“To be part of the constipated gang,” Giulia Enders humorously describes in her book The discreet charm of the intestine, at least two of the following criteria must be met:
- bowel movement less than three times a week,
- produce very hard stools for at least a third of the total production and often in the form of small dots,
- be required to force to get rid of it and only achieve it with a little help (tricks or medication)
- or even never having, when leaving the toilet, the liberating feeling a job done! ”
If you are one of the people prone to constipation, certain lifestyle habits and certain solutions, medicinal or natural, can help you. What should be done to regulate its transit?
Pay more attention to your fiber intake
“By emphasizing insoluble fibers which stimulate peristalsis, bowel movements to move food forward, and increase the volume of stools,” specifies Florence Foucaut. And to maintain a maximum level, prefer raw than cooked vegetables. “
Among all the fiber foods, favor those predominantly insoluble fiber such as whole grain products, fruits and vegetables with edible skin (fig, tomato, zucchini, pepper, radish …), salad, celery, cauliflower, legumes, dried fruits …
So as not to rush the intestine and avoid bloating, it is better, however, if you were a modest lover of fibers until then, increase them very gradually.
Because water hydrates and softens the stool, and because fibers, to accomplish their mission, need liquid:
“From one and a half liters of water per day in normal times, we can go up to two liters in the constipation phase, in favoring waters rich in magnesium, advises Florence Foucaut. This indeed promotes muscle contraction, including muscles that cover the intestinal wall. ”
The waters richest in magnesium: Hépar (still) and Rozana (sparkling).
If water remains the benchmark drink, we can also indulge ourselves with herbal teas : verbena, mint, lime blossom, orange blossom, chamomile …
For the laxative herbal tease, do not exceed 8 to 10 days of taking because, as Professor Peyrin-Biroulet says, “they can end up irritating the intestine. “
Rest after meals
According to Giulia Enders, it’s when we’re relaxed that our gut works bestbecause it has as much energy as possible. Relaxation does not mean collapsing on a sofa, but rather taking a walk for ten minutes after the meal.
Engage in physical activity
“By strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, it has a mechanical action on the peristalsis, which promotes emptying of the intestine,” says Dr. Warnet. Walking combined with a bit of abdominal gym is already good. “
Go to the bathroom in peace
“Provided that it roughly coincides with physiological needs, set a fixed time to go to the bathroom can be very reassuring for people with constipation, ”adds Dr Warnet. If this ritual remains ineffective, there is no need to persevere at the risk of creating additional anxiety, but when the urge is there, we do not hold back!
Also adopt the right position! Sitting on the toilet seat is physiologically unfavorable effective “evacuation”, unlike the squatting position.
- Giulia Enders’ advice to get as close as possible: “All you have to do is put your feet on a small, low stool and lean your chest slightly forward. “
- When you are outdoors, Dr Warnet offers a more practical alternative: “Catch your knees with your hands and tilt your chest back until you find your balance. “
Facilitate transit through a massage
Place the hand at the bottom right of the belly, at the level of the appendix, bring it up under the right ribs, cross horizontally to the left ribs, go down to the lower left of the belly, then cross back to the appendix area . As a clockwise square:
“This massage should be performed morning and evening during periods of constipation, doing at least six turns, starting with medium pressure of the hand, then strong, then very light,” says Dr Warnet.
A tiktokeuse reveals her trick to eject a recalcitrant saddle
As she was video discussing the benefits of having a vagina, Ambria Alice Walterfield, a TikTok user, made a strange gesture with her finger, accompanying it with “poo” emojis. Very quickly, the comments fuse, and many Internet users wonder what the tiktokeuse meant. She was then forced to explain what she was talking about.
The young woman then released a new video footage, where she explains that when a woman is constipated and has hard stools that she struggles to expel, she can use her vagina. It is simply a question ofinsert a finger, preferably your thumb, into her vagina, so you can feel the remaining stool and press through the vagina to help expel it.
Obviously, the description of this strange procedure elicited many reactions, on the one hand from women relieved not to know they were alone to use this trick, and on the other hand from men finding the practice somewhat disgusting. A midwife has even admitted to using this method to evacuate the stool of a woman giving birth, when her partner or companion is looking away, so that the partner does not witness the unexpected ejection of stool while the baby is born.
Far from being completely eccentric, this approach to stool evacuation is even explained. in a Michigan University Health System paper. The latter indicates that for more comfort and hygiene, one can wear gloves and / or use lubricant. The body even explains that it would be better to use this technique rather than pushing too much, because pushing too hard can eventually lead to a rectal hernia (rectocele), prolapse or hemorrhoids.
Anticipate risky situations
Naturally “living room”, gut hates changes, especially when we tend to to be constipated. Hence Giulia Enders’ advice: if a trip or a business trip is coming, slip a packet of prunes into your bag: “As you have to wait two to three days to fully enjoy their effects, the ideal is to ‘anticipate a little and treat yourself to a small ration the day before departure or arrival. ”
Medicines that can help
First-line, ready-to-use fibers can be advised. There are several kinds :
- chewing squares: made from oat bran, fruits and vegetables, they are effective and practical, to take with you. To be taken with a full glass of water.
- blond psyllium: this variety of plantain is suitable for sensitive intestines. “Its mucilages, by capturing and retaining water, really improve constipation,” says Dr Warnet. They can be taken as a powder, at a rate of 1 tsp. to c. per day at first, then gradually increasing until you find the right dosage. »Natural and non-irritating laxative, it can even be used for the long term.
- acacia fibers: “According to feedback from my patients, these soluble fibers also work very well, at a rate of 1/2 tsp. to c. powder or 1 capsule in the middle of a meal then two depending on the effect. “
Second-line laxatives are generally offered when fiber supplementation is not sufficient or on the occasion of an unusual event conducive to constipation (travel, etc.).
“These drugs can create an“ addiction ”of the intestines and a rebellious constipation, says Professor Peyrin-Biroulet. Instead, osmotics of the Forlax type are used, which are effective and better tolerated than the others. »Since laxatives empty all of the contents of the large intestine, it may take three days for it to refill. No need to take another one in the meantime.