Today was one of those days when you end up feeling worse after visiting the bathroom. In spite of straining so much, the poop won't come out. You would feel like it was done, but the poop stuck just before finishing. The feeling of incompletely defecating is terrible and left you restless the entire day. This kind of situation occurs in the lives of many people and ends up making them feel restless. We will look at what can be done to rectify this problem and also the reasons as to why it occurs.
Poop Won't Come Out, What Can You Do?
1. Include enough fiber in your diet
Fiber is one of the most essential nutrients, which can make the stools soft and bulky. Having fiber in the diet ensures that the stools move smoothly through the gut. The fiber content should be increased gradually in the diet and the daily requirement of 20 – 35 grams should be achieved. The following can be included in the diet:
- Whole grains, cereals, brown rice, bran and breads
- Vegetables with high fiber content like asparagus, beans, carrots and Brussel sprouts
- Dried or fresh fruits like raisins, apricots and prunes
2. Keep hydrated
Constipation is mainly caused due to dry and hard stools. When the body is adequately hydrated, the stools are easier to pass. There is no fixed quantity set for how much water one should drink. Usual recommendation is 8 glasses of water per day (8 ounces each).
This can be considered as the start and then you can adjust as per your body requirements.
3. Consume some yogurt
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Probiotics contains healthy, live bacteria which create a right environment for the gut. One cup of yogurt can be added to the diet on a daily basis. The healthy bacteria from the yogurt, changes the microflora present in the gut and reduces the time taken for the digestion and elimination of the food.
It is necessary to ensure that the yogurt contains a label of live and active culture. You can also opt for other foods which contain live cultures like – kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. These foods will help in relieving constipation and you will not complain that poop won't come out.
4. Take some walk
Sedentary lifestyle, like sitting in front of a computer all day, leads to lack of exercise and can be a cause of constipation. Walking as a form of exercise can help in getting exercise and act as a "massage" for the bowels.
Walking can be difficult for people who are suffering from severe constipation, and you can start walking slowly initially and then pick up the pace gradually, till you are walking briskly without breaking out in a run. You can continue at this pace for 5 minutes and then slow down again for the next 5 minutes. Such 10-minute walks can be done every hour. If hourly breaks are not possible, you can increase the duration of fast walks whenever possible.
5. Do it at you own pace
When you are in the restroom, pick a time when you do not expect any interruptions and are not in a hurry. You should relax and allow the bowels to do most of the work. You can even choose to carry a book or magazine which can help you in being calm and patient.
6. Adjust your position
There are quite a lot of people who squat to pass stools. This position helps in bowel movements and can be helpful. You can make use of stools or the edge of the bathtubs to keep your feet propped.
The knees should be kept as close to the chest as possible, as it increases the pressure on the bowels and it is easier to pass the stools. This may or may not work for everyone, but there is no harm in trying it out.
7. Try laxatives
There are various types of laxatives available which work in different ways, but help in smooth bowel movement. Some of the different types of laxatives are:
- Fiber supplements: These laxatives add bulk to the stools and make it easier to pass them. They usually contain methylcellulose, psyllium, calcium polycarbophil and guar gum. Various brands are available for these fiber supplements.
- Stool softeners: These laxatives are responsible for making the stools soft by drawing water from the intestines. Colace and Surfak are some examples.
- Osmotics: These laxatives help in moving the fluids through the colon. Milk of magnesia, Magnesium Citrate, Lactulose, Polyethylene glycol and sodium phosphate enema are examples of Osmotics.
- Lubricants: These are responsible for the smooth movement of stools through the colon. Mineral oil is an example for this.
- Stimulants: Stimulants are commonly used in helping with constipation.
8. Deal with fecal impaction
Fecal impaction is when stools dry and harden and remain in the rectum. These then cause obstruction in the rectum and stools cannot pass out. In the initial stages it is treated by administrating a high dose of osmotic laxative macrogol. Later stimulant laxatives can be taken. If these laxatives do not seem to help, medication might be required.
- Suppository: This is a medication which is inserted in the anus, which slowly dissolves at the body temperature and gets absorbed in the blood stream. An example of this is Bisacodyl.
- Mini Enema: In this, medicine in the fluid form is injected into the large intestine through the anus. Example is Docusate & Sodium Citrate.
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Poop Won't Come Out—Why?
We will look at some of the causes of why poop won't come out:
Impaction of rectum: When the colon or rectum is blocked, it can cause the stools to pass slowly or stop. Blockage can be caused due to bowel obstruction, colon cancer, anal fissure, narrowed colon, rectal cancer, rectocele, or any abdominal cancer that puts pressure on colon.
Nerves around rectum issues: Any neurological problems which affect the nerves of the colon muscles to get impacted can cause them to contract. This causes the stools to pass slowly through the intestine, the causes can be – Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Spinal cord injury, Stroke and Autonomic neuropathy.
Pelvic muscles issues: If the pelvic muscles which are related with bowel movements, are having problems, it can cause chronic constipation. It can be one of the following:
- Anismus, inability to relax the pelvic muscles which help in bowel movement
Dyssynergia, no proper coordination of the relaxation and contraction of the pelvic muscles.
- Weakening of the pelvic muscles
Other hormones-related conditions: Hormones are also responsible for maintaining the fluid balance in the body. When certain conditions disrupt the hormonal balance in the body, it can cause constipation. Some of these conditions are – Diabetes, Hyperparathyroidism & Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy.