The Doctors share three unique tips to have a healthier bowel movement and each one only takes about 60 seconds!
Tip #1: Pop and poop!
Pop in a movie and pop some air-popped popcorn. This filling snack is loaded with fiber, about 15g per serving size. When you watch a movie you’re relaxed which means everything including your sphincter is relaxed. The Doctors stress making your own air-popped popcorn as opposed to the microwavable kind that has added chemicals. They also point out that actually moving and being active does help with intestinal function so don’t assume you’ll be good to go if you sit on the couch binge-watching all day long!
Tip #2: Massage your perineum.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez explains that the perineum is the space for women between their anus and vagina and for men between their anus and scrotum. Proctologist Dr. David Rosenfeld uses a unique model to demonstrate. He says the massage will relax the sphincter and he often has female patients with constipation who will insert a finger into their vagina and then push back on a weakness in the wall between the anus and vagina called the rectus seal.
Tip #3: Tips for period poop or lack thereof…
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra explains that 50% of women have either constipation or diarrhea during their time of the month. She explains this is due to the hormone prostaglandin, which is responsible for the contractions that shed the lining of the uterus. This same hormone acts on the gut.
Dr. Batra says to watch your diet, even when those cravings strike, and eat a ton of fiber to get things moving. Women also tend to be more stressed during this time, so focusing on mindfulness, kindness and other stress-relief methods will actually help a lot.
Lastly, coffee is a big GI system stimulant which can make period poop worse. If you have diarrhea, try cutting back on the coffee. Dr. Rosenfeld adds that fluid shifting when women eat salt or carbs can lead to dehydration resulting in constipation. He recommends taking a supplemental fiber containing psyllium to help women who are having trouble going to the bathroom during their menses.