you need a potty stool
Before the modern-day toilet, man simply squatted to eliminate. And while this is proven to prevent constipation, most Westerners aren’t really into the whole squatting thing. That’s where a potty stool comes in. A potty stool makes elimination easier. In short, it elevates the feet to imitate squatting, while allowing you to still sit on the toilet. So, if you’re having trouble pooping, maybe you should give a potty stool a try.
The bottom line…
More than likely, your pooping troubles are happening because you’ve neglected your diet. But if constipation is ongoing even when you’re active and doing all the right things, then it’s time to see your doctor, because there could be another reason why eliminating is so difficult. It’s best to rule out any potential illnesses.
Thankfully, though, the cure for constipation is usually simple. So, make sure to eat enough fiber, drink plenty of water and get active.
— Katherine Marko