A bowel movement is the last stop of your digestive process. Wastes from the food that you have consumed that were not turned into nutrients and vitamins are passed out of the body through the anus and rectum. Regular bowel movement is important to flush out all the waste and toxins from your body.
But what if you have the urge to poop but just can’t?This article will shed light on the reasons why you're having problem moving your bowel, as well as what you can do to solve it.
Why You Have the Urge to Poop but Can't?
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, about 80 percent of people experience constipation at some point. Though this condition is not uncommon to many people, not being able to defecate is certainly not a walk in the park.Here are a few common culprits why things are slower than usual.
1. You’re Traveling
Most of us are following a certain type of diet. It's a different story when you're travelling though.
Though you have your preferred type of food, you just eat whatever's available when you're on the go. People also have the knack in trying new foods so we eat whatever’s new to our palate.
This sudden change of diet throws our digestive system into haywire, resulting to digestion issues such as constipation or diarrhea.
2. You’re into a Lot of Stress
Stress can affect our lives in so many aspect, one of which is your bowel movement. When you're stressed, your enteric nervous system is affected.
How does it affect your poop?Enteric nervous system plays a complex part in your gastrointestinal system. Lack of sleep or stress can affect its function, making you harder to go to the bathroom.
3. You’re Started to Live a Sedentary Life
When you feel the urge to poop but can't, it's time to examine your lifestyle and blame your sedentary way of living as the culprit.
When you've been exercising regularly and suddenly stops, your digestive system gets affected. Your body is used to an active lifestyle and suddenly switching to a sedentary living leads to constipation on most people.
4. You’re Pregnant
Pregnancy is one of the happiest phases in a woman's life, however due to the change of hormones and diet, it also comes along many unpleasant conditions - one of which is constipation.
Most women experience it during the initial stage of pregnancy, while others feel constipated at the latter part or throughout the entire period. Stress during pregnancy can also play a role on why bowel movement seems so hard.
5. You’re on Medication
Certain medication can cause constipation, narcotics or opioids are certainly on this list, especially when taken in a long-term duration. Make sure to talk to your doctor if his prescribed medications are causing you constipation.
6. You’re Dehydrated
There's no doubt water is an important aspect of your health. If you feel the urge to poop but can't, it's time to examine your water intake.
Are you drinking the recommended amount of water per day?
You need enough water in order for your stool to move through your colon. Not enough water can cause buildup of feces, hence resulting to constipation.
7. You're Not Eating Enough Fiber
Lack of fiber in your diet does not only increase your risk of heart disease, weight gain and cancer - it also affects your digestive system which results to constipation.
You know that you're constipated if your stool is hard and dry and moves less than three times in a week. Add your fiber intake by stacking on fruits and vegetables.
8. You’ve Recently Taken Medicine for an Upset Stomach
Medicines created to stop diarrhea and calm your stomach such as Pepto Bismol or Immodium have also an effect of blocking you up. Too much of these pills can cause constipation.
9. You’re in a Rush to Leave Every Morning
Our bodies are designed to move bowels in the morning.
Most of us though don't take our time in the bathroom every morning. Because of the busy day ahead, we rush out of the door without giving our bowel movement the time that it deserves. This results to difficulty in bowel movement later of the day.
10. You're Too Shy to Go in Public Toilets
Nothing beats the feeling of doing your business at the comfort of your own toilet.
This is why most of us give a deaf ear when nature calls and we're in public. We'd rather hold the urge and do our thing when we get home.This practice though could be the reason why you have the urge to poop but can't.
11. You May Have a Chronic Condition
Persistent constipations which are accompanied by pain should never be disregarded. Head to your doctor immediately as it could be a symptom of Irritable Bowel movement or other conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease.
What Can You Do to Solve the Problem?
Most constipations have positive result with conservative treatment such as diet and lifestyle changes. If your condition persists, consult your doctor and discuss options such as medications or surgery.
1. Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Increase your fiber intake to relieve constipation. Aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet.
Stimulate muscle activity in your intestines by doing physical activities. Squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise on your daily schedule.
Take your sweet time in the bathroom. Remove distractions and avoid being in a hurry.
Over-the-counter laxatives such as fiber supplements, osmotics, stimulants, lubricants, stool softeners, enemas and suppositories are created to make your bowel movement easier.
3. Other Medications
Your doctor may recommend prescription medication if over-the-counter medications don't work.
- Medications that draw water into your intestines - Lubiprostone (Amitiza) and linaclotide (Linzess) are prescription medicines that speed up your stool movement by drawing water into your intestines.
- Other types of medications - Colchicine/probenecid (Col-Probenecid), Misoprostol (Cytotec) and onabotulinumtoxinA are prescribed for chronic constipation.
Your doctor may suggest surgery if you have tried various treatments but with no avail. It's also an option if your chronic constipation is caused by rectocele, blockage, anal fissure or stricture.