It’s unpleasant to talk about but from time to time, all of us suffer from constipation. When you’re bound up, it can be uncomfortable and feel like there’s nothing you can do, unless you want to take laxatives. But doctors have found one sure fire way to relieve constipation…and it is in your cupboard.
Around one in seven adults at any one time can have constipation and the solution might just be a hot cup of tea. Dr Felice Schnoll-Sussman says that coffee, tea or even hot water can stimulate the bowel and ease constipation. She is a gastroenterologist at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and believes she has found the link between the soothing qualities and releasing a blocked up bowel, which was backed up by a study.
Dr Schnoll-Sussman told Runners World magazine that “The warm liquid acts as a vasodilator…It widens blood vessels in the digestive system and helps increase blood flow and GI activity”.
And you don’t need a caffeinated beverage to go to the loo, as just a hot drink of any type can be enough. Dr Schnoll-Sussman suggested drinking a hot cuppa and then sitting on the loo to stimulate a bowel movement: “Just the act of sitting there for few minutes can bring on the urge to go, even if you don’t feel like you have to right away”, she said.
Another technique to relieving constipation is a little bit hands on, but a study by the UCLA Centre for East-West Medicine found that 72 per cent of people found self-acupressure on the perineum – the area between the anus and the genitals – helped to ease their problem. But above all, any doctor will tell you that eating more fibre, drinking more fluid and exercising are all ways that you can ensure you don’t have constipation.
According to The World Gastrology Organisation, constipation is defined by passing fewer than three bowel movements a week; passing hard stools stools or feeling a sense of incomplete evacuation.
Do you suffer from constipation? What do you find works for you? Tell us below.