Let’s talk about constipation – sadly, it is way too common these days and most people find it embarrassing to talk about, but we really should! Ideally you should be going number two at least once a day.
In my personal opinion, if you are eating well, then you shouldn’t have to deal with digestion problems. When I was a teenager I suffered from constipation and my stepdad used to laugh and say it was because I ate “constipation-material” like pizzas, burgers, meat, dairy, bread, pasta and sugar – and now I realise that he was right! These are some of the worst foods for your digestion system, but there’s nothing wrong if you choose to eat them every now and then. I’m just here to give some advice on how to avoid this uncomfortable issue no matter what your diet is.
Going vegetarian, then vegan, then raw is by far the best advice I can give you for getting rid of constipation and haemorrhoids FOR LIFE.
However, I know that dietary changes can be somewhat difficult for many people, so I will list some other simple techniques that can help you with this issue no matter what you are eating. But please bear in mind that you should ideally try to fix the root cause of the problem (diet) in order to cure constipation permanently, the techniques below are just to help you ease the pain. And some of them may seem weird, but I’m not trying to make jokes here, constipation can be a serious matter and these techniques have been tried and tested by either myself or other people I personally know.
1) Squat when you poo
Now don’t laugh, this has been such a life changer for me that I will write a separate post on it someday. Squatting, for those who don’t know the word, is how you would poo in nature, so not sitting down on a toilet seat, but with your knees pressed up against your stomach.
This is how we were born to go to the loo…toilet seats were not invented that long ago if you look at the human timeline. Squatting releases the need to strain yourself, which is one of the ways you get haemorrhoids. So not only does it help elimination by about 30%, it also helps release everything out of your colon, and not leave poop behind in your gut that will just linger around and rot (ew!).
If you feel like you can’t go to the loo, squat for 20 minutes whilst sitting on your bed with your laptop, or whilst playing with your dog. The pose alone will trigger the need to go and works perfectly 99% of the time!
Think it’s funny to climb onto the toilet seat with your feet? There are special little stools that you can use too. Besides, who on earth will even see you?! Worth giving a try don’t you think?
Here’s more information about it if you would like to know more.
2) Drink Japanese Sencha tea (real leaves, not just plain “green tea” bags).
When I was 16, I used to suffer from constipation, but at that time everyone I knew did too, so for me it was normal. I finally got worried when I went to Bali and didn’t go to the loo for 10 whole days! I was a little scared, but luckily I knew someone who gave me 4 tea spoons of sencha tea in one cup of water, boiled to 80 degrees celcius (don’t boil it to 100 degrees as it destroys some of the beneficial aspects of the tea).
It tasted pretty gross, but everything came out of me in just 30 minutes after drinking it! I used the same trick with other people I knew and it worked just as well, even though they were skeptical at first, saying things like “I’ve tried so much medicine, how can your little tea help me?!”
I used to drink this twice a day, first thing in the morning and after lunch. Not only did it promote good digestion, it also released toxins and after a few months, it made my body physically sick if I ate anything that was bad for me. If you’re drinking it every day, then 1.5 to 2 tea spoons of leaves is enough per cup.
You can get this tea online here or in most good tea shops, I used to get mine delivered from Japan, but then I found a very decently priced one in Harrods for about £4 per 100g.
3) Eat more fibre
Yes I realise I’m going back to diet again, but if you’re not ready to go vegetarian/vegan/raw yet, then at least consider eating more green vegetables and fruit, alongside anything else you choose to eat.
If your stool is too small and hard, fibre will help by adding bulk to it. Add more fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to your diet as these are full of fibre (especially prunes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, berries, leafy greens, celery and squash). Flax seeds, or linseeds, are an awesome source of fibre and can be added to many meals, from breakfasts to falafels, to help your stool.
4) If you can’t squat, then rock on the loo
Let’s see if I can explain this properly, if you’re sitting on the toilet the modern way, then moving your upper body forwards and backwards whilst straining your stomach a little, will help move things along.
5) Never ever strain too much
Straining till your ears pop is certainly NOT the way to go! Not only is that awful for your whole system, it is a sure way of getting haemorrhoids! If you can’t go, wait a little, or refer to point 1.
6) Drink plenty of water and do some exercise
An obvious one, but still needs mentioning. Drink lots of water, sorry but Coke doesn’t count.
If you really hate exercising, even some mild yoga will help, or dancing, or any kind of physical movement.
7) For desperate times, take MSM or Magnesium powder
Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM sounds like a chemical, but it actually is a natural sulphur that is found in most living things, like plants. Most of us are unaware of what a large role sulphur plays in our nutrition and if the points above don’t work for you, this one certainly will!
MSM comes in white powder form (just do make sure to buy the true organic one, as there are chemical fakes out there) and you take it by dissolving 1 tea spoon of MSM to one glass of water, best taken first thing in the morning. The taste may not be amazing and if you really don’t like it, dissolve it in freshly squeezed orange juice as that will kill the flavour. Also, by reacting with Vit C, it will make it even stronger. Do read up on MSM, it does many other things, such as preventing arthritis and candida. You can get it online here, or if you know it works for you, get it cheaper in bulk here.
Magnesium works in the exact same way, a tea spoon a day will get you going. However I believe you shouldn’t take this if you have any form of kidney disease.
It may take from a couple of hours to a couple of days to work, but you will certainly see the result! Also, please remember that taking supplements are NOT a permanent solution, it is a means of getting you by hard times, so you then start to re-evaluate what you eat. I’m not a big fan of taking supplements, but when I came off a 7 day fast the wrong way last time, magnesium (as it was the only thing I could get at the time) saved my life.
8) If you need a quick solution, do an enema
When I went to live in London, it shocked me that I couldn’t find an enema kit ANYWHERE! Having grown up in Russia, cleaning my colon was the most natural thing in the world. Not only does it help poop exit if you’re badly constipated, but it also helps clean your system if you have had food poisoning or even if you have the flu! You can get it online, this is the one I recommend.
People sometimes worry that you your colon may get lazy and stop working on its own, but it’s not like you’re going to do it every day for the rest of your life, just once in a while if you’re struggling or just feel like you need to clean your insides.
What is an enema? It’s basically a bag of water with a hose…you can guess where the hose goes 🙂 You fill up your colon with 2 litres of water, after which you can barely hold it in for 5 minutes…think tsunami.
9) Use oil
If your constipation is so bad and dry that it feels like its cutting the sides of your anus, please consider lubricating its exit passage. Yes putting your finger in your bum hole may not sound like fun, but getting an anal fissure that bleeds every time you go to the loo is even less fun! Any oil will do, coconut, olive oil, or vaseline if you have that…
10) And finally…laugh
Not kidding – laughter can help in 2 ways: the stomach contractions will help massage your colon into moving stool, and it will help release stress, which is one of the causes of constipation in the first place.
And if all else fails…go to Taco Bell 🙂