Poop Problems... Constipation Questions Answered
Updated: Jan 21
There is so much more to your butt than just poop!
While we may not like talking about our bottoms with our friends or family, there is a lot going on down there that can sometimes be of concern…
For example, doctor’s studies estimate that 3 of 4 adults in America will experience hemorrhoids at some point. That adult may be you.
The good news is, there are answers and even specialty colorectal doctors, AKA proctologists, who will help heal you, no butts about it.
One of our most common butt troubles is constipation, which can affect everyone and is usually a symptom of a poor, low fiber diet. The result of constipation is mostly discomfort, however, severe constipation can lead to more serious problems if you keep straining your bowels.
The SIGNS of SEVERE CONSTIPATION are simple:
Instead of pooping one to two times a day, you might be going less than three times a week.
Of course, constipation causes issues while pooping. You might feel like something is blocking you from going to the bathroom, or you might feel as if you need to go more but nothing is coming.
Also, your poop can be hard and in lumps.
Overall, constipation feels like pain or pressure in the rectum. Being backed up doesn’t feel good. You can seem tired and lethargic. As the problem persists, the constipation can get worse.
So, how long is too long to be constipated, you ask???
If you are habitually not pooping for three to five days, you should see a gastrointestinal doctor or colorectal doctor. While there are over-the-counter remedies, like MiraLAX and Metamucil, doctors can help determine the root cause of your constipation and evaluate you for other conditions.
If you’re trying to help constipation fast, you can use laxatives and begin incorporating fiber as part of your daily diet. Laxatives are good for acute problems with constipation, while fiber is the answer for chronic constipation solutions. Lots of water and fiber work to flush and clean your bowels. Fiber acts as a bottle brush for scrubbing your colon, in combination with the 4-6 glasses of water you should drink each day.
Doctor’s tip: An excellent high fiber source is ground flax seed powder, available at your local grocery store. A plant based diet is also ideal to help regulate passing stool and emptying your bowels in a healthy way.
What foods will make you poop right away?
(Get those bowels moving!)
We recommend these high fiber foods:
Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains, brown rice & beans/legumes. By supplementing your daily diet with these easy-to-eat & delicious options your gastrointestinal health will drastically improve!
Lastly, if you are experiencing constant constipation, you may be wondering if straining to poop causes other problems too. The short answer is yes, strain on your anus can cause other conditions if prolonged and excessive.
Be cautious of anal fissures, which are thin, paper cut-like tears in your skin around your butt. If you are trying to pass stool that is large and hard, you can potentially develop these small fissure wounds. Anal fissures can heal on their own despite the discomfort they cause, however, if the pain doesn’t subside within two to three weeks, we recommend you visit your doctor. A doctor can prescribe an anesthetic for pain relief, such as lidocaine, or other options for more chronic fissures, for instance if surgery is needed. Quicken your healing time by taking necessary measures to get help!
Hemorrhoids are another potential side-effect of pushing too much on the toilet. These are varicose veins around your butt that can become swollen and irritated and possibly protrude in serious cases. While very common, and often unnoticed, there are treatments that are quick and easy with short recovery, no surgery needed. Try to reduce the pressure you are causing when straining during constipation to avoid hemorrhoids and contact a doctor if they become problematic and uncomfortable.
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