Constipation is a feeling everyone goes through at one point or another and it can easily be one of the most discomforting situations you can find yourself in. This is when you are finding that you are having the urge to poop, but you are not able to or it is difficult to. Now, this definition technically means something different for everyone. Each person has a unique rhythm in which their bowels flush out.
Some people comfortably poop several times a day whereas other people poop once every few days. Much of this depends on your eating habits, your gut health, and your exercise habits. However, the general rule of thumb is if you generally go 3 days without pooping, you may be at risk of being constipated. It is also a risk if you find that your poop is harder physically and more difficult to pass.
What Causes Constipation?
Generally, several reasons cause constipation. Since this situation is a system that happens to be out of rhythm, big lifestyle changes or lacking or too much of a necessity are usually the problem. Pregnancy, stress, having not enough water, exercise, fiber, or eating disorders are some major reasons.
Other causes of constipation are like having issues with your bowels, colon cancer, having nerve or digestive issues in your digestive system, Parkinson’s disease, etc. The range of reasons is so wide, which is why it is a symptom that should certainly be taken into account and taken seriously. If you are constipated you should call your doctor and ask for their perspective on the situation. If it continues, it is also important to make sure to keep your doctor updated as your condition progresses.
It is also quite important to note that occasionally, you may find that you are constipated because you simply don’t take the time or simply refrain from your urge to clean out your bowels. This could be due to some circumstance you are in, perhaps a job that requires much from you, or a type of anxiety. Simply put, this type of situation is one that you need to face head-on and take the time to poop. Whatever circumstance you may find yourself in, it is vital that you take care of yourself properly, and that includes pooping. If you are finding this to be a problem, consult your doctor, and whoever else is the reason for you preventing pooping. It can cause many issues later that can become dire.
How to Treat Constipation
As stated previously, constipation is a clear signal that something is not working properly. Whether it is a small or big problem, there are certainly various things to do to help treat constipation. Many treatments such as laxatives, drinking more water, exercising, and eating more fiber, are typically the easiest fixes. Especially after a lifestyle change, whether good or bad, supplying your body with what it needs kicks it back into gear. However, it may take a while to find the right fix. So try each of these treatments for several days and see what works best for you. You also will want to make sure that you are keeping your doctor informed on what treatments you are using. If nothing is working, you will want to make sure to consult your doctor, to find the right fix.
How Sleep Affects Constipation
Oddly enough, sleep affects constipation considerably. While you are asleep, your body’s major systems are still hard at work, keeping you alive and making sure you are on your rhythm. However, if you find that you are not sleeping the proper hours, you are not sleeping as deeply as usual, or you are not getting enough hours, you can be jeopardizing your gut health. Your gut is truly the part of your body that allows you to move and work properly, which is also connected to your bowels.
With everything being so interconnected, it is incredibly valuable to be wary of your sleep schedule as well as your pooping schedule. If one is irregular, oftentimes the other is not far behind it. It has also been found that irregular sleep affects the hormones that you need to keep all of your systems running properly and your ability to make decisions properly. Things like deciding how to feed your body, are much easier when your hormone levels are balanced, as they are likely to rely on what your brain knows you need to eat rather than what you crave.
Best sleeping positions for digestion and pooping
Now, along with sleeping, it is vital to also consider the way you sleep to promote your gut health. Typically, sleeping on your left side is the most encouraged, as the stomach is placed more on that side and allows for more gravity to pull food through your digestive system. Makes it easier for your body to digest and thus make poop.
Additionally, it has also been known that having a pillow between your legs while you sleep is also a benefit. It is a strategy that lifts your leg off your joint and allows you to keep your spine straight. While this does not directly affect the stomach, it certainly alleviates the pressure in your stomach and hips area which will make it easier for your body to do its job properly. Lastly, it is also suggested to try sleeping on your back. Laying directly on your back allows you to lay with your weight evenly distributed throughout your body and allows your muscles to relax. This also allows your digestive system to work swiftly and smoothly throughout the night.
It has also been noted that this is technically a catch-22 with finding the right position to sleep in for digestion. If you are used to sleeping in one position because it is the most comfortable for you, it will be extra difficult to change from that position and sleep peacefully. So, if you find that you are constipated, it is suggested that you try one of these positions for the sake of making your digestive system run properly again. However, if you find that you are unable to sleep in one of these positions to promote your gut health, try a different one. This is not to say one is better than another, and you should find a balance between allowing your systems to work best, and sleeping comfortably.
All in all, one major takeaway to make sure to keep with you, is to make sure you keep your body healthy. The more you consider how much better your body runs when you regularly move your body, you fuel it properly and you listen to it, the better off you are. It is miraculous how our body is so interconnected that even the smallest things can set it off. But never fear as that means the smallest things can help put it back together.