On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, FODMAP Life hosted another Facebook Live event with world-renowned, gut-health dietitian Kate Scarlata, MPH, RDN.  The topic?  Constipation Remedies.  Below I list several helpful tips that she shared as well as links to articles and products she mentioned.

How to Ease Symptoms of Constipation

* When you need to go to the bathroom, go!  Don’t wait to go later as that could make you more constipated.

* Make time to go in the morning.  Strategize your schedule to have enough time for a bowel movement.  A little coffee can also help.

* Use a bristol stool chart – if your stool is like small deer pellets it means you have a very slow transit time.  If stool is sticking in your colon for too long, your body will pull out more water and the stool will become very hard and difficult to pass

* If you’re constipated it’s super important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.  The flesh of fruits of veggies can help soften stool.  It might cause more gas but again, can help pass stool.

*Psyllium husk can help with constipation – purchase here on Amazon. Here is an older article of mine on psyllium husk.

* Pelvic floor disorders (a common cause of constipation) are a very common condition where people are not relaxing the anal sphincter, where they are actually tightening it, which contributes to the inability to release stool.  Pelvic floor physical therapy can help.  Pelvic floor physical therapy and biofeedback is effective in about 80% of those who have pelvic floor disorder.  The therapy can last for about 2 years and you may need a “refresher” of therapy later.

* A squatty potty also helps with elimination.  It raises your knees up and helps elongate your rectal canal.  Buy one here: http://shrsl.com/1yhqb

* Remember to hydrate (especially also if you’re increasing fiber in your diet).

* Keep moving -walking, or other jarring motions can help stimulate gut motility.  Desk jobs won’t stimulate BMs.  Set up reminders so you remember to get up and move.

* Green kiwi fruit – have 2 per day to help with constipation.  Kate’s recipe: The Clean Sweep Smoothie

Smoothies as constipation remedies
The Clean Sweep Smoothie by Kate Scarlata

*There is some evidence that probiotics are helpful in constipation.  Probiotics in Activia yogurt (read labels as some have high-FODMAPs).  The regular vanilla is OK (has some lactose – if you are beyond the Elimination Phase, try it with a Lactaid pill).

* High stool burden – too much stool will impact your quality of life – sometimes too much fiber, and not enough adequate bowel movements can lead to too much stool. An ultrasound or x-ray of your belly can check for “fecal loading.”

More resources from Kate:

Constipation blog post

L. Reuteri for constipation and product info

Harvard Pelvic floor article

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