January 22, 2020
We all know there are things we can do to keep our bowels moving-and-grooving – and getting plenty of fibre is often top of that list. But did you know there are different types of fibre, and you can increase and decrease your intake to alter the consistency of your poo?
Knees Up And Ditch The Newspaper – How Bowel Experts Poo
That’s just one of the life lessons gastroenterologists swear by. And in the spirit of ‘sharing is caring’, they’ve told us plenty of other ways they keep their bowel health in check in the hope it’ll encourage us to think about our own habits.
The issue is important, of course. Constipation cost the NHS £162m in 2017-18, with people sweeping long-term battles of being bunged up under the rug. The report last year revealed that £71m was caused by unplanned, avoidable emergency admissions and £91m was spent on prescription laxatives.
In the same year, 71,430 people in England were admitted to hospital with constipation – that’s equivalent to 196 people a day – with women accounting for about 60% of admissions.
So, what can we learn from bowel experts about how to stay regular? Related... Britain's Got A Bowel Problem – How Can We Get To The Bottom Of It? Don’t avoid the urge to pooIf Dr Benjamin Disney, consultant gastroenterologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, suddenly needs the loo, he’ll go straight away. “It’s important to have a regular routine and not avoid the urge,” he says.
Ignoring the urge to go for a poo could lead to impairment of the defecation reflex, he told HuffPost UK. This basically means the strength of the urge to go to the toilet could lessen, making it harder to know when you need a poo in future. This, in turn, can lead to constipation.Knees up, hips downFor Professor Anton Emmanuel, consultant neurogastroenterologist and director of the GI Physiology Unit at University College London Hospital, getting into an appropriate position on the toilet is key to having successful bowel movements. It’s all about the angles, apparently.
When you sit on the toilet with your knees below your hips, your puborectalis muscle (the muscle responsible for continence) relaxes only partially. It’s basically like trying to push a poo through a partially-open (back) door. But in a squatting posture or knees raised position, the muscle relaxes completely.
Try resting your feet on a low stool, box or phone book while going to the toilet. “It’s quite important that your knees are above your hips,” says Prof Emmanuel. Don’t take a newspaper in with youProf Emmanuel won’t read the newspaper when he goes for a poo. He’ll go into the bathroom, do his business, then leave. “Settling into a leisurely session is not the right way of going about things,” he says.
“Don’t spend ages trying to coax something to happen because that’s not a good way, just leave and then go back when the urge comes back.”
This is predominantly to avoid complications when you get older, because opening your bowel for a long time could result in issues with continence and even prolapses later in life.Get movingLack of exercise is one of the most common causes of constipation, which is why Dr Kevin Monahan, consultant gastroenterologist at West Middlesex University Hospital and medical advisor for Bowel Cancer UK, is a big believer in keeping fit.
An active lifestyle helps keep his bowel healthy and ensures he stays regular. “I cycle 10km morning and evening instead of driving to work, sometimes running the route so I can vary my day,” he says, adding that he deliberately avoids busy roads, pollution and traffic-related danger. 
Exercise is independently associated with lower bowel cancer risk, but you don’t have to do it on your commute, he adds: “Having two periods of walking every week, where you are not rushing for a train, also makes a difference.”Hydrate, hydrate, hydrateFor Dr Disney, staying well-hydrated throughout the day is important to ensure he can poo easily. Drinking plenty of water softens your stools, making them easier to pass, and – bonus – can also prevent unwanted snacking throughout the day.Make changes to your dietDr Monahan cites his diet as a key factor to keeping his bowel healthy – especially as certain foods have been linked to a higher bowel cancer risk. Plus, a healthy diet is key in preventing constipation.
“I start my day with porridge or homemade muesli, and during the day I try to avoid heavily processed foods,” he says. “It’s ok to eat red or processed meat, but on an average week it’s best to have this twice per week only.” A study last year found even moderate amounts of ham, bacon and red meat could increase the risk of bowel cancer.Related... 'Ultra-Processed Food' Sounds Scary - Should You Be Worried About How Much Of It You Eat? Most nights, Dr Monahan will eat fish or chicken, and sometimes vegetarian main meals. “The key [to having a healthy bowel] is to have a healthy balanced diet containing all key food groups, not to restrict food unnecessarily, and to do what fits in with our lifestyle.”
If you need to overhaul your diet, do so gradually, as a complete overhaul of your diet or daily routine can actually contribute to constipation. Get a handle on fibreProf Emmanuel is a firm believer in paying attention to what ends up in the toilet bowl. If it’s too soft or too hard, he will amend his fibre intake accordingly. “We need a balance of so-called soluble and insoluble [fibre],” he says.
Insoluble fibre can be found in food sources like fruits with skins, uncooked vegetables, nuts, legumes, bran, brown rice and whole-grain flours. “Those fibres are part of what makes your poo bulky,” says Prof Emmanuel. So, they can be helpful when stools are small or sloppy, as they can add substance.
Soluble fibre is found in oats, oat bran, barley, dried beans and peas, and certain fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, potatoes, citrus and prunes. Upping your intake of this type of fibre is generally a good idea if your stools are too hard, as it’ll soften them.
“Rather than saying, ‘Oh I’m taking fibre’, think a little bit more nuanced about what fibre is,” says Prof Emmanuel. “Pay attention to what comes out. If things aren’t the way you like them to be, act accordingly.”
It’s worth noting that some people with diverticular disease or irritable bowel syndrome might find some fibre sources exacerbate symptoms.
Speak to your GP or a pharmacist if you’re struggling with constipation, and visit the NHS website for further information.Related... Lifelong Bowel Diseases Are On The Rise – Why Is This Happening? What I've Learned From Talking Openly About My Bowel Disease If Your Poo Looks Like This, It's Time To See A Doctor Struggling To Poo In Public Loos Is 'Surprisingly Common' – So How Can You Get Past It? Why Am I Tired All The Time? We Asked A Doctor When To Seek Help Seeing Red? Here's What To Do If You're Bleeding From Your Bum
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Teresa's engagement, Lala's breakup and more Virtual RealiTea drama | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
pL6thz9zRWc
Cynthia Bailey wants to protect husband Mike Hill from ‘reality TV curse’ | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
TO1ltz90FV0
De Niro’s estranged wife won’t get half of his acting income | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
SIQj1AuioZs
Sisqo Has Advice For Drake On Dealing With Impostors, Don't Sue Them | TMZ
October 23, 2021
VkjnwYMtkRo
Snoop Dogg's 50th Birthday Party, Fully Lit Old School Playas Ball | TMZ TV
October 22, 2021
kc62svaZeVo
Leslie Jordan Conflicted Over Dave Chappelle Special and Netflix Controversy | TMZ TV
October 22, 2021
te1ul4AYesM
Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji Dish on Season 5 of ‘Insecure’
October 23, 2021
KA7ZEjY3rvk
Kristen Stewart Opens Up on 'Eternals' LGBTQ Inclusion, Ruby Rose Battles with WarnerBros | The Take
October 22, 2021
7d3MFpaP2L8
AT&T Stock Falls Following Q3 Earnings Results
October 21, 2021
LZNkmpoVefA
JoJo Siwa's MAJOR "DWTS" Hair Transformation
October 23, 2021
4cF2KFqVccI
Kendall Jenner & Devin Booker's Courtside PDA
October 23, 2021
Zfp0pDcZAJU
Necessary Realness: Kravis Engaged & Scott Disick's Red Flags | E! News
October 23, 2021
qxT1EMh6s3o
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.