I wanted to write this article to address the issue of incomplete Defecation, where when you poop, it does not come out completely. When you see a conventional doctor, you would be prescribed with laxatives and told to consume more fibre. I know of a few friends who suffer from that condition and almost every article in the internet said consume more fiber, fruits and drink lots of water. My friends did that and the problem still remain. Let me just say that taking salad in the morning aint gonna work. In fact, it may make your problem worse.
In this article, I wish to share on my personal experience in having this issue and how I am able to improve it through using simple means.
Laxatives will not solve your problem
Laxatives can be taken once in a long while to deal with cases of acute constipation. However, I am sure you are well aware that laxatives cannot be taken long term because it would cause long term damage to your digestive system. It would affect the peristalsis function of your stomach.
How you can help yourself if you suffer from incomplete defecation
Do consult the doctor for your condition. At the same time, you can also do the following inexpensive steps to help yourself to improve your digestive health. Once your digestive health is improve, you would be able to clear your bowels completely. Here are the steps you could do:
1. Start your day with a cup of hot water
Place a thermal flask and a cup by your bedside. When you get up each morning, pour yourself a cup of water, as hot as you can swallow without burning your tongue. The water would cleanse your system and the warmth would spread to your whole digestive system. I did this practice for many years after noticing that I have far lesser stomach issues by just taking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning.
Avoid starting your day with cold water from the fridge. It will shock your digestive system and in the long run, your system will go sluggish and you would find yourself suffering from bouts of digestive issues such as acid reflux, gastric and constipation.
2. Do not take salad or raw vegetables early in the morning
I have a friend who have constipation problems and she resorted to eating salad every morning for breakfast. After she did it for most days in a few weeks, she still did not see much improvement. I tried to caution her that the method does not work. She would do better if she is willing to consume warm rice porridge or noodle soup for breakfast. She did not take my advice and the last I heard, she had developed gastric reflux.
3. If possible, consume rice porridge or noddle soup in the morning
In my opinion, a bowl of rice porridge is the best food to heal your digestive system. The porridge needed to be consume hot. Do NOT take overnight porridge as it would make your digestive system worse due to ‘wind’ buildup in the porridge. If you really dislike porridge, then a warm bowl of soup or noddle soup would be therapeutic for your stomach.
Honestly, I really dislike porridge. But I made myself eat it every morning because my digestive health improved so much.
4. Avoid cold drinks
If you really want to improve your digestive health, you need to abstain from taking cool or iced drinks. The digestive enzymes in your system requires the temperature of 37 to 42 degrees Celsius in order to be able to function optimally for digestion. If you habitually consume cold drinks, it would not be surprising that you start developing health issues such as feeling sluggish, fatigue, sinus, easy to fall sick, acid reflux, gas in stomach, lower back pain, stiffness in body and for the ladies, severe PMS pain.
It is worse if you consume cold drinks with your meals. I know, I know, I also love a glass of iced Coke/Pepsi or ice lemon tea with my meals on a hot day or when I am taking spicy food. But now I do it once in a long while because I do not want just 5 minutes of pleasure in downing cold drinks to leave me the entire day with feeling of sluggishness, running nose and stomach pain.
If you suffer from incomplete defecation, chances are, you would also have chronic lower back pain (view the resource page on pain management). Because of blocked chi/qi movement or energy circulation in your body. Aside from consuming warm fluids, you can also place a hot water bottle at your lower back areas as below:
You can boil hot water and pour it into the rubber bag. Ensure you cover with the cloth cover before using. Place it at your lower back. Recently, I have switched to the electric rechargeable hot water bottle as I find it more convenient to use. I just plug in the charger, wait for about 10 minutes for the water bottle to warm up and then use it at night before I go to sleep. These electric hot water bottle comes in its own fluid which stay warm longer compared to a traditional hot water bottle.
5. Traditional Chinese healing system (TCM)
In Chinese healing system, the way of healing is not by just relieving the symptoms. TCM recognizes that in order for our digestive system to be healthy, the energy of the internal organs and chi movement must be balanced and strong.
Years ago, I went to see a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor as I was having pain around my lower back and kidney areas. Prior to that I’ve had extensive medical test done including blood test, ultrasound, kidney function test via radioisotope which results came out normal.
TCM doctor diagnose a patient through reading the pulse, observing the person’s eyes, tongue and overall appearance. The doctor felt my pulse and I remember one very interesting thing she was able to tell me though just feeling my pulse.
She told me that when I poop or pass motion, it does not come out completely (Incomplete Defecation). Some of poop are still being retained in my rectum and large intestines. She told me she suspected the reason is because I, like many people like to rush through the process and do not want to sit for long time to completely clear the bowels. I was surprised that she knew. She said the ‘chi’ (energy movement) in my stomach is already not strong due to my bad dietary choices (I like to drink iced drinks) and if I always rush off without completely clearing my bowels, my condition would get worse when I got older.
How TCM cure it is to strengthen your digestive system and chi movement through acupuncture and going through a course of Chinese herbal medicine. During the course of the medication, the person would be ask to abstain from taking certain type of food. Fruits are usually not allowed as it would interfere with the effectiveness of the herbal medicine.
After that, if the person do not want to keep going back for treatment, then he/she would need to avoid certain type of food. Therefore, for those who is dealing with digestive and constipation issues, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help.
But if you are not comfortable with trying TCM, then at least the options 1 to 4 above is something you can consider doing to help yourself since long term taking laxatives is not good. All the above are methods I have tried and have helped me tremendously.
Do note that you will not experience a change immediately. Bear in mind that your body did not develop that condition overnight. It is developed through years of accumulated bad dietary choices, drinking too much cold drinks, and being so rushed for time that you have no time/interest to wait for your bowels to clear completely. Therefore, you need to give your body time to heal.