Finding irregular bowel movement treatment can be quite troublesome, especially when it is far too late to do anything about your symptoms. Not knowing how to have regular bowel movements is the source of a lot of stress and anxiety for irregular bowel movement sufferers.
Irregular bowel movements can be described as having more than three loose stools a day or less than four stools per week. This is essentially either having diarrhea or constipation, respectively.
Ideally, you’d want to release your stool once a day.
Diet to regulate bowel movements
Fiber is an indigestible food that your digestive tract cannot absorb. While it may not contain any inherent nutritional value, it serves another purpose: to help move material through your digestive tract and add bulk to your stool. Fiber can come in two forms:
- Soluble fiber: Meaning it can be mixed in water. When doing so, however, it creates a gel-like substance that promotes bowel movement. Since this form of fiber absorbs water, it can be useful for promoting solid stool production. Foods rich in soluble fiber include oats, peas, beans (navy, pinto, black, kidney), apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium.
- Insoluble fiber: As the name implies, this form of fiber is not soluble in water. It does, however, still help to maintain regular bowel movements by adding bulk to your stool. Foods rich in insoluble fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts (pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts), beans, and vegetables (such as cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens, and potatoes).
Cut back on foods low in fiber
Many foods contain little or no fiber at all. Some diets go so far as to heavily eat low-fiber foods, leading to irregular bowel movements. While low-fiber foods are perfectly fine, it is always recommended to balance them with high-fiber options. Foods considered to have low-fiber includes cheese, ice-cream, meat, and many processed foods such as hot dogs, fast food, and microwave dinners.
Discuss any dietary restrictions with your doctor
Irregular bowel movement may be a presentation of an undiagnosed medical condition. It is always a good idea to see a doctor when you feel that your bowel irregularities are of increased concern or are associated with other distressing symptoms. You may require a specifically tailored diet plan to help keep you feeling regular. You doctor may also prescribe treatment for irregular bowel movements or even recommend home remedies for irregular bowel movements.
Drink plenty of fluids
Staying hydrated is important for maintaining regular bowel movements as it helps to prevent your stools from becoming hard and difficult to eliminate. It is recommended to drink two to three liters of water a day, and you can also drink fruit juices, vegetable juices, or even soup broths.
Eat more yogurt
Contains lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) such as Lactobacillus and Streptococcus. Both of these types of bacteria have been shown in studies to promote regularity in some gastrointestinal conditions. LAB organisms are commonly labeled on many of today’s popular yogurt brands.
Packed with antioxidants, prunes are a delicious treat that helps to boost overall digestive health. They are known for providing sugars that draw fluid into the intestinal tract, aiding in times of constipation. The fiber they contain also helps to loosen stools for easy excretion.
Whole leaf aloe vera gel
This plant is one of the most effective for aiding irregular bowel movements. It is recommended to take early in the morning and on an empty stomach. It can also be incorporated into warm green tea for easy consumption. Aloe is also known for its healing properties and can even help heal a damaged stomach lining.
Normally, these are produced by the body to help break down your food with the purpose of making it easier for your body to extract their nutrients. Digestive enzymes can also be pill form and could help you break down food faster to be processed through the colon. It is recommended to take digestive enzymes one hour before meals.
A spicy ingredient in many dishes, hot peppers have the added benefit of helping the most constipated of individuals. Hot peppers have even been said to kill off cancer cells, despite how they painful they feel on the tongue. Crushed red peppers are a great way to add a little bit of spice to your meals, as it can easily be sprinkled onto a salad or mixed into your favorite soup.
Other ways to regulate bowel movements
Being inactive carries with it a bevy of negative health side effects and gastrointestinal irregularity is one of them. Previous studies have shown that getting up and being more active leads to a faster and more efficient metabolism. Jogging, swimming, and biking are great ways to get your body moving and the heart pumping. It is recommended for all adults to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. However, simply walking can be a great choice for maintaining regular bowel motility as well.
Manage your stress
Stress can affect the body and mind in many ways, even causing constipation. Stress levels are something everyone wishes they had a better command over, but in the end, it depends on whether you can commit your time to it. Try to set aside at least 15 minutes for yourself every day. Use this time to perform relaxation techniques to help reduce your stress levels. Popular methods include meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Improve the tone of your pelvic floor muscles
The muscles in the pelvis are quite powerful, but, especially in women, can weaken over time. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are known to develop weakened pelvic floor muscles that can lead to bowel irregularity and even an overactive bladder. There are several types of pelvic floor muscles exercises, they include:
- While squatting, pulling in the muscles of the glutes.
- While laying on your back, elevate your pelvis into the air with knees flexed at 90 degrees. Now thrust your pelvis off the ground while clenching your buttocks.
- Perform the aforementioned exercises for three sets daily, holding the position for five to 10 seconds each.
Consult your doctor about underlying conditions
Irregular bowel movements can either be just a minor annoyance or be the cause of another condition. You are only privy to your current symptoms and will tend to not recognize the often-subtle nuances that an insidious underlying disease may present. Only your doctor will be able to point these out, as their job is to do so. Therefore, when you think that your bowel irregularities are not merely a passing ailment, seeing your doctor will help you investigate other possible causes.