Feeling bloated, crampy, and uncomfortable for days or even weeks at a time?
Getting dressed in the morning can make you feel like your pants are slowly suffocating you. While getting stuck in a long meeting at work can trigger an incredible amount of anxiety.
You’ve already tried sitting on the toilet and reading for long periods of time. But no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to rid your body of its waste and find some relief for once.
You’re at the end of your patience, and all you want to do is use the restroom already.
Just know that you are certainly not alone. Research shows that 15-20% of the population suffers from chronic constipation. And ‘suffers’ is the key word here because chronic constipation can affect all areas of your life—not just the part of your life that you spend in the bathroom.
So what is chronic constipation exactly and what can you do about it? Read on to discover the secrets to chronic constipation that no one tells you about.
What is chronic constipation
You may be surprised to find out that there is not just one acceptable definition of chronic constipation in the medical community. In fact, what constitutes as chronic constipation for you could very well be different from what constitutes as chronic constipation for someone else.
Generally speaking, chronic constipation is the inability to have a bowel movement regularly for weeks at a time. And this regularity can refer to either frequency or the ease with which you have a bowel movement.
So, in other words, chronic constipation for you may mean struggling to have a bowel movement more than three times per week. Whereas, for someone else, it may mean having frequent bowel movements but having to really strain during each of those occurrences.
Typically speaking, this chronic constipation takes place as a result of the way your body moves food through the digestive tract.
Some important things to keep in mind when it comes to chronic constipation are that:
- Chronic constipation symptoms can also include feelings of having an incomplete evacuation during a bowel movement or having to assist your body in removing stool naturally.
- Age increases your chances of suffering from chronic constipation and women are more likely than men to experience it.
- You can still suffer from chronic constipation even if you eat well, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. So, don’t play the blame game with yourself.
- Chronic constipation can be caused by medical conditions, mental health issues, and medications you’re currently taking.
- Chronic constipation can cause both internal and external hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and bleeding. So, don’t ignore your symptoms or they can lead to further complications.
Keep in mind that, in many cases, getting a chronic constipation diagnosis may not even happen until after you’ve experienced the symptoms of chronic constipation for 3 months or more.
So, it’s important that you pay close attention to your symptoms, keep a record of them, and provide as much information as possible to your doctor at your next appointment.
What does constipation feel like
Of course, in order to provide accurate information to your doctor about your struggles with chronic constipation, you must first understand what constipation actually is and, perhaps more importantly, what it feels like.
The feelings of constipation can vary by person, but they can also vary during different periods of constipation in your lifetime.
So, you may experience symptoms such as:
What you really want to pay attention to is how you’re feeling each day and which of these symptoms are currently present.
For example, if you feel overly full and bloated when you first wake up in the morning, you’ll want to make a note of that. Or, if you start to notice cramping in your stomach but, after sitting on the toilet for a lengthy amount of time, you still can’t go, you also want to record that information to share with your doctor at a later time.
Just remember that you can have an achy back one day or a reduced appetite the next and these can both be signs that you’re suffering from chronic constipation. The only way to know for sure is to consult your doctor.
What to do for chronic constipation
Chronic constipation is not something you want to ignore. It can lead to real health consequences down the road, but it can also make your life pretty miserable in the present moment. And nobody wants that.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help you with chronic constipation.
Here are 13 things you should try the next time you’re starting to feel backed up:
- Stay Hydrated: Water is an important part of each step in the digestive process. So, stay hydrated and keep food moving through your digestive tract the way it should. Even if you’ve tried drinking more water already, your chronic constipation can actually get worse and water can prevent that from happening.
- Eat Healthy: Certain foods work wonders when it comes to treating constipation. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy foods like yogurt, beans, broccoli, whole wheat, and olive oil to prevent and treat constipation.
- Keep a Food Journal: If you suffer from chronic constipation, keeping a food journal can help you notice patterns when it comes to your eating habits and the increase or decrease of constipation symptoms that you experience.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise keeps your blood pumping and your bodily functions working properly. So exercise more, and you just may see some improvements in your bowel movements as well.
- Take a Fiber Supplement: Fiber helps your body in many ways when it comes to digesting food. In fact, it can help you lose weight and have regular bowel movements.
- Try Bowel Training: Bowel training is all about establishing a routine your body can count on. By attempting to have a bowel movement at the same time each day, you can actually train your body to stick to a regular schedule long term.
- Take an Over-The-Counter Laxative: Over-the-counter laxatives may be just what you need to find some relief from the symptoms you’re currently experiencing. They work by squeezing the intestines, moving fluids through your colon, or coating your intestinal walls to help you go.
- Give Yourself an Enema: Oftentimes, constipation happens because your stool is simply too hard to pass through your rectum and anus properly. Enemas soften stool so that it can make its way out of your body more easily.
- Insert a Rectal Suppository: Rectal suppositories also work to soften stool. So, by inserting one into your rectum, you can stimulate a bowel movement typically within an hour.
- Place a Stool in Front of Your Toilet: Sometimes the position you are sitting in can discourage a healthy bowel movement too. By placing a stool in front of your toilet, you may align your body into a better position.
- Try Colonic Massage: Want to stimulate your bowels today? Try massaging your colon at home and get the waste removal process going again.
- Speak With Your Doctor: Your doctor is the best resource you have when it comes to preventing and treating your chronic constipation issues so put the embarrassment aside and speak with them today.
- Try Vibrant – an innovative drug-free treatment.
Research shows that when the Natural Biological Clock is not synchronized, it may lead to constipation.
Vibrant®’s unique drug-free treatment uses gentle vibrations to stimulate the colon mechanically.
The pre-programmed timing of the mechanical stimulation is thought to improve the natural colonic motility by leveraging the colon’s biological clock.
Clinical research demonstrates an increased number and frequency of complete bowel movements and improvement in the quality of life, with 1.2% diarrhea occurrence.
Vibrant can help you take charge of constipation and enjoy the quality of life you wish for.