Constipation Relief & Prevention

Fancy some raw cabbage? Didn't think so!

Are you pooping wrong?

We all know the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet; it's what the majority of us strive towards daily. However, even for those of us with the very best of intentions, it can be an extremely difficult target to meet. Tucking into that high fibre cereal in the morning and chomping on the odd apple here and there may have us feeling really good about ourselves, but in reality it leaves us far from our recommended daily intake of fibre. In fact, that supremely bland breakfast we so readily 'enjoy' contains only 1/5 of the amount of fibre required every day. And when it comes to nutrition, it's not only food that we need to consider either. Did you know that we should be drinking between 1.6 and 2 litres of water per day? That could mean spending a LOT of time in the bathroom rather than crossing those all important tasks off your list of things 'to do'!

Living a fast paced lifestyle can make it difficult to monitor what we eat and drink. All too often it becomes about what is the most convenient, rather than the healthiest option. Indeed, just who has the time to calculate the amount of nutrients consumed throughout the duration of the day? However, the fact that we are not meeting these guidelines can cause problems in our bowel, and in many cases lead to constipation.

Am I Constipated

What is constipation?

  • A condition in which there is difficulty emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces
  • A high level of constraint or restriction

So now we know what causes it, let's take a look at exactly what it is, shall we? Constipation means difficult or infrequent bowel movements. It affects people of all ages and in many cases results in the inability to completely empty the bowel. This could lead to a build up of faeces, which itself can cause further complications. The longer that the waste sits in the colon, the more water is extracted from it, leaving it dry and hard, which essentially makes it even more difficult to pass. It is estimated that 1 in every 7 adults and 1 in every 3 children in the UK has constipation at any one time [1].

Am I constipated?

'Regular'. It's an odd way to describe our bowel movements isn't it? Well, when it comes to our toileting habits, 'regular' is a term that is open to a great deal of misinterpretation. It doesn't necessarily mean often, merely at routine intervals. So, for some this could be once a day, while for others it could mean twice a week. Those that go only twice a week may presume they are 'regular' because it is normal for them to do so. However, this is by no means normal, and the greatest challenge we face is not recognising the signs.

Chronic sufferers of constipation are not only at greater risk of developing other complications such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures and diverticulitis[2] [3], they are also more likely to fall victim to more serious illnesses due to the build up of faeces in the colon. It's important that we heed the early warning signs and do something about it while we can.

What to look out for;

  • You're not going for a #2 everyday
  • Your stool looks dry and lumpy
  • You find yourself spending a lot of time on the toilet
  • You need to push and strain a lot
  • You constantly feel bloated or full
Constipation Headache

Constipation health effects

We've all been there at one time or another; struggling with that general sense of bloating, discomfort and anxiety that accompanies constipation. It's a growing problem, and if you have been lucky enough to evade it so far, it is likely to affect you at some stage in your life. For some it will be much more debilitating than others. But, as distressing as constipation is, the heath concerns don't end there.

As a sufferer of constipation, you are predisposed to all the major colorectal disorders, including enlarged haemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Additionally, the longer the waste sits in the colon, the more toxins are emitted, which can lead to them being circulated back into the blood stream. This will affect overall health and wellbeing, not to mention result in an overall lack of energy. Large, heavy stools can enlarge and stretch the colon, irritating anal canal. They may also become cemented to the colon walls due to their consistency, leading to long term damage.

Anorectal Angle

So, just how do we counterbalance not getting enough fibre and water in our diets? With the Squatty Potty of course! The colon features a natural bend (anorectal angle) where it joins the rectum. Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle that holds this bend in place, essentially making it much easier for faeces to pass through. This wider angle also ensures that the bowel can be completely emptied without the need for straining. Not only can squatting therefore prevent constipation from ever occurring, it can also help to alleviate the symptoms of those who suffer. Even when stools are dry and hard, they are much easier to eliminate and, simply put, gravity will do the work for you.

The anorectal angle is our body's clever way of retaining continence. Although, to some extent we are each able to control when we go to the toilet. We do this by contracting the anal sphincter. However, it would be impossible to keep control over our bowel movements using this alone. That's where the colon kink comes in. When we sit down on the toilet, the puborectalis muscle relaxes slightly and the anorectal angle is reduced, however, we are still ultimately in 'continence mode'. The only way to make things easier and put less pressure on our bodies really is to squat.

So, isn't it time you got things moving?

Squatty Potty Helps with Constipation

How does the Squatty Potty relieve constipation?

Need one last push to get yours? Here are the 4 ways that squatting will help to alleviate and prevent constipation;

  1. It lets gravity do the heavy work! The weight of the torso presses against the thighs to naturally compress the colon, whilst the gentle pressure from the diaphragm gives gravity a helping hand.
  2. It relaxes the puborectalis muscle, straightening out the anorectal angle and aiding the bowel to empty completely.
  3. It gives you a real lift! Squatting elevates the sigmoid colon, unlocking the bend at the entrance of the rectum. This takes some of the pressure off the puborectalis muscle, thereby protecting against incontinence.
  4. The colon has an inlet valve (the ileocecal valve) and an outlet valve (the puborectalis muscle). By squatting, the inlet valve is simultaneously closed as the outlet valve is opened. This ensures that the small intestine stays clean, whilst allowing waste to pass through to the rectum with ease. Sitting does not achieve the same result, making elimination difficult and allowing waste to pass through to the small intestine.
Squatty Potty for constipation relief

No Drugs, No Doctors, No Worries.

It is estimated that £5-6 million pounds is spent annually on laxatives in the UK [4] . Why not try a natural remedy instead, one that is proven to work?