Top Tips for Maintaining Healthy Bowel Habits and Overcoming Constipation 

Date

Overcoming Constipation

Bowel issues refer to any problems related to the functioning of the bowel, and the small and large intestines. Studies show that over 50% of people living with a neurological condition, such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple sclerosis, live with chronic constipation and the side effects this can cause. From experience, we find that most people report a long history of constipation and gastrointestinal issues, way before their diagnosis, causing constant discomfort and difficulties on a daily basis. 

Signs of constipation 

Indications that you may be living with chronic constipation include pain, cramps or swelling in the abdominal area, straining on the toilet, leaving the bathroom feeling that you haven’t fully evacuated your bowels, or having no urge to go to the bathroom at all.  

A constipated bowel motion (‘poo’ or faeces) is likely to be hard, dry, small in volume and have visible cracks in the surface.  

So what does a healthy bowel habit look like? 

3 main indicators of healthy bowels 

      • FREQUENCY: Having a regular bowel movement is a good sign of a healthy digestive system. The frequency can vary from person to person, however, one bowel movement per day is ideal and should be aimed for. 

        • VOLUME: Your bowel movement across any one day should be about the size of your forearm. This does not necessarily mean in one sitting.  
        • CONSISTENCY: Healthy stools should be sausage-shaped, smooth and soft, with no cracks.  
       

      Top tips to encourage a healthy bowel 

          • Diet: increase your fibre and vegetables. Aim for 75% of your plate to be vegetables. 

          • Hydration: increase your fluid intake. Aim for 2 litres of water per day. 

            • Posture: sit with your knees above your hips, keep your back long and relax your tummy. Let gravity do its job. 

            • Abdominal massage: complete an abdominal massage every morning to support movement and encourage bowel sensation. 

            • Exercise: moving your body encourages peristalsis (intestinal muscle contractions) to move food through your body. This can be as gentle as going for a walk. 

            • Dairy: limit your dairy. This can be a major contributor to gut irritation. The inability to break down lactose leads to constipation, bloating, gas and is linked to inflammation in the body.  

          Our Role 

          At NeuYou Rehab, we offer specialist, personalised services to support you in addressing your symptoms. These may include: 

              • Education and training in symptom management strategies 

              • Equipment and home modifications  

              • Optimal body positioning and movement techniques 

                • Neuroplasticity in action – using outcome-driven cognitive and sensory approaches  

                • Working with a multidisciplinary team 

              We have a growing library of resources to help you manage your symptoms and live well, every day 

              More
              articles

              Subscribe to our newsletter

              Thank you for contacting us.
              We will be in touch shortly