CONSTIPATION can be uncomfortable and affects people of all ages.
Most remedies take a while to kick in, but one expert has revealed how you can ease the symptoms - and fast.
There are many tips and tricks for constipation online, including ear massages and even rubbing your fists together.
Posting to TikTok, one doctor, known as the belly whisperer, said there is a certain utensil you must take to the loo with you to get rid of constipation.
Dr Kelly Peterson specialises in pelvic, visceral, and orthopaedic physical therapy.
When her patients tell her they are constipated, she simply tells them to use a straw on the toilet.
She explained that when trying for a number two, you should blow out of a straw to help you.
Constipation is usually caused by not eating enough fibre, being less active and not drinking enough fluids.
But you could also suffer with the condition due to medication and people with poor pelvic floor muscles may also become constipated as they struggle to push out a number two.
You might also suffer with constipation if:
- you spend long periods sitting down
- you're stressed or anxious
- you ignore the feeling you need to go the toilet.
Dr Peterson explained that using a straw can help regulate your breathing, making it easier for you to poo.
On her Instagram page she said that she likes to imagine she is blowing out birthday candles or bubbles while going for a number two in order to avoid straining and pushing.
This she says, can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
"Forceful exhalation is critical for core and pelvic floor activation so if you have a little poop left in the rectum or feel like it’s right there but won’t come out, you can exhale to help the pelvic floor muscles and core to help “pinch it off” and exit without pushing or straining.
"The diaphragm plays a critical role in core/trunk stability and respiration by controlling intra-abdominal pressure!
"That’s why it’s super important to practice diaphragmatic breathing", she said.
Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as belly breathing and involves fully engaging your stomach muscles and diaphragm when breathing.
I'm constipated - when should I see my GP?
Most pharmacists will be able to help when it comes to treating constipation.
If you've tried lifestyle changes, then they may suggest a laxative.
These usually work within three days and should only be used for a short period of time.
You should see a GP if:
- you are not improving with treatment
- you are regularly constipated
- your constipation lasts a long time
- blood in your poo
- unexpected weight loss
- feel tired all the time
- taking medicines that cause constipation
You should always speak to your GP before you stop to take prescribed medication.
This means that when you breathe in, you pull the diaphragm down with each breath - helping the lungs fill up more efficiently.
Dr Peterson explained that this, along with changing your diet to include more fibre can help with constipation.
The NHS states that drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding booze can help ease constipation as well as adding foods like, wheat bran, oats or linseed to your diet.
She also said that using a straw can help children who are suffering with constipation.
Learning to inhale and exhale properly using diaphragmatic breathing decreases the stress on the spine through a co-contraction with the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, she added.
Dr Peterson said you should start by practicing long, slow forceful exhalations in different positions first.
But said that you should practise these sitting on your back, side, stomach and knees before sitting on the toilet to do it.
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