Purpose Statement

This blog is intended to educate women on issues that affect women. Although we are all healthcare professionals, we are not here to give medical advice. Rather we hope this will encourage women knowing that help is available and give them the courage to seek help.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Constipation

Do you suffer from constipation? When you have a bowel movement, do you feel completely empty?  Normal bowel movements are different for everyone.  Some people go after every meal and some go every other day.  The important thing is that you get that good feeling of completely emptying.  Bowel health is important for your over all well being, bladder health, and your pelvic floor health.

There are three main things that may be contributing to you not emptying all the way. 


1) It may be a motility problem.  Sometimes our colon gets lazy.  The job of the colon is to contract and push the stool along.  Hormonal changes, dietary changes, change in medications, or changes in activity are some factors that may affect the motility.  What can you do about it? Gentle abdominal/colon massage techniques can help wake up the colon and motility.  Find your local women’s health physical therapist to learn how to do this.  Also, exercise can help improve the motility.  Movement is great in helping wake up your colon!
2) It may due to your diet.  Your colon LOVES water.  Without enough of it, your stool gets harder and more difficult for your colon to pass.  Your colon also feels the same about fiber.  A balanced diet with plenty of water helps to keep your colon happy!
      3) It may be an outlet problem.  Let me explain. . . .Do you relax when you sit on the toilet? Are you straining to have a bowel movement?  If you are holding your breath, your muscles around your anus and rectum can’t relax and it makes it more difficult for the stool to get out.  Make sure you take deep breaths and think about your pelvic floor muscles relaxing.  Take the time to sit, relax, and completely empty.  Try not to rush it.  Your colon likes for you to be relaxed.

      There may be other factors contributing to your constipation besides those listed above.  But in general, drink plenty of water with a balanced diet, exercise, and make sure you take the time to breathe, relax, and have a bowel movement.  More importantly, if you are suffering from constipation, consult your medical practitioner.