May 2021. For most of us, the pandemic has affected our lives in many ways. Although exercise was never prohibited, many of us have been less mobile and less active over the past year as we struggle to find safe ways to to get through our every day tasks. Decreased activity combined with less than ideal food choices can lead to a decrease in bowel function.
Everybody poops. Not everyone poops well.
Constipation. Ugh. No one wants it, no one wants to talk about it. But 16% of Americans deal with constipation on a regular basis. This number increases to over 30% as we address the over 60 population. So, if you stress about your toileting issues more than you think you should, you are not alone!
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, constipation is “a condition in which you may have fewer than three bowel movements a week; stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy; stools that are difficult or painful to pass; or a feeling that not all stool has passed.”
It sounds uncomfortable just saying that!
Normal bowel movement frequency is a range. They may move 1-2 times per day or every one to two days. They should be soft (like a ripe banana) and easy, never painful. If you find you are struggle with toileting, be encouraged! There are so many things you can do to help constipation, it just takes a little knowledge.
Options to consider are diet changes, increasing fiber intake, increasing water intake, decreasing caffeine intake, stretching, stress management, changing your toileting posture and habits, learning how to sense what your body is doing, and learning to relax your pelvic floor.
Talk to a nutritionist! Ask your doctor! Find a pelvic physical therapist! We can get you MOVING! You will feel so much better!