HOW TO RELIEVE CONSTIPATON ON THE TOILET | 8 GUIDELINES

Reviewed by: Horia Marculescu, MD
Photo credits: Licenses / Author
Last updated: 04.04.2021


A girl sitting on the toilet bowl and wondering how to relieve constipation on the toilet?

Constipation relief on the toilet involves: hydrating the intestines, increasing the anorectal angle, relaxing the sphincter, and unlocking the kink at the entrance of the rectum.

It also involves adopting a semi-squat posture on the toilet, to create the right amount of pressure inside the intestines, and to know how to push.

Follow this guide and learn the essential techniques to have smooth defecation and improve digestion in the long-term.





1. HYDRATE THE INTESTINES

A water bottle, a glass of water, and a fruit juice container that suggests hydrating the intestine

One of the most important things to focus on when learning how to relieve constipation on the toilet is to keep your intestines hydrated.

Hydration is a complex process that influences digestion and stool evacuation. Keeping your body hydrated is an excellent way to prevent constipation in the long-term.


Dehydration affects defecation

People who suffer from constipation have a dry stool that sticks like glue to the intestinal walls.

They fill their large intestine with fecal matter too often. This thing is the reason why constipation evolves, and defecation becomes a problem.

There are many causes for dehydration like:

  • stress
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • soreness
  • hyperinsulinemia
  • too much physical effort.

Food is essential to proper intestinal transit. Eating hard to digest foods often can cause constipation (bread, potatoes, pasta, sugar, rice, cheese, eggs, high-fat meat).

To eliminate these causes, you should improve your eating habits and hydrate your body. How to do that?


Eat fruits on an empty stomach

  • Eat 2-3 apples when you wake up
  • Eat fruit 4 hours after your last meal
  • Eat a fruit salad for breakfast

Wait for 30-60 minutes before eating anything else. After a meal, wait at least 4-5 hours before eating fruits again.

Eating fruits on an empty stomach is an excellent way to improve digestion and hydrate your body. Hydration is a complex chemical process that requires vitamins and nutrients.

Unpeeled fruits offer large amounts of vitamins and nutrients. To make the intestines absorb all of the nutrients and vitamins properly, you must eat the fruits only on an empty stomach.

The reason is that fruits digest quickly, and the rest of the matter starts to ferment. Fermentation destroys vitamins and nutrients.


Drink mineral water

When learning how to relieve constipation on the toilet, drinking non-carbonated mineral water is the essential factor that keeps your intestines hydrated.

How to drink water?

  • drink a glass of water 30 minutes after a meal
  • drink a glass of water 2 hours after a meal
  • don’t drink water before eating a meal.

Water cannot reach the large intestine after it passes the end of the small intestine. The stool inside the large intestine can't get water from anywhere else.

Remember, always drink non-carbonated water because the dioxide carbon makes the pancreas secrete insulin. It perturbs digestion and the proper functioning of the small intestine.


Drink fresh fruit juice

Fresh fruit juice acts the same as raw fruits. But be careful how you drink it because fermentation tends to happen fast.

The juice starts to oxidize due to fructose, heat, and humidity. In this way, all of the nutrients and vitamins will not assimilate properly.

Example: drink a glass of fresh fruit juice after doing exercises for constipation or when you start to work.


What do the experts say?

On the authority of The U.S. National Library of Medicine: Drinking plenty of water and other liquids. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains, which are high in fiber. The treatment for dehydration is to replace the fluids and electrolytes that you have lost. For mild cases, you may just need to drink lots of water. [1] [2]

According to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Dehydration means the body lacks enough fluid and electrolytes—chemicals in salts, including sodium, potassium, and chloride—to work properly. [3]

On the expertise of The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause constipation. [4] [back to top]



2. INCREASE THE ANORECTAL ANGLE

A man in a squat posture, increasing and decreasing the anorectal angle anatomy.

If you understand how the anorectal angle makes you poop, you will understand how to relieve constipation on the toilet with ease.

The anorectal angle is a term used to describe how the kink at the end of the anorectal canal keeps the rectum locked to prevent leaks of the fecal matter.

Example

  • when we walk
  • when we stand on our feet
  • when we stay horizontally on the bed.

In normal circumstances, the kink at the beginning of the rectum stays locked to prevent leaks. Whenever we need to poop, the kink unlocks itself using signals from the brain and body.


How to increase the anorectal angle?

We can increase the anorectal angle by squatting. This posture is the best way to sit on the toilet when constipated. It increases the anorectal angle and straightens the anorectal canal.

Squatting means to

  • Stand on your feet
  • Lower your body
  • Keep the knees higher than your hips.

Get in a squat posture 5-10 minutes before you want to visit the toilet. If you suffer from constipation often, try to squat 3-5 times a day.


What do the experts say?

According to The U.S. National Institutes of Health: The anal sphincters and puborectalis appeared normal in over 90% of women. During dynamic MRI, the anorectal angle was 100 ± 1º at rest, 70 ± 2° at squeeze, and 120 ± 2° during defecation. [5]

Also: The anorectal angle (ARA) is measured between the longitudinal axis of anal canal and the posterior rectal line, parallel to the longitudinal axis of the rectum. The change in anorectal angle during squeeze.. but not during evacuation.. was associated with age. [6] [7]

According to The Radiological Society of North America: During straining and defecation, the anorectal angle becomes more obtuse for relaxation of the puborectalis muscle. [8] [back to top]



3. MASSAGE YOUR TUMMY

A girl is massaging her abdomen in clockwise, and in the I LOVE YOU massage technique.

Tummy massage is an excellent technique used mainly in infant constipation. Fortunately, it is also an excellent technique to have constipation relief on the toilet with ease.

If muscle contraction does not create enough pressure to make you poop, then tummy massage comes in help. Tummy massage focuses on the large intestine, which forms a circle over your abdomen.


Clockwise tummy massage

The best way to massage your tummy is by:

  • pressing your hand over the large intestine
  • pressing in a circle
  • moving your hand clockwise.

Place your hands slowly on your abdomen, over the large intestine. Start pushing gently and move your hand in circles over the large intestine.

Continue to move your hand with a gentle push clockwise. Repeat these steps 5-10 times gently.


“I LOVE YOU” tummy massage

This type of massage is almost identical to the one mentioned above.

The difference:

  • you place your hand over the ascending colon
  • you continue with the transverse colon
  • you finish with the descending colon.

You can press your hand harder if you feel the stool moves towards the rectum. But push your hands slowly and gently.


Example

While massaging the abdomen, take deep breaths, and keep the air inside for 5-10 seconds.

Next, do the following breathing exercise:

  • take a deep breath slowly
  • keep the air inside for 5-10 seconds
  • release the air slowly.

Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take a short break.


What do the experts say?

According to The Continence Foundation of Australia: A continence physiotherapy session may involve a combination of the following: pelvic floor and abdominal massage techniques. [9]

According to a study published by The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: The data from the study showed that abdominal massage decreased the severity of constipation, the feeling of incomplete bowel emptying, the severity of straining, the severity of anal pain. [10] [back to top]



4. SUPPLEMENTS AND LAXATIVES

Intestines, liver, pancreas, laxatives, pancreatic enzymes stimulants, and hepatic bile supplements package

Supplements and laxatives improve digestion and bowel movement with ease. The effect is almost immediate, and it does not have side effects in the short-term.

In the long-term, laxatives can create dependency. Supplements cannot substitute your body’s chemical functions too often.

These are the reasons why using this type of medicine is excellent only if you want to relieve constipation on the toilet in the short-term. And always ask the opinion of your doctor about this thing.


Take lite laxatives

Laxatives come with different purposes based on the type of constipation you suffer from and the symptoms.

The most popular are:

  • Volume laxatives (expand fecal matter)
  • Stimulant laxatives (peristalsis stimulants)
  • Osmotic laxatives (intestinal water diffusion)
  • Emollient laxatives (stool softeners)
  • Enema preparation laxatives (home enema).

Stimulant laxatives are available over the counter at your nearest pharmacy. The effect of this type of laxative is to strain and push the intestines.

Osmotic laxatives make the stool move by spreading water through the colon. Stool softeners moisten the sticky and dry stools by getting the water that’s left from the other parts of the intestines.


Take pancreatic enzymes stimulants

Pancreatic supplements substitute the pancreatic enzymes necessary for proper digestion. Pancreatin is a vital digestion juice that contains pancreatic enzymes such as lipase, amylase, and protease.

  • Lipase decomposes fats.
  • Amylase decomposes the carbohydrates.
  • Protease decomposes the proteins and ensures optimal nutrients absorption.

People who suffer from insufficient exocrine pancreatitis use these types of tablets.


Take hepatic bile stimulants

Bile affects the absorption of fats by emulsifying them and activating the pancreatic lipase.

During this process, the intestines absorb a few vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Bile favorizes peristalsis, which improves bowel movement in the long-term.

If your liver does not produce this type of secretion, then you should take a supplement once in a while.


What do the experts say?

On the expertise of The American Gastroenterological Association Institute: Laxatives are a broad category of agents that induce laxation in various ways. While in the broadest sense, any agent that stimulates or facilitates the evacuation of the bowels can be considered a “laxative”. [11]

According to The U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Constipation is marked by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty in passing stools. Use Certain Laxatives with Caution. [12]

According to a study published by The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Liver, pancreatic, ... diseases are often associated with nutritional difficulties and necessitate an adequate nutritional therapy in order to support the medical treatment. [13] [back to top]



5. USE NATURAL LAXATIVES

Chicory, plums, prunes, and a warm soup bowl

Using natural laxatives is an excellent way to relieve constipation on the toilet. Some of them come under the form of leaves, fermenting fruits, or liquid food.

Before going to the toilet:

  • drink a glass of chicory juice
  • eat a fast fermenting fruits salad
  • eat warm vegetable soup.

Each type of natural laxatives acts in different ways. Chicory is a plant that contains both cellulose and fructose in small quantities.

Fruits like plums or prunes contain large quantities of fructose, which make the matter ferment and create gas.

On the other hand, warm liquids that fill your intestines improve intestinal motility by increasing the volume naturally.


Chicory

Chicory is a natural laxative that is available under the form of leaves or powder. Chicory has laxative effects because of inulin and cellulose.

Chicory juice can mix with fruit juice that has an intense effect overall. Chicory powder is usually available as inulin powder.

You can take a glass of warm tea and mix it with a tablespoon of inulin. Do not mix more than one tablespoons too often.


Fast fermenting fruit

  • Prunes
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Apples

These fruits ferment fast, and they create gas inside. Fermentation happens because fruit stays too long inside the intestines with heat, fructose, and humidity.

The process is similar to creating alcohol but on a smaller scale.

Gas makes the stool move and expand the intestines. Combined with the un-digestible fiber found in their composition, the five fruit have laxative effects.


Liquid food

Warm or hot vegetable soups fill the intestines and make them expand. As mentioned above, increasing the volume of the matter will improve motility for a short time.

This thing means that the volume of liquid will push the matter towards the rectum to evacuate.

By filling the small intestine with a bowl of warm soup, you dissolve the fats and push the sticky stool towards the large intestine.

You can eat a bowl of warm vegetable cream soup on an empty stomach. Make the soup your first meal of the day. Then expect to use the restroom in about 30 minutes.


What do the experts say?

According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information: The most robust evidence exists for the use of inulin as a prebiotic, and in this context also the prebiotic activity of chicory root has been investigated quite intensively. [14]

According to another study published by the same health authority: Nowaday, chicory roots are mainly applied as a source for the extraction of inulin, which is used as prebiotic fiber and food ingredient. Chicory roots, however, have long been consumed as a vegetable by humans. [15] [back to top]



6. USE THE PERFECT POSITION

A girl is sitting on the toilet bowl in the semi-squat posture with a footstool under the feet.

Squatting is the best position to poop in when constipated because:

  • it relaxes the puborectalis muscles
  • it relaxes the anal sphincter
  • it unlocks the kink at the entrance of the rectum.

When you first learn how to relieve constipation on the toilet using squatting, you will soon find out that 99% of the time, you cannot squat on the toilet bowl.

Modern standard toilet bowls are similar to chairs that keep your knees at the same level as the hips. This position is not ideal because it keeps the kink at the entrance of the rectum locked.

Fortunately, you can solve this problem.

You can place a footstool under your feet when you sit on the toilet bowl. A simple footstool or squatty potty raises your knees higher than your hips and increases the anorectal angle with ease.


Lift your arms

While you sit on the toilet ready to poop, slowly lift your arms and keep them like that for 10 seconds. Now close your palms slowly to contract the abdomen and create pressure.

Take a pause and repeat.


Example

While you work at your computer, you can place support or a footstool to keep your knees up.


What do the experts say?

According to a study presented by The National Center for Biotechnology Information: the present study confirmed that the sensation of satisfactory bowel emptying in sitting defecation posture necessitates excessive expulsive effort compared to the squatting posture. [16]

According to The State of Queensland (Queensland Health – Australia): there’s an optimal body position to be in when doing your business if you’re taking a seat. …sitting with your knees higher than your hips (use a footstool or other flat, stable object if necessary). [17]

As reported by The Continence Foundation of Australia: Correct toilet position. Knees higher than hips. Lean forward and put elbows on your knees. Bulge out your abdomen. Straighten your spine. [18]

According to research by ReasearchGate: the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting, the straighter the rectoanal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation. [19] [back to top]



7. SIMULATE POOPING

A girl is contracting her abdomen and simulating pooping.

If you’re interested in learning how to relieve constipation on the toilet in the long-term, view pooping as a process with different phases:

  • it starts with preparation
  • it continues with simulation
  • and ends with defecation

Simulating the pooping strain and contraction is an excellent preparation technique to have smooth defecation.

When you feel the need to go to the toilet, you can gently create pressure inside the intestines. The more pressure you create, the more likely the stool will move.


How to simulate pooping?

  • Take a deep breath
  • Keep the air inside for 5-10 seconds
  • Release the air
  • Repeat

Repeat this process 10 times and take a break.

Filling your lungs with air and expanding the abdomen, will create pressure inside. Fecal matter that contains fructose, glucose, flour, and carbohydrates ferments and decomposes. Fermentation creates gas. The gas pushes the stool nearby towards the rectum.

Also, doing some lite exercises like crunches, push-ups, or jogging in the morning or during the day would stimulate your internals for pooping.


Contract the abdomen

At the same time, you can contract the abdomen or tummy. But do not focus on the rectum now.

Contract the abdomen as if you were pooping but without the anus involved. Here is a useful guide on what to do when constipated on the toilet with steps.


Example

If you feel there are gas and lots of air inside the large intestine and it comes out, it is a good indicator that your rectum is ready.


What do the experts say?

According to a study published by The US National Library of Medicine: Several randomized controlled trails have demonstrated that biofeedback therapy using neuromuscular training and visual and verbal feedback is not only efficacious but superior to other modalities such as laxative or sham training. [20] [back to top]



8. GENTLY PUSH THE RECTUM

A girl is sitting on the toilet bowl, pushing and squeezing the rectum to poop smoothly.

Now it is time to poop. Here is a guide on how to poop when constipated on the toilet with examples.

If you feel the gas is coming out with ease, and the large intestine is fully stacked, you are ready to poop.

Learning how to relieve constipation on the toilet is a difficult challenge at first, and it takes practice. The more you practice, the better you get at dealing with constipation.


Use pressure to poop

When you feel the stool filling the rectum, take a seat on the toilet bowl and do the following:

  • Push the abdomen gently
  • Let the pressure push the stool out
  • Strain and push the rectum

When you feel the stool tickling your anus, you can push harder. Push as much as the feeling is soft and gentle.

Do not push too hard, even if you find yourself stuck on the toilet with constipation often. The stool should come out naturally with the help of pressure.


Push harder

If you feel there is more stool left, you can push harder. If there is stool left inside that sticks like glue to the intestinal walls, do not strain the rectum for too long.


Example

If you feel the bloating sensation with lots of gas coming out, then you must go to the toilet. This thing is a good sign and it means that the stool is not dry.


What do the experts say?

According to another study published by the NCBI: Hard straining may not be enough to push feces against the closed internal and external anal sphincters. Additional structural impairments in the pelvic floor function may exacerbate the difficulty in stool expulsion in some patients. [21]

On the expertise of The American College of Gastroenterology: The introduction of DPMDs has resulted in increased awareness in anatomical differences based on an anorectal angle when squatting versus sitting. ...participants have reduced time, reduced straining, and increased bowel emptiness. [22] [back to top]



9. A WORD OF CAUTION

Do not strain and push too much the rectum because hemorrhoids can appear. The anal sphincter and the tissues cannot hold too much pressure.

If you suffer from severe symptoms of constipation, then it is time to get a diagnostic from a doctor. It would be a great idea to take stool, urine, and blood tests. [back to top]



10. CONCLUSION

There are many other techniques on how to relieve constipation on the toilet. But the basic ones mentioned in this guide are the result of the anatomical functioning of our body.

Hydrate the intestines and practice increasing the anorectal angle. Adopt a squat posture to prepare your body.

Finally, having the perfect position on the toilet bowl, and straining the rectum, make pooping feel natural and smooth. [back to top]



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Sebastian D., and I am the senior editor of constipationguide.com. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Horia Marculescu, I decided to create a practical guide to constipation relief.. read more



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