It is estimated that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) effects one in five Australians, with over half that number being women. IBS can present with bloating, heaviness, fatigue, brain fog and constipation.
IBS caused constipation can leave you feeling heavy, lethargic and low energy. Not a nice feeling at any time, but especially at this time of year! Here at PH Clinic, we see clients that are suffering with constipation and can offer a range of tips and tricks, including treatments.
Self-help tips anyone can do at home.
Keep your fluids up – but not just any water
Constipation is essentially food not moving through the large intestine and may be caused by dehydration. Aim to drink 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day to keep things moving. What if you already drink a lot of water? I’d then look at the quality of the water you are consuming. Tap water in Australia has added chemicals that mean your body can’t use the water as effectively as it should. Drink 2 litres of water that has been through a high quality filter that removes the fluoride and chlorine too. We recommend the Southern Cross filters.
Move your body
We all know exercise is good for us, but it is also good for the insides of us. Movement is an excellent remedy for IBS and constipation. It may be the last thing you feel like doing but even a gentle walk will help to keep things moving. Yoga spinal twists are also excellent at ringing out the small and large intestine and bringing new blood flow in the area. Aim to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes every day.
IBS based constipation can be caused by a range of reasons and these can be hard to pin down. Focus on eating leafy greens, good quality protein and whole foods. However, if your digestive system is already under stress and you are feeling sore and inflamed, then make sure that the foods you are eating are not raw. Raw foods are normally wonderful for us, but eating warm foods that have already been broken down when you are constipated can help. Think blended soups, smoothies and juices when you are feeling lethargic for all the nutrients without the hard work.
Getting blood flow to your intestines is crucial and massaging your abdomen is effective and can help symptoms such as blocked gas too. To massage your large intestine, make small circular motions on your right hand side from hips to ribs. Then gently move across the top of your abdomen in a line across your belly button. Then make small circular motions down the left hand side of your abdomen from ribs down to your hip. Repeat using long, sweeping motions.
You can also lean over the back of the sofa to rock back and forwards to relive pressure and gas too.
Knees above hips
When you do feel the urge to go, use a step or block in the bathroom under your feet when you sit on the toilet. Raising your knees above your hips releases the muscles to ensure you are able to release waste efficiently. Check out the squatty potty at the clinic next time you are in, really simple, really effective!
Last but not least, don’t forget that your gut and mind are linked and that stress is a huge part of overall health. Relax, unwind, breathe, meditate and take time out.
If you are struggling with regular IBS and constipation, then book in to see one of our colonic hydrotherapists to discuss how we can help you further.