Bowel movement or the process of passing stools is the body’s way of eliminating the solid waste products of its various organs. A healthy person normally moves his or her bowel after every major meal or heavy food intake. The body is expected to eliminate majority of the food that comes into the mouth after the nutrients have been purged out of them.
There are very few people who move their bowels two or three times daily, and once a day is still considered normal for most of us. However, there are some who have a problem in defecating on a daily basis. This problem can be associated to various factors but there are also many ways on how to increase bowel movement.
Not being able to pass stools regularly can result to problems like fatigue, obesity, headache and major diseases later on. Because of this, it is important to address even the most minor problems on bowel movement so that they can be resolved as soon as possible. This problem is also much easier to remedy rather than the serious conditions that it can lead to later on such as colon cancer.
Causes of Problems in Bowel Movement
In the process of identifying the factors affecting bowel elimination, the remedy or the solutions can also be obtained. The most common bowel elimination problems include hard stools, constipation and irregularity. In a person with healthy organs for elimination, the factors that cause such problems include nutrition, hydration, fat intake, exercise and position. However, some cases of bowel movement problems may also be related to medical conditions such as pelvic floor problems, hemorrhoids, urinary incontinence and colon disease. Bowel movement problems may be a manifestation or the cause of such medical conditions.
How to Increase Bowel Movement
There are many ways to help a problematic bowel movement to normal. They commonly concern changes in our daily habits such as our diet, exercise and hydration.
Nutrition– Food intake directly affects bowel movement and is one of the most common causes of irregularities if a person has normal organs for excretion. For one, not enough fiber can cause elimination problem. Consuming foods that promote bowel movements have high fiber content such as whole grains, cereal, prunes, apples and fruits and vegetables in general. Second, taking probiotics found in skimmed milk also facilitates good bowel movement. The good bacteria in probiotics keep the digestive tract healthy and free from infections that could cause irregularities in defecation.
Increased Hydration– Water composes majority of the fluids in our body. In fact, most of our weight is determined by our body’s water content. This also applies in our body wastes. Most of them are composed of water, as their water composition enables them to be processed fast by the body. Our defecation process can be improved by drinking more water, as more water pushes the wastes down the excretory system faster. It also aids in making the stool softer and easier to push out. Increased hydration prevents constipation, the most common bowel movement problem.
Physical Exercise– Fecal waste excretion is also affected by gravity. It means we can help move our bowel by staying in our feet and moving frequently in order to facilitate the stool to go down the digestive system. By being physically active, we no longer have to strain too much in defecation, as the stool is already pushed down the large intestines’ end part which is the anus. Also, regular exercise strengthens the muscles, including the muscles in the anal area. It could greatly improve sluggish bowel movement.
Proper Position– Just like in the principle of assisting gravitational pull through exercise, being in a proper position when defecating also plays an important role. The best position when passing stools is through squatting because the digestive tract is straightened this way. The stool is naturally assisted by the gravitational pull, making it easier to push it out. On the other hand, sitting position can make it difficult to strain because the digestive organs are in parallel with the ground.
Medications and Supplements– If the natural methods to improve bowel movement no longer work, the use of stool softeners and laxatives may be done occasionally. They may come in oral or suppository forms and can provide temporary relief to problems in defecation. Why only temporary? Because the best way to develop and maintain a healthy bowel movement routine is still by improving the daily habits.
On the General Note
Bowel movement is a bodily process that most of us do not pay close attention to, until it already becomes irregular. Only then will we find ways on how to increase bowel movement. We should bear in mind that it is always better to prevent irregularities than to correct them, so we should stick to a healthy set of lifestyle habits that lead to optimum health.
Problems in defecation should not be considered as a forbidden or shameful topic to discuss if they are present. Most people ignore the existence of bowel movement irregularities, fearing that they are the only ones having them. Or sometimes, they do not consider the gravity of the situation because they are not aware of bigger health problems they could lead to.
If bowel movement does not happen daily, and this has been repeatedly observed, the best step to take is to consult a doctor. Once it has been confirmed that no other medical conditions concerning the digestive system are present, it is time to take the natural methods in increasing bowel movement. There is no doubt that regular bowel movement will develop if one sticks to the natural methods of improving it.
In any concerns about maintaining optimum health and wellness, self-discipline always plays a major role. People should learn to form healthy habits in order to prevent health problems. And once the body starts showing abnormalities, it is already a reminder to check if something is wrong. Problems in bowel movement are easy to remedy if they have not yet developed into more serious conditions. So the earlier they are addressed, the better.