Make Time To Move Your Bowels
Try waking up earlier to eat breakfast and then move yourbowels. Food can stimulate the need to go, and you probably feel most relaxedin your home bathroom.
But dont get toorelaxed in there the more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you areto strain for bowel movements. Do not take your cell phone into the bathroomwith you, or work on your computer or read a book, Dr. Zutshi advises.
And if you feel the urge to go when youre out an about,dont avoid using a public restroom. Delaying a bowel movement can actuallymake constipation worse.
Next Seek Out Hyperosmotic Laxatives
If psyllium doesnt produce a response, then the next step is to try hyperosmotic laxatives, like milk of magnesia, at the lowest possible dose.
One study comparing milk of magnesia to bulk-forming laxatives in 64 geriatric patients found it to be more effective at treating constipation. Due to the high intake of magnesium, do not use this treatment option with impaired kidney function .
Polyethylene glycol is also an effective treatment option for normalizing bowel frequency and stool consistency. Its considered safe to use daily for up to 24 weeks. Nine controlled studies in over 500 patients show conclusive evidence in its positive effect for CC .
Lactulose treatment, while highly effective, should not be used until other less risky treatments like PEG are attempted first. It hasnt been studied for long-term use, nor specifically in patients with IBS-C.
Fixes For Bloating And Gas
Stop swallowing air: Unfortunately, there isnt a magic medicine to make gas dissolve into thin air . But you can easily change behaviors that unknowingly produce gas. Anytime you consciously or unconsciously swallow air by doing things like chewing gum, smoking, drinking through a straw or eating quickly you may increase gas within your GI tract.
More than just beans: Another solution is to decrease the amount of food that triggers gas production.
Dairy in the form of milk, ice cream and yogurt is a big source of gas production. People that reduce or eliminate these items from their diets often see benefits within a week. Pasta, wheat, bran and food items sweetened with artificial sweeteners, such as gum and hard candy, also produce gas.
In addition, fruits and vegetables to watch for include stone fruits , pears, raw apples, watermelon, beans, lentils, onions, garlic, green peppers, shallots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and artichokes. These healthy foods can cause uncomfortable symptoms in the GI tract for many people. Similarly, fiber in whole grains and whole wheat bread ferments in the gut and causes gas.
Figuring out what to eat and what to avoid can be confusing, so we highly recommend working with a dietitian who specializes in GI health to determine what dietary changes are appropriate for you.
Constipation: This digestive tract issue can cause a great deal of discomfort. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat it.
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Dont Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some high-fiber foods can make people produce large amounts of gas.
Major players include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others.
Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety , but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Try eating less beans and fatty foods to see if it helps. Also, check out this article on 13 foods that cause bloating.
If certain foods make you feel bloated or give you gas, try cutting back or avoiding them. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and may contribute to bloating for some people.
Boosts The Happy Hormone Serotonin
Changes in the gut microbiome can have a profound effect on hormone production and neurotransmission in the central nervous system.
But more importantly, the neurotransmitter Serotonin has an essential role in digestive health including the stimulation of the peristaltic reflex.
90% of serotonin is produced in the gut
Its also important to remember that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. Therefore, the more serotonin is made available the greater improvement in intestinal motility.
Studies suggest that microorganisms in the GI tract can increase the production of tryptophan an amino acid that’s converted into serotonin.
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Can Constipation Cause Pain
Sometimes constipation is just plain frustrating. Other times, it can be painful, particularly if youre having to strain. So, where does constipation hurt?
Stomachache Constipation can be accompanied by gas and bloating, so your belly might be the focus of your discomfort. Drinking lots of water can actually help lessen bloating and hydrate stools, making them easier to pass.
Cramping You might also feel cramping in your bowels. It can be uncomfortable as hard or dry stools slowly make their way through your colon.
Back Pain Back pain might be caused by a piece of a hard or dry stool that gets stuck in the colon or rectum, adding pressure that can radiate to your lower back. This feels unpleasant, to say the least. Get fast relief with a variety of solutions, such as Dulcolax® Soft Chews, Dulcolax® Liquid Laxative and Dulcolax® Suppositories.
How To Get Rid Of Gas Pain
If youve ever experienced waves of sharp pain in your belly along with the feeling that your waistline is inflating like a balloon, you might be experiencing bloating and cramps due to intestinal gas.
Everyone gets gas on occasion. Its a natural byproduct of the bacteria in your intestines doing their job and breaking down the fibers, sugars and starches in the food you eat. Though gas pain is usually nothing serious, the discomfort can be intense.
Intestinal gas and its discomfort are likely to resolve on their own. Burping or passing gas through the rectum is usually enough to ease your physical discomfort.
Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Hazel Marie Galon Veloso provides some perspective on bloating and gas cramps, including when to see a doctor.
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How To Get Rid Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Your doctor may recommend changes in your diet to help treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome . Your doctor may suggest that you Different changes may help different people with IBS. You may need to change what you eat for several weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Your doctor may also recommend talking with a dietitian.
Avoid Going From Zero To 100 With A Probiotic
In other words: More is not necessarily more, and moderationâespecially in the beginning stages of incorporating a probioticâis key.
Interestingly, Lin explains that noticing increased bloat with a new probiotic might actually signify that your gut environment is already pretty healthy. “If the probiotic CFU is too high, say 150 to 200B CFU per serving, this can cause potential bloating and constipation in some healthy people. However, for people dealing with more serious gut issues like IBS, Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis, the higher CFUs are actually more beneficial with fewer side effects.”
Heim agrees, admitting, “It is possible to see some gas and bloating when adding a probiotic supplement to your regimen.” She also advocates starting low and going slow, saying, “Probiotic dosages range tremendously from 1 to 500 billion CFUs. We recommend consulting with a healthcare professional to find out what dose is right for you.”
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Causes Of Stomach Bloating
It can be challenging to determine the cause of stomach bloating. Some known causes of stomach bloating include:
- Excess gas in the intestine
- Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth
- Irregular amounts of microorganisms in the bowel
- Sensitivity or intolerance to food
- Sensitivity of perception to digestive tract
- Spinal curvature of the lumbar spine resulting in lessened abdominal capacity for gas
- Gastroparesis, a motility disorder that delays the stomachs ability to empty itself
- Anxiety, depression, and other gut-brain connections
Eating More Calories Than Usual
Lets face it. When youre off your schedule, sometimes the most interesting thing you can do is bake. But consuming excess calories especially those found in cookies, cakes and bread can pack on the pounds and cause your belly to bloat.
If cooking is your jam while sheltering in place, reserve high-calorie recipes for special occasions, or cut it back to one meal a week.
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A More Serious Condition Such As Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition that causes abdominal pain with bloating, diarrhea or constipation. The cause of IBS is unknown, but it may be brought on by certain triggers, including:
- Bacterial infections
- Food sensitivity
- Stressful events
If you think you may have IBS, reach out to your doctor for an evaluation. Many times, lifestyle modifications and medicines can help ease symptoms. You may also try some at-home techniques to relieve your bloating.
What Causes Bloating And Constipation
Before deciding what to take for constipation and bloating, you need to find out what causes bloating and constipation in your body. While taking medicine for bloating and constipation can provide bloating and constipation relief, it may not treat the reason for these. To avoid chronic constipation and bloating that can become severe, you must address the source of the problem.
Bloating and constipation can be caused by different reasons, each may need a completely different treatment. The tables below show the most common causes of bloating and constipation. We also included the suggested bloating and constipation treatment.
See if these common causes of bloating and constipation apply to you. You can also click on the links to the topics you wish to learn more about.
Important: chronic constipation and bloating may also be caused by an underlying medical condition. If after reading these causes of bloating and constipation you are unsure what is causing your bloating and constipation issues, we highly suggest that you consult your doctor.
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Other Treatments Options For Constipation
While laxatives often provide a quick fix for constipation, they are not your only option.
Try some of these diet and lifestyle changes to address constipation:
- Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods like whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits
- Drink more fluids, especially water
- Exercise regularly
To learn more, check out this extensive article on proven remedies for chronic constipation.
Summary: Diet and lifestyle changes are important components in constipation prevention and treatment.
Do Laxatives Help With Gas
Laxatives are substances typically used to relieve constipation in people unable to achieve regular bowel movements. According to the Mayo Clinic, normal bowel movements vary among individuals but generally range from one to three per day. Constipation often leads to further stomach upsets including bloating, gas and flatulence, which may also be relieved by laxatives. Over-the-counter laxatives are available in tablet, gel, liquid, powder or gum form. Laxatives can have negative health effects in people taking medications, suffering from health conditions or over-using them. Consult with a physician before taking laxatives to determine their safety and any alternative options.
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Dont Eat Too Much At A Time
Being stuffed can feel like being bloated, but the problem is that you simply ate too much.
If youre eating big meals and tend to feel uncomfortable afterward, then try smaller portions. Add another daily meal if necessary.
A subset of people who experience bloating dont really have an enlarged stomach or increased pressure in the abdomen. The issue is mostly sensory .
A person with a tendency to be bloated will experience discomfort from a smaller amount of food than a person who rarely feels bloated.
For this reason, simply eating smaller meals can be incredibly useful.
Chewing your food better can have a two-fold effect. It reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food , and it also makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced food intake and smaller portions .
People who experience bloating often have increased sensitivity to food in the stomach. Therefore, eating smaller meals can be very useful.
How To Know If You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome 1 Overview. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. 2 Symptoms. The signs and symptoms of IBS vary. 3 Causes. The precise cause of IBS isnt known. Muscle contractions in the intestine. 4 Risk factors. Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of IBS.
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Bile Resistance Enhances Bowel Movement Frequency
Bile is a digestive fluid that’s released into the intestines to enable use to breakdown, digest and absorb fat lipids.
However, bile acid has powerful antimicrobial properties that can kill intestinal bacteria.
And the ability of probiotic bacteria to tolerate bile acid is essential to their survival and persistence in the intestinal tract.
Bile tolerance and resistance are crucial requirements in a probiotic
If the bacterial species is killed off before its reaches the GI tract it’s essentially useless. For this reason, bile tolerance and resistance are crucial requirements in a probiotic.
Thankfully, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are highly resistant to the damaging effects of bile.
Populating the GI tract with bile resistant probiotic strains can result in higher levels of bile salts. This has a laxative effect of stimulating peristalsis and improving colonic motility – faster bowel movements.
Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Certain over-the-counter products may also help with bloating, such as supplemental enzymes that can help break down indigestible carbohydrates.
Notable ones include:
- Lactase: An enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is useful for people with lactose intolerance.
- Beano: Contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which can help break down indigestible carbohydrates from various foods.
In many cases, these types of supplements can provide almost immediate relief.
If youre interested in trying a digestive enzyme supplement, a wide .
Many over-the-counter products can help fight bloating and other digestive problems. These are usually digestive enzymes that help break down certain food components.
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How To Use Probiotics For Bloating
Along with an anti-inflammatory diet, such as the low FODMAP diet, a combination of three probiotics is a good approach for IBS symptoms like bloating.
Some probiotics protocols make this unnecessarily complicated. However, theres no best probiotic for bloating.
Instead, probiotics generally improve your digestive health by improving your gut environment.
As I discuss more fully in my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, the most important probiotic strategy for bloating is to include a diversity of high-quality probiotics.
Most probiotics fall into one of these three categories:
- Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria blends, including species of probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis.
- Soil-based probiotics, usually Bacillus species
I recommend using one high-quality product from each category. When used together, the three probiotics work synergistically to improve your gut health. Probiotic strains from all three categories have been shown to help bloating .
The three types of probiotics work together like the legs of a three-legged stool. If the stool only has one or two legs, its likely to be unstable. With three legs, the stool can stay upright.
When mixtures of several probiotics were compared with single strains of probiotics in the treatment of IBS, two systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicated the multi-strain probiotics were more effective than single-strain probiotics [55
Does Constipation Cause Gas
Yes, Veloso says. Anything that slows down the digestive process, such as a low-fiber diet, use of opioid medications or an anticholinergic drug can put the brakes on timely bowel function.
Veloso says eating a diet rich in fiber, staying hydrated and exercising is a good long-term approach for beating bouts of gas and cramping. If these measures dont improve constipation and gas, a polyethylene glycol laxative can help, she notes.
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Be Careful With Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are commonly found in sugar-free foods and chewing gums.
These sweeteners are generally considered to be safe alternatives to sugar.
However, they may cause digestive problems in high amounts. The bacteria in your large intestine digest them and produce gas .
Sugar alcohols are actually FODMAPs as well, so they are excluded on a low-FODMAP diet.
Sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues such as bloating, especially when consumed in large doses. Try avoiding sugar-free chewing gums and other sources of sugar alcohols.
First Try Psyllium Husk A Natural Laxative
Bulk-forming laxatives are typically the first line of therapy for those with constipation or IBS-C.
However, its important to know that the fermentability of the fiber makes a difference in its ability to improve symptoms.
Overall, its best to pick soluble, non-fermenting fiber like psyllium husk, which is a low-risk, highly effective laxative option .
In a study comparing psyllium husk and docusate sodium on 170 subjects for 2 weeks, researchers found psyllium to be superior in its ability to soften stools and produce a laxative effect .
In fact, there is poor evidence supporting the use of docusate to treat constipation, with some concern over its occasional impact on liver function.
Mineral oil also has insufficient data for its use in constipation and numerous reports of undesired side effects and poor tolerability.
Overall, for occasional and mild constipation, its best to start treatment with psyllium fiber .
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What’s Blocking The Nations Colon
During the day we’re chained to our desks, then flop onto the couch for the night in front of the TV.
We’re doing less exercise, another essential activity for stimulating the bowels. And as we get older we become even less active and constipation becomes a constant unwelcome companion.
Then there’s medications.
As the nations opiate addiction surges so are the rates of chronic constipation and other digestive issues
Opiate-induced constipation is a formidable and common side-effect of pain-killers such as Oxycontin.
Unfortunately, these lifestyle factors combined are having a detrimental effect on the nations digestive health.
For many, constipation as an annoyance. To others its daily torture. But what few realise, is that constipation can be a dangerous, even a deadly affliction.