Joyous Blog

Constipated? Reasons your poop isn't leaving in a timely fashion

Most of us have been there at some point or another throughout our lives - meaning, not having a bowel movement frequently enough. And it really gets you down sometimes. I recall back when I was about 16 and I was constantly bloated. I went to the doctor, he did an X-ray and told me I was literally FULL of poop. It's no wonder my belly was protruding like a 6 or 7 month pregnant woman. This is also one of the most common complaints I hear my clients share with me and it's always an easy fix if the root cause is addressed. 

Here are some of the reasons you might not be pooping regularly:

S.A.D = Eating the Standard American Diet

    • It is low in fibre, high in sugar and allergenic foods like gluten, dairy and corn, the Standard American Diet creates a perfect storm for constipation.
  • Food allergies, food sensitivities (wheat gluten, dairy, soy, corn etc)
    • Food allergies are an IgE antibody reaction that causes classic allergic reaction symptoms, including swelling of the tongue or face, an itchy throat, a red rash on the body, feeling faint or nausea and possible anaphylaxis.
    • Food sensitivities are an IgG antibody reaction that affects the digestive system, resulting in constipation, bloating, cramps and nausea.

Any food can cause an allergy or sensitivity, but common ones include wheat and other gluten-containing grains, dairy, eggs, nuts and shellfish.

Dehydration

Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough water and/or eating too many cooked/processed foods with little to no water content.

You need to be adequately hydrated for fiber to do its job. Water helps keep fiber moving through your digestive system and reduces the gassiness that can happen when you increase your fiber intake.

The longer your stool spends in your colon, the more water it absorbs. Dry, hard stools are more difficult to pass. 

Overuse of laxatives

When stimulant laxatives are overused, your digestive system can become dependent on them and your bowels will need to be “retrained” to get things moving properly on their own.

Lack of exercise and movement on a daily basis

Aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles and move stools along.

Exercise helps constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine and thus limits the amount of water absorbed from the stool, making them easier to pass.

Certain medications ie. pain meds

Constipation is a common side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Types of medication known to cause constipation in some people include pain medications (especially narcotics), antacids that contain aluminum and calcium, blood pressure medications (calcium-channel blockers), Anti-Parkinson’s disease drugs, antispasmodics, antidepressants, iron supplements, diuretics, and anticonvulsants.

Changes in routine, rushing in the morning, travelling

Changes in routine and travelling can lead to dietary changes and stress, both of which contribute to constipation.

Rushing in the morning can result in constipation because you’re not taking the time to eat enough fibre and hydrate properly.

You may also suppress the urge to poop when you’re travelling or rushing due to time constraints or limited access to bathroom facilities (see below).

Suppressing or ignoring the urge to poop because you are too busy

Suppressing the urge to poop on a regular basis creates a vicious constipation cycle: you’re constipated because you’re not pooping enough, you’re not pooping enough because you’re constipated.

Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid releases hormones that are important to the digestive process.

If your thyroid’s not functioning properly, your levels of these hormones can drop, slowing down digestion and resulting in constipation.

Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, you’ll often experience dietary changes (hello, cravings!) that can lead to constipation.

A pregnant woman’s fluctuating hormone levels also contribute to constipation.

Some women experience intermittent constipation while pregnant, others experience it through most of their pregnancy.

So now that you have all the potential reasons you are not pooping in a timely fashion you can either A. continue to suffer by continuing on the same path (which I beg you not to) or B. do something about it, such as doing a detox and eliminating potential problem foods with the help of a nutritionist, or address your stress levels, or start exercising to increase circulation, do yoga to help chill out or just walk every single day. There are as many ways to fix this problem as their are outfits in Kate Middleton's closet :)

 

115 Comments
medina   •   July 13, 2011

" I know many of you (myself included) can attest to the grumpy part because when you have a solid poop you feel like you could fly to the moon and back right!?" That's my puppy right there. He goes absolutely bananas after he's done answering nature's call. Flying all over the place. Wow!

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Kate   •   July 13, 2011

What about if you have the opposite problem? I have bowel movements like 2-3 times a DAY! They don't hurt or anything. I guess its better than a few years ago where I used to only go 1-2 times a week and actually prided myself on such "restraint."

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 14, 2011

It's all about quality, if you have 2-3 but they are loose and runny this is not good. But if you have solid "s" shaped BM's then 2 thumbs up for you!


Michelle Vogiatzis   •   July 13, 2011

Nothin' better than flying to the moon and back! It is sad that people are constipated and just think it's normal. They will feel like new lighter people once on track. Love this post!

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Andrina Tisi   •   July 14, 2011

It's so true. My day and mood is so different if I can go. Great article.

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Raquel   •   July 16, 2011

Hi there, just wondering if you can give some info about what to do about hemorrhoids?

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 18, 2011

A few things: 1. Get yourself some calendula, put it on the area to heal it. 2. Make sure you are drinking enough water to prevent constipation due to dehydration. 3. Don't push or force a bowel movement. 4. Make sure you take some form of fibre supplement to soften stools ie. chia seeds in water or ground flax in water. 5. Reduce ALL inflammatory-promoting foods: meat, dairy, sugar etc Hope that helps!


3 Important Healthy Boob Tips | Blog 889   •   October 7, 2011

[...] If you have trouble pooping or poop too often and lack good quality, then there are a variety of causes. Here is an article on some causes on constipation: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2011/07/13/constipated-reasons-your-poop-isnt-leaving-in-a-timely-fashion/ [...]

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Raw Cacao Vegan Balls | joyoushealth.ca   •   October 16, 2011

[...] enzyme factory. There are many proven benefits of eating a mostly raw food diet, including better better bowel movements, glowing skin and — the most common one among my clients — improved energy and [...]

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Introduction: 10 signs of a quack holistic nutritionist series | Holistic Nutrition Scam   •   November 8, 2011

[...] not toxins from your external environment, its your body that’s poisoning you. Food apparently rots in your stomach, your intestines leech bacteria and “toxins.” This will make you feel tired, moody, bloated [...]

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sophie   •   January 2, 2012

Hi Joy! Thanks for this post :) It's great...really! I do have a question about something that not many people think can happen...but that CAN and IS happening to someone I know *cough cough*. Can you give a recommendation on what to do if you're experiencing constipation on account of eating TOO MUCH fibre? Thank you :)

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 3, 2012

Ahhh yes, drink more water! What kind of fibre did you eat?


shannon   •   August 24, 2012

Hey i was wondering what you should do if you are constanty backed up and always have constipation. After i finally take a poop i still feel like i need one again. What can i do to help this?

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Gemma   •   January 8, 2013

I'm 15 yet i have non of those i cannot go toilet because of the hardness and when i try to make it come out it hurt really bad. I even sometimes bleed because i cannot get it out like normal and it doesn't just come from stress because i am a totally fin person. So if your a "nurse" you can help me.

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 10, 2013

Please contact me through my contact form page. Thank you!


Joyous Health   •   March 16, 2013

[...] window to the health of your digestive system. Your gut provides you with signs and symptoms such as constipation and heartburn when things are off so it’s really not surprising your poop’s appearance [...]

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Joyous Health   •   March 16, 2013

[...] re-absorption from the toxins within your colon. If you are not eliminating efficiently (pooping 1-2x per day), then yes, those toxins will get reabsorbed back into the blood stream which can cause allergies, [...]

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Normal?   •   March 17, 2013

I go probably 2-3 times a week maybe even 4 and very very small. But its always been like this for as long as i can remember. They say every individuals body is different to the other, so is this still not normal although my bowel movements have always been like this?

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Joyous Health   •   April 3, 2013

[...] white liquid when slurped on a daily basis is a recipe for inflammation, food sensitivities (tummy troubles, acne, eczema, headaches etc) and it’s an acidifying food. The milk of today is not the same [...]

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Karen   •   April 24, 2013

I Am gluten free and mostly dairy free. I go fine 1-2 times in the morning, but at night it takes me 1+ hour to go. If I don't go, and just go to bed, I'm up about 3 cause I have to go. I know I have to go before bed, but it's taking longer and longer. Any advice?

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Joyous Health   •   May 23, 2013

[...] note: One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration. Your gut is a very moist water-rich environment. Your body has signals in place to [...]

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Jess   •   June 7, 2013

Hi joy, I recently discovered your page I'm 21 years old and i only have a bowel movement once a week. What can i do about it because i know thats not normal. I drink a moderate amount of water and im basically sitting all day because of my office job. Also i dont know if this has to do with the gallstones i recently found out i had... Can you help?.please..

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Joy McCarthy   •   June 7, 2013

Please get in touch via my contact form and send me a message :). Thanks! http://www.joyoushealth.ca/contact/

Kennrth   •   November 24, 2013

Do an enema every day.

jackie   •   April 2, 2015

Hi, my friend Vicci only goes once every two weeks. She went last week in my toilet, it was huge as thick as your arm. She forced it down my toilet with the brush which resulted in it blocking my pipe!


df   •   June 8, 2013

please add parasites to the list of possible causes!

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nicol   •   June 29, 2013

Hi joy i just found this website and i have a question. Im not sure if youll be able to help. Last few years probably 5 or so ive had a really hard time with my stomach. Im bloated all the time.. so bloated i dont want to get up off the couch. And everytime i eat anything this happens. Ive switched to whole grains, as i know they are better for you. I eat lots of veggies, brussel sprouts and broccoli are two of my favorites. I am allergic to dairy.. so i drink almond milk and use olive oil butter not the regular stuff. Ive been to the doctor tons of times, she had be start a laxative daily.. its one that draws water in. Ive been doing that for a few months now.. and in the beginning it helped i was going 3 or 4 times a day with no problem. Then it stopped.. and i cant go again. My Dr. had me change my diet a little more whole grain and fruit which i eat anyways, and drink more water. I did that all while still taking the laxative and i was doing good again. Then i stopped the laxative and what do you know back in pain again. Do you have any suggestions.. because i just cant take it anymore. Thanks for your time.

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 2, 2013

You should come and see me! It's tough to advise and I wouldn't be doing a proper job giving advice if I didn't do a health history session with you. Check out my Summertime Special: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/summertime/


Dice franco   •   July 22, 2013

Hi joy,my brother die because he doesent poop..i just want to know,whats the common reason of his death..because his doctor doesnt explain more about this,,thank you for you website hopely you can help me to explain it clearly..

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 22, 2013

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your brother. Did he have colon cancer? That question is next to impossible for me to answer. I'm not a doctor and I do not know any of your brothers health history, so I really have no idea.


Danyel Brown   •   December 18, 2013

Hi Joy, I having been having problems with constipation for at least 4 years now. I was diagnosed with GERD, but I change my diet and no longer eat meats. I am also lactose tolearant to milk. When I have bowel movements small amounts come out. I feel the need to go more but i can't. Sometimes my stomach looks as if I'm 8 months pregnant. I've had colonoscopy's, been to gastroenterologists and they've told me I'm fine. But I'm not! I'm always uncomfortable, bloated, gassy, tired and irritable. What can I tell my doctor to have them go more in depth of my issue. I eat several times a day and I am literally full of poop! Thank You, Danyel

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Joyous Health   •   January 29, 2014

[…] is as common as being constipated and suffering from heartburn. In fact, digestive issues top the charts in terms of number of […]

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Shenna Geronimo   •   May 7, 2014

Can one use medication to get rid of the poop that wasn't timely and normally discharged?

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Joy McCarthy   •   May 7, 2014

I would suggest you eat more fiber rich foods to enhance detoxification and elimination. Try the recipes on my blog and recipes from my book JOYOUS HEALTH: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/joyous-health-book/


christine   •   June 23, 2014

Ok. My fiancée is 26 years old and she has problems going to the bathroom (pooping). She only goes maybe once a week if she's lucky. And sometimes when she goes and sit to try to go, she is in so much abdominal pain and in tears and gets nauseous or she throws up. Sometimes she gets cold sweats and then she passes out or have a seizure. Then when she wakes up from the seizure ,she can poop just fine. Or even when she's able to go n something does come out its soft or its diarea. Someone please help me. I know this isn't normal. I need to be able to help her and I feel her pain.

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Kate McDonald-Walker   •   June 23, 2014

Hi Christine, In a case like this, you'll really want your fiancee to go see her primary healthcare practitioner. While we've got some dietary tips for easing constipation, in really severe cases like this, you'll always want to be monitored by a primary healthcare practitioner to make sure that any root causes are being properly identified and addressed. Once the root causes are identified, it's a lot easier to determine the right course of action from a nutritional perspective. Our best wishes for both you and your fiancee, Kate - Joyous Health Team


Cheryl Tallman   •   July 1, 2014

I have a question that is causing me a great deal of concern. I had a very painful, bad experience today, in a public bathroom, no less. As I was on my way to an appt this morning with my mother. I could feel my gut cramping and knew it was going to be upset. Thinking on it, I ate more than usual and rather hurridily. I tried to ignore it and just kept driving. Arrived for a 5 - 10 min appt with my associate, jumped in the car, preparing to take my mother to her appt. I had also taken my medication for the day. I decided to stop at a public restroom. Once I sat to go, the waste came out kind of forcefully, followed by so much pain through my entire body. I turned bright red and broke out in profuse sweating. I was in so much pain,I couldnt move. A bit more waste came out and I felt my stomach begin to bubble and commensed to vomit all over myself. Being in so much pain, I couldnt move and it was all over me, my clothes. I noticed there was alot of waste in the toliet and I was beyond embarrassed, trying to figure out how I would get out of the restroom. I put the soiled clothes up, ran to the car, lost my shoes in the parking lot and drove home in my underwear. Thinking back I had only a very small BM the previous day, little balls, so I suspect I was constipated by the amount ejected forcefully today. This is not normal, and that pain that makes me think I could literally die right there, could it kill me? Please help me, this cant be normal, but is it life threatening?

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Kate McDonald-Walker   •   July 2, 2014

Hi Cheryl, So sorry to hear that you had a bad experience today. Whenever anyone is concerned about changes in their bowel habits, we always recommend that they get it checked out with their primary healthcare practitioner. Most causes of constipation and diarrhea are easily determined and addressed, but we always recommend speaking with your primary healthcare practitioner to make sure the root cause is correctly identified. Hope you are feeling better! Kate - Joyous Health Team


Heather   •   July 22, 2014

I have a very large bowel movement every day, but I always feel so backed up. I've tried eating more fiber and drinking more water but it just made things worse. I figured Metamucil might do the same. The only time I feel decent is if I eat very little. I want to eat a normal amount of food and feel good! Do you have any advice?

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Kate McDonald-Walker   •   July 22, 2014

Hi Heather, Joy's got some natural solutions for constipation here: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/blog/2014/02/14/part-1-of-pms-natural-solutions-for-constipation/ While the post mentions PMS, these tips will work even if you're not suffering from PMS. Hope this helps! Kate - Joyous Health Team


Rosemary   •   August 5, 2014

if candida stays in your body for over ten years without getting fully treated, can it also cause failure to defaecate?

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Kate McDonald-Walker   •   August 7, 2014

Hi Rosemary, It could be related, but if these tips aren't alleviating constipation issues, I'd recommend checking with your primary healthcare practitioner to determine the root cause of the constipation. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Joanna   •   January 6, 2015

I saw an iridologist who told me my transverse colon was beginning to prolapse, it would take weeks to pass corn. She showed me how to press upwards on my upper belly to lift it and make stool easier to pass. I can do this several times a day and have a bm within 20 minutes. I now pass corn in about 24 hours. Have you ever heard of this? Will it eventually repair the transverse colon or will I have to do this for the rest of my life?

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 7, 2015

Massaging the colon in just the right place can definitely help you have a bowel movement. I can't advise more without doing a whole health history on you in order to be able to give you sound advice. I would suggest you talk to your iridologist for advice. Good luck!


Jacquelin Q   •   February 11, 2015

Hi! Amazing Post btw. I have a question. On Saturday I went with my mom to NY and we ate McDonalds since we were really hungry we both ate the same thing. And during the whole trip back home I was feeling sick and nauseous. When I got home I was sick and vomited a lot... And also had watery stool. Sunday my stomach was good and I ate a plate if soup and soft chicken at night..now today I ate breakfast and I feel full.. I've trued going to the bathroom because it feels like I need to poop but nothing comes out x.x .. Is there anything that I can do ? I've been drinking ginger ale and seltzer water.. Thank you!

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 11, 2015

Hi Jacquelin, Joy's got some natural tips for constipation up on the blog here: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2014/02/14/part-1-of-pms-natural-solutions-for-constipation/ Hope this helps! Kate - Joyous Health Team


ashi   •   February 11, 2015

I do not get any poop out for one-one week and I am very tensed about it as I have been going to some person who presses the tummy in some way claiming that it will cure the problem . But all in vain. I want to know if something can be done I drink a lots of water and eating oats daily with some fruits. Please help:'(

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Joy McCarthy   •   February 12, 2015

Stress management and nutrition are the most important aspects in treating constipation.

Ammy   •   December 2, 2015

This is the thing ur doing wrong, don't take oats . I have same problem and not taking oats has helped me so it might help u also try it n let me know.


Paul   •   February 27, 2015

What is the quickest way to relieve this problem

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 27, 2015

Hi Paul, Joy's got some tips up on the blog here: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2014/02/14/part-1-of-pms-natural-solutions-for-constipation/ You can ignore the PMS part, these tips should work regardless. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Frances   •   April 27, 2015

Hi I'm 26 and have had poop problems since I was 16. Yes 10 years of this crap. I need help but all doctors give me is laxatives or meds. My body only can 'go' with laxatives now, even with lax it still is hard to go at this point. I need some strict advice I've tried everything. Thanks

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Dr T   •   May 25, 2015

Its amazing so many people use zero common sense to how they poop. What goes in must come out. Nourishment is particles. when you eat an orange for instance the vitamins and nutrients are microscopic. The water is absorbed. The rest must come out. This goes for anything you eat. A peice of pie, cookies, etc - this is all junk and it must come out. Put what you eat in a blender and puree it. Then strain the water. Thats exactly how much poop should exit. If not you have a problem. The poop doesn't evaporate or disappear. Its inside and its rotting. Anyone who poops less than at least once a day is literally FULL OF IT. 2-3 times a day is not a problem if its solid. Thats a blessing.

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jc   •   July 22, 2015

Hi my name Is jc and I'm always so constipated And gassy but I always can go and have a bowel movement everyday now.... Its 1to 5 days I haven't gone any tips and any questions I can ask u please txt me at 732 908 6306

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   July 22, 2015

Hi JC, You can try the tips in this blog post: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2014/02/14/part-1-of-pms-natural-solutions-for-constipation/ Don't worry about the PMS part, these tips should be beneficial regardless. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Satarupa Deb   •   August 17, 2015

hi, my father is 54 and has liver cirhosis due to hypertension for the last 10 yrs. he is also diabetic. since a few days, his stomach has swollen and its hard to the touch. and according to him, he has been constipated for the last two days. so is it ascitis or bloating? also his brothers also have huge stomachs(pretty sure its a family trait). can you tell me if its ascitis or bloating?

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   August 17, 2015

Hi Satarupa, Given your father's medical history, you'll want to get him to check with his primary healthcare practitioner to determine what's going on. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Brandy   •   August 22, 2015

So I have been experiencing bloated and stomach and constipation. A few days I was letting out Diarrhea and now that I have been consuming vitamins and minerals medicine to ease the pain my pooping has stopped completely. I have a very hard stomach and when I have to go, I just can't go. I'm so worried, I have been taking fiber, papaya and water and it is not improving.

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 24, 2015

I suggest you talk to your natural healthcare practitioner who can give you some dietary advice and also advise if what you are taking is suitable.


michele   •   August 31, 2015

So is it possible i can be pregnant ? I been like this for almost a week now

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 31, 2015

I'm not I understand your question. Best to do a pregnancy test if you're not sure!


Nat   •   September 9, 2015

What if you've been constipated your entire life, from the ages of 0-10 it was once every two weeks from 10-19 it was once every week since starting lactulose, it became 2-4 times a week with occasionally once every day for a few days .

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   September 10, 2015

Hi Nat, In that case, you'd want to check with your primary healthcare practitioner to determine the root cause. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Janette Healey   •   October 16, 2015

I am not going to toilet regular just wondered why

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leigh   •   October 16, 2015

wrong.. wrong, wrong.. sorry. it can be very normal for one to go every 3rd day or so. everyone's different. Yeah, what do doctor's know? really? like i said.. EVERYONE"S different.

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claire   •   November 13, 2015

this helps so much! thank you! i havent pooped for days and now i can ! again thank you!

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Java   •   November 18, 2015

I'm not sure where the idea you need to have bm everyday came from because that's not true for everyone. I have been healthy all of my life, have been vegetarian for the last few years, and have almost always pooped every other, other day. They're regular, I am never constipated, and I rarely get diarrhea. I spoke to my family about this after my father was diagnosed with a number of colon issues (he's an alcoholic) and it's the same story for some of my family, my brother, and even some friends. Poop has become a subject in my household since my father's diagnosis, so I have learned that different folks have different strokes- or, well, poops. Doesn't always mean you're unhealthy when you don't go everyday. Both sides of my genetics have been known to live into their 90's, so I always say genetics is what really determines your health.

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Ammy   •   December 2, 2015

Things with me is different. Even though i eat green vegetables, drink a lot, jog every morning my stomatch i svery moody. Someday it will be ok and if im lucky someday it will make me feel like a floating angel but most of the time it is disgusting. Just disent responds at all . due to this my belly appears like a ball n iam always in a irritated mood . plz help me

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Ammy   •   December 2, 2015

Plz help me because i son't know where iam wrong. I drink a lot , eat green vegetables, jog every morning, have a routine still my stomatch dosen't support me. It swells like a ball , headache ,I feel very heavy, get irritated very fast. Someday it will go ok then suddenly refuse to give anything out .Iam 18 n can't take it any more.

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Daniel stark   •   December 2, 2015

thank you so much for your helpful information I learned so much just in a short amount Of time. I really had no idea that there was so much involved with your digestive system and even fiber and different reasons for being constipated between stress what you're eating traveling different routines this article truly helped myself gain helpful knowledge thanks again

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Jessica Harrell   •   December 7, 2015

Can you suggest a site that will help me with what I can eat and not eat? I believe I have a gluten intolerance and possibly celiac. I often get blisters in my throat from msg. I am allergic. I wonder now if I'm having more foods that I'm intolerable of. I can go 9 days without a bowl movement. It's killing my quality of life. My Dr suggests stool softeners, mirolax, etc. I'm also on medications that cause constipation so I really need to be certain I'm eating right. I pretty much live on cereal, waffles, and bananas. I don't eat much meat. I need help planning a diet. Thank you for any guidance.

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   December 7, 2015

Hi Jessica, When dealing with this many issues, you're definitely going to want to talk to a healthcare practitioner in person, rather than relying on any website (even ours!). If you're unsure about the advice your doctor's giving you, it never hurts to get a second opinion. You may want to consider checking out holistically-minded nutritionists in your area, but remember that if you add supplements or make significant changes to your diet, you'll always want to check back with your primary healthcare practitioner. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Nicole   •   December 9, 2015

Thank you so much for this article. It had made me feel like im not alone. I have been so costipated and have not had a bowel movement in 3 days and i been eating and i wonder where its going. And i have been having those symptoms EVERY SINGLE 1 OF THOSE SYPTOMS I HAVE. :( I have to take biscodyal tablets to release sometimes i wonder if its another issue i have going on. I have been trying to change my diet by eating organic and since ive done that i dont feel fatigued and i feel more full and alert but sometimes i slip off and will eat pizza and ruin everything. And i forgot where i was going with this......... but i just wanted to say thank you. I have been recently diagnosed with psoriasis and i wonder if it has anything to do with my digestive tract.

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   December 10, 2015

Your very welcome! Some people do find that skin issues can be a symptom of digestive issues or food sensitivities. You may want to check with your primary healthcare practitioner to see if you can determine the root cause. Kate - Joyous Health Team


Von   •   January 3, 2016

Hello Jo, nice to see a fantastic common sense article. Unfortunately non of it 'appears' to fit me. I'm 48, fit, healthy, go every morning, normal amount, normal consistency till about 3 weeks ago. Nothing that I am aware of has changed in my life....diet, stress, exercise etc etc. I am now only going about twice per week, I do not feel constipated, full, or like I need to go, and when I eventually do it is just a normal sized movement. I am eating normal amounts so where is my faeces going! Many thanks, Von.x.

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Carol   •   January 20, 2016

I have been going to the bathroom( bm) about every 2 weeks for 10 years now. It is painful and most of the time I bleed. Sometimes I even faint. My dr seems to think that it is normal. I've heard of something called anismus due to an injury in childbirth. I had 60 stitches when I had my son 28 years ago. This is when the problem started but is getting worse. I have went 6 weeks without going. Have to pull it out with finger in pieces. Worse than giving birth. Any suggestions?

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miro dawid aka david   •   March 1, 2016

eat raw beets after all meals works well for me

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Kate McDonald Walker   •   March 2, 2016

The fibre would definitely be helpful! Kate - Joyous Health Team


Sam   •   March 8, 2016

HI Joy I have just come across your website as I am finding my eating disorder extremely difficult due to my constipation. I have tried so many things over the years which dont seem to have worked, I have been prescribed macragol from my GP but hate taking this as I feel defeated as im consious it is a laxative and worry about long term implication this may have. I am still underweight and gradually increasing my calories to try and make the process of regaining a bit quicker in the hope that my digestive system will adjust along the way. Do you have any advise you can give me? I currently take macragol ever 2-3 days as this is when I am struggling to have a bowel movement but by this point im really upset and uncomfortable I dont suffer with any abdominal pains, just gas and bloating!! I eat plenty of fruit/veg, drink plenty of water and other high fibre snacks/meals. Aloe vera juice I have tried, Hot water and lemon, Herbal teas, coffee, linseeds. flaxseeds. magnisum supplements, colon cleanse..you name it I have also been tested for allergies/ thyroid, hormonal inbalances/Celiac. All come back fine! Sam

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Julie Neal   •   April 25, 2016

I have been under s lot of stress. Especially the last 3 weeks when I lost my 22 year old daughter in a car accident. But I have noticed that I'm very tired all the time not sleeping well and my stomach looks likes I'm about 6-8 months pregnant. I will have to try and change my eating habits. My question is how much water are you suppose to drink a day? I heard so many different things.

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Heather Allen   •   April 25, 2016

Hi Julie. I'm so sorry for your loss. The stress of such a tragic event definitely have an impact on your digestion.I recommend aiming for 2+ litres of water per day (about 8-10+, 8oz glasses). Make sure to make time for yourself through this healing process and nourish your body with whole foods. Our bodies need for nutrients increases greatly when we are stressed. Also, try your best to get some rest, as lack of sleep disrupts the digestive process as well. Wishing you all the best, Heather- Joyous Health team


Tommy   •   July 2, 2016

Hello, I just turned 18 and for the past month have had off and on bloating that is not accompanied by gas. I have been severely constipated and when I am able to relieve myself, thanks to miralax which was advised by a doctor, the stool comes out small and black. Being an athlete and very active person, my distended stomach makes my normally well built stomach look a balloon. Never before have I heard noises in my stomach, but they come and go. Could constipation be caused by a combination of overdosing on thermogenic fat burners and high levels of stress/depression? I just want to be able to move on with my life before this bloat ruins it for me. I have lost my appetite and my tail bone is sore.

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Heather Allen   •   July 4, 2016

Hi Tommy! Sorry to hear you're going through this. There are many factors that can affect the digestive system and stress is definitely one of them. You may benefit from doing some less intense exercises like yoga (these poses help with constipation: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2012/10/02/yoga-poses-for-constipation/) and perhaps consider taking a break from your fat burners to see if that helps. And remember to drink lots of water, eat lots of whole foods and fibre and try adding fermented foods to your diet. All the best :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Angela   •   July 6, 2016

Heard on many sites like this but not one with examples of what type fiber to take when to take and how much please send me example. Thanks Angela

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Heather Allen   •   July 6, 2016

Hey Angela! You can loads of fibre from eating whole foods such as fruits and veggies (apples,beets, celery and leafy greens are great choices). Our favourite high fibre superfoods are chia, flax and hemps seeds which can be added to smoothies, etc. The great thing is, you can enjoy these with throughout the day at each meal, no specific time required. The average person requires about 25-30+ grams per day. My suggestion is to increase fibre slowly and drink tons of water to support proper digestion. I hope that helps :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Joyce Montgomery   •   July 24, 2016

In awful pain lower tummy area round to my back. I don't pop unless I take a laxative. Haven't been now for a week. Also feel nauseous and tired

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Heather Allen   •   July 25, 2016

I'm sorry to hear that, Joyce. Hopefully this information will help. All the best :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Gen   •   July 30, 2016

Hi. I am so bloated and can not poop. And if I do , it's little bits and sometimes "loose". HELP!!!! I am so Misable

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Heather Allen   •   August 1, 2016

Hey Gen. I'm sorry to hear that. We've got some great solutions in this post that you may find helpful: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2014/02/14/part-1-of-pms-natural-solutions-for-constipation/ Don't forget to drink lots of water, relax during stressful time, ditch sugar and eat real food! All the best :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


MARIA C   •   July 31, 2016

Hey joy, Thank you for this post it really helped me understand a lot of things. Right now I've been taking birth control med because I had a problem with my cycle not showing up at all and being very irregular. I'm half way through the medicine and I started to have this stomach or abdominal pains which lead me to going to the bathroom a lot and do #2 a lot (if you know what I mean...) it hurts all day and night until I'm in a deep sleep it stops (in do notice that my body release gas at night like you say) I thought the medicine was affecting my stomach but I'm not so sure if it's the medicine or like how you say it might be bloating (I feel like that too) just wanted to put it out the that before this is went to the doctor and he told me I suffer from migraines (this was last 2 yrs ago) I do feel some mood swings and grumpy. And I'm someone who stresses so much (I'm in college....) so as you can see I'm a car reck right now... what would you recommend me to do

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Heather Allen   •   August 1, 2016

Hey Maria! Thanks for reaching out. The Birth Control Pill can definitely be contributing to your digestive issues. Here's an article we wrote about that: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2016/06/21/problems-birth-control-pill/ I'd suggest exploring alternative ways of balancing your hormones/cycle with the help of a Naturopathic Doctor and of course make sure you are eating a colourful diet full of whole foods :) And don't forget to take time for yourself and relax during stressful times. Yoga and deep breathing are super great for that. All the best :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Brite_Nelly   •   August 5, 2016

Hi joy, I've been feeling bloated for a couple of weeks now I'm about 18 I can't poop most times I'm forcing it out and it's usually not hard. I went to a doc and complained and was diagnosed of typhoid fever. The antibiotics helped me for a few days but recently like four to five days now I can't poop, I've taken herbal laxatives and nothing happens. I'm so discomforted Nothing seems to work. I've been complaining a lot about right lower abdominal pains and sometimes it spreads to the left flank, my legs are feeling heavy when I'm not walking or working, cannot sleep. And I've taken lots of water but nothing seems to work. My stomach reduces though but it keeps me thinking what could be wrong?

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Heather Allen   •   August 5, 2016

Sorry to hear you are in such discomfort, Brite! I'd suggest going back to your doctor or working with a Naturopath for something like Typhoid fever. Probiotics may be helpful in restoring your gut health after antibiotic use, but I really think your primary health care provider will know best. Heather- Joyous Health Team


yasmina   •   August 7, 2016

I poop on average 3 or 4 times per day but sometimes up to 6 or 7 times. Mostly these are really sizeable, complete-seeming BMs. I also poop after every meal or large snack, more or less. So technically I don't meet definitions of constipation. But almost every day, after a full day of the usual large and complete BMs, I still have to go (usually later in the evening/last thing at night) and what happens is then I poop just 1-3 sort of pellets or sometimes marble-sized balls of poop. Sometimes this also happens at other times of day too (again, after a huge 'proper' BM) but almost always at night. It's as if it doesn't all 'come out' in one go. I am bothered by not knowing how to resolve this. As I said, it doesn't seem like I'm constipated. To be honest, I seem to have almost the opposite problem, I get a bit freaked out by the vast amounts I poop - even tho' I'm not (generally) eating vast amounts. I'm like 'where's it all coming from'!? I have an extremely healthy diet and lifestyle, eat the right amounts of fibre, take linseeds and drink lots of water, do yoga and exercise and meditation - have been living this lifestyle for years and look in great shape, though I say so myself. But I find it tiring pooping so much, and I think it makes me feel hungry, as if my stomach is always a bit empty (because as soon as I'm full I'm basically going to be pooping again). I have coeliac disease so don't eat gluten, other than that no health problems - and not stressed at all!

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Heather Allen   •   August 8, 2016

Hi Yasmina! Thanks for sharing :) If you have celiac disease, you may need to do some digestive healing as celiac damages the GI tract.It can be tough to make specific recommendations without knowing your entire health history and diet etc. but if you're interested in getting some additional support, check out Joy's nutritional services: http://www.joyoushealth.com/nutrition-services/ Wishing you all the best! Heather- Joyous Health team


Kimberly   •   August 15, 2016

I am literally trying to figure this out! I haven't been having normal bile movements since the c section of my first child and he is 8 years old I use to go twice a day now I may go twice a month seriously!! My stomach looks like I am 9 months pregnant well maybe 7 I'm embarrassed to even let my husband see my stomach!! So if anyone can help me please do!!!

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Heather Allen   •   August 15, 2016

Sorry to hear this, Kimberly. If you search constipation on the website, you'll find some great articles and things to consider. There are many factors that can contribute to slow digestion. Perhaps try eliminating gluten and dairy to see if that helps. Drink lots of water and enjoy a clean diet filled with whole foods and lots of fibre. Wishing you all the best. Heather- Joyous Health Team


Jasmine Mann   •   August 21, 2016

So about 2 weeks ago I suddenly started to have issues going to the bathroom. One time I started having really bad stomach cramps, and when I went to flush, the WHOLE toilet was full! TMI I know! But it really worried me! I'm 21 years old and ever since, I've had problems going. Weather it's straining, pooping small amounts, or just not at all! Is there any idea you can think of that would cause and fix this?

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Heather Allen   •   August 22, 2016

Hi Jasmine. Sorry to hear this. Try removing some of the problematic foods mentioned in the article from your diet for a period of time and see if that helps. Also, stay hydrated, eat lots of colourful fibre rich fruits and veggies and perhaps include some fermented foods in your diet or add a probiotic supplement to support gut health. Wishing you all the best :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Tuliy   •   September 1, 2016

Hi I have always had problems with pooping (i would go once or twice a week) and i went to the dr and he gave me pills and it didnt work and recently had blood come out so i went back to the dr and he told me i had hemeroids and he asked me if in my family had a history of colon cancer (i found out 4 people had it) and i set up for a colonostopy for next week and now each time i go to poop i check to see the color and shape of it and it looks funny to me mainly black pebles and sometimes it has clayish color in it so i took pics of it so i can show my dr it, but there was this one time the other day i had a look and it was a pebble looking but it wasnt smoth at all (it looked like a chocolate ball with those nuts inside) with plenty of clay color in it i cant empty my stool propally and i also sometimes get sharp pains on my left side and i been getting lightheaded very often too and i am not sure what to do i am not sure if its something more serious or not ,i used to be a heavy alcoholic (havnt drank in 6 years now) and i used to smoke cigs (quit almost 2 years ago) i am very stressed because of it please can someone help me

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Heather Allen   •   September 1, 2016

Hi Tuliy, I'm so sorry to hear that this has been an issue for you. It can be really hard to make nutritional recommendations for you without considering your entire health history. I would recommend speaking with a qualified health care practitioner to ensure you receive the proper recommendations. We have a few more articles on the site that I think you would find helpful, but nothing can replace the advice of your primary care physician. In general, eating a diet rich in colourful whole foods and fermented foods, addressing food intolerances and staying hydrated is a great place to start. Here's an article that you might find helpful: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2016/02/23/probiotics-constipation/ Wishing you all the best, Heather- Joyous Health Team


Bob Chen   •   October 5, 2016

Dear Sir/Madam. I no longer senses a defecation urge, and becomes dependent on intense straining and/or laxatives to complete a bowel movement. Please help. Your advice will very much be appreciated. Thank you, Yours truly, Bob Chen

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Heather Allen   •   October 5, 2016

Thanks for reaching out, Bob. It is hard to give specific recommendations withouts taking your health history and lifestyle into consideration. We have lots of great resources about constipation on the blog that you may find helpful: http://www.joyoushealth.com/?s=constipation&post_type=&filter= Joy also offers 1-on-1 consultations to help support your specific needs.In general, enjoying lots of whole fibre-rich foods, drinking plenty of water and managing stress are some key points to consider. Wishing you the best of luck :) Heather- Joyous Health Team


Angelica   •   October 24, 2016

I poop yesterday but i can't poop today, this is always happening, I'm eating many food and drinking lots of water, but I really can't, sometimes I force my self to do bowel movements, im freaking out huhuhu

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Heather Allen   •   October 24, 2016

Sorry to hear that, Angelica. We have some great resources on the website that I think you will find helpful. Here's one: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2016/07/16/back-constipation-happens/ You can also search "constipation" for more great suggestions. Wishing you all the best! Heather- Joyous Health Team


Pamela   •   November 5, 2016

I'm experiencing unusual constipation. I just turned 30 and my body is doing the next gen changes so, I'm not sure if it's part of the change. I may be stressed with a new job and unusually early hours. I don't feel bloated. Fiber intake is fine. Hydration is good. I don't feel full or bloated, not gassy and, softners do work in reasonable time. It's just going from daily or bi daily to every 3-4 days. When I do go, it feels like sick and diarrhea, possibly septic. Not sure. I don't have the best eating routine but, that's not as new as this issue. It's been a month of this crap... Or not crap. I drink a lot of coffee and take prescription amphetamines so, I shouldn't have issues in the realm of the poo...

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Heather Allen   •   November 7, 2016

Hi Pamela. Stress can have a HUGE impact on your digestion and I'm sorry to say, but coffee and prescription drugs can also wreak havoc on your digestion. I would talk to your primary health care provider about the issue but in the meantime, try and take some time for yourself to de-stress, do your best to make healthy choices every day and if you feel you could use some additional support, Joy does provide 1-on-1 nutrition consultations where she could take your health history into consideration and make proper recommendations: http://www.joyoushealth.com/nutrition-services/ All the best, Heather


Mario   •   March 29, 2017

My wife has been constipated for over a week.. she is in severe pain that pain meds dont work. She went to the e.r and wasin hospital where they tried everything and was let go and for the last couple days she been in really bad shape.. seeing her in bed crying just about all day is making me mad..what can she do...

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Rachel Molenda   •   March 30, 2017

Hi Mario, I'm so sorry to hear your wife has been going through this. There are many factors that play into constipation, but a few generic recommendations would be to destress, drink a lot of water and emphasize fibre-rich foods like ground flax and chia seeds. Prescription drugs can also be the cause of constipation at times so I would just take that into account when taking any pain medications and whatnot. Otherwise, I think it's important she is working with a natural health care practitioner who can give her the individualized help she needs. I hope she is feeling better soon! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Steph   •   May 8, 2017

I am so tired of my stomach giving me pain. I was so constipated I got extremely I'll and was vomiting. Laxatives helped me, but I still feel like I am constipated and haven't went all day today. I have vacation in a week from now! I have tried everything I suffer from acid reflux, colitis and IBS. Anything you could reccomend please!

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Rachel Molenda   •   May 9, 2017

Hey Steph, Sorry to hear you aren't feeling too well :( That's no fun at all. Have you tried the above suggestions in the article? If so and you still aren't feeling relief, I would recommend you work with your natural health care practitioner to get to the root cause of this as there may be something else going on that needs to be addressed. Let us know if we can help you connect to a practitioner that would be the best fit for you! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Cesar Londono   •   June 5, 2017

I changed my diet not too long ago and its been like 4 days without going to the bathroom. Ive changed my diet to a much healthier alternative and thought that it would make me go to the bathroom even better than the usual but the opposite happened. I currently eat oatmeal, peanut butter, and eggs in the morning, rice and chicken for lunch, and protein mid afternoon and then after the gym. I was wondering if too much protein and carbs can cause this but I know a lot of people who do diets similar to this and don't have a problem going to the bathroom. Would you maybe have an idea to why this may be happening? Thank you, Cesar Londono

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Rachel Molenda   •   June 6, 2017

Hey Cesar, There are a few reasons why this might be happening, but I would recommend increasing your water intake and getting in more fruits


Christine   •   June 10, 2017

I have done a colonastopy things where fine but i still feel nasea my stomach is so bloated like if im pregnant I don't go but maybe once a week what can i do to help things move along lol

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Rachel Molenda   •   June 12, 2017

Hey Christine, Oh no! Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. I would look at your diet to make sure you are getting enough fibre-rich foods that will naturally help things move along your digestive tract. Think foods like apples, avocado, dark leafy greens, broccoli and lots of water and lemon, especially when you wake up in the morning. It might even be helpful for you to seek some assistance from a certified natural health care practitioner. Hope you feel better soon! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


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