Explain how to relieve and prevent constipation! Symptoms improved with diet and massage

Constipation common in women. Constipation causes symptoms such as bloating, pain, rough skin, and swelling, and causes a bloated stomach. We will explain simple constipation relief and prevention methods that can be done in daily life, such as recommended foods for constipation that contain dietary fiber and lactic acid bacteria, and easy bowel massage and bowel massage.

Relief and prevention of constipation

Table of contents

  • What is constipation in the first place? what’s causing this?
  • Self-check with symptoms of constipation! What type of constipation do you have?
  • What are the guidelines and dangerous symptoms to see a hospital for constipation?
  • For intestinal activity and intestinal food! What are the best foods to relieve constipation
  • Recommended for relieving constipation! Comfortable bowel massage & bowel massage
  • How to prevent constipation?
  • Who taught you about constipation relief?

What is constipation in the first place? what’s causing this?

What is constipation

Constipation is a condition in which stool stays in the bowel for a long period of time and is difficult to pass. Since constipation itself is not a disease but a symptom of dysuria, there are no clear diagnostic criteria.

Regarding the medical definition of constipation, the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine defines it as “a condition in which there is no bowel movement for three days or more, or a condition in which there is a feeling of incomplete bowel movement even after having a bowel movement every day.” It refers to a condition in which the frequency of defecation is reduced to about the number of times, the interval between defecation is irregular, and the water content of the stool is low (hard stool).

Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress and lifestyle.

[Main causes of constipation]

  • lack of water
  • to tolerate convenience
  • deterioration of the intestinal environment
  • stress
  • Illness (such as colon cancer)

According to these causes, constipation can be broadly divided into two types. Constipation is commonly called functional constipation. Functional constipation is further divided into transient constipation and habitual constipation. Many people suffer from habitual constipation.

1. Causes of
functional constipation Functional constipation is caused by a decrease in the function of the large intestine and rectum due to lifestyle habits, stress, and aging. There are three types of habitual constipation: atonic constipation, in which the peristaltic movement of the large intestine weakens, spasmodic constipation, which is caused by stress, and rectal constipation, which is caused by withholding the urge to defecate.

2. Causes of
organic constipation Organic constipation is caused by intestinal stenosis due to colon cancer or Crohn’s disease, which prevents stool from passing smoothly through the large intestine. Constipation is also a common cause of rectal retention in women, where part of the rectum enters the vagina. In the case of organic constipation, treatment of the disease is necessary first.

In addition, constipation may occur due to diseases such as hypothyroidism, female hormones during pregnancy or menstruation (symptomatic constipation), or side effects of drugs (drug-induced constipation).


Self-check with symptoms of constipation! What type of constipation do you have?

Self-check for symptoms of constipation

How to get rid of constipation depends on its cause and symptoms. It is important to deal with the type of constipation. First, check your constipation symptoms.

1.Symptoms of functional constipation
Abdominal bloating and pain, no urge to defecate, feeling of incomplete stool, hard/rolly stool

2.Symptoms of organic constipation
Bloody stool, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, etc.

In addition, many people experience constipation symptoms such as insomnia, body odor, rough skin, and a bloated stomach.


What are the guidelines and dangerous symptoms to see a hospital for constipation?

Indications and dangerous symptoms to see a hospital for constipation

Since the frequency and amount of defecation varies from person to person, there is no clear definition of “constipation if it does not pass for how many days”.

Usually, a person has 1 to 2 bowel movements a day. Conversely, even if you have a bowel movement every day, if the stool is hard or you have a feeling of incomplete bowel movement, it can be said to be constipation.

If constipation is left untreated, the stool becomes even harder, which can lead to hemorrhoids, anal prolapse, and ulcers. If you experience any of the following symptoms for a long period of time, see a doctor as they may be caused by an illness or medication.

  • Fewer bowel movements than before
  • Hard stools and discomfort during bowel movements
  • have a feeling of incomplete bowel movements

As described in “Symptoms of organic constipation”, bloody stools and vomiting are particularly dangerous symptoms because they may be caused by illness. Please see a doctor as soon as possible.

Also, if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, repeated diarrhea and constipation, as well as no stool, you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so be careful.

What is the point to relieve constipation in daily life?

In this way, constipation is dangerous and requires a hospital visit, but in the case of constipation caused by lifestyle habits such as lack of water and lack of exercise, it is often possible to relieve constipation with meals and massage.

Here are 4 points to help relieve constipation in your daily life.

■ Points to relieve constipation

  1. regulate the intestinal environment
  2. Increase/soften stool
  3. Stimulate bowel movements with massage and exercise
  4. Reduce stress & relax


For intestinal activity and intestinal food! What are the best foods to relieve constipation

Best foods to relieve constipation

The content of the meal is important to prepare the intestinal environment and soften the stool. Recently, it seems that the method of adjusting the intestinal environment through meals is often called “enteric activity” or “enteric food”. Introducing recommended nutrients and foods for constipation.

1. Lactic acid bacteria
To improve the intestinal environment, it is important to reduce bad bacteria and increase good bacteria. First of all, let’s balance the intestinal bacteria by taking lactic acid bacteria, which are good bacteria in the intestines, from the diet. Lactic acid bacteria cannot settle in the intestines, so it is important to continue taking them every day. In addition to lactic acid bacteria, good bacteria include bifidobacteria, yeasts, and koji molds.

[Recommended foods for constipation]
Yogurt, cheese, natto, pickles, etc. 

2. Dietary fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber: “insoluble dietary fiber” that increases the volume of stools and activates bowel movement, and “soluble dietary fiber” that feeds good bacteria in the intestine. Eating a well-balanced diet is also important. However, even if you consume a large amount of dietary fiber, you may not feel the urge to defecate if you are dehydrated, and your stomach may become bloated.

[Recommended foods for constipation] Foods
containing soluble dietary fiber: spinach, apples, bananas, seaweed, etc.
Foods containing insoluble dietary fiber: sweet potatoes, burdock, mushrooms, beans, etc.

3. Oligosaccharides
Like water-soluble dietary fiber, oligosaccharides are nutrients that feed good bacteria. If you take it from food, it is recommended to eat it in combination with lactic acid bacteria such as “banana soybean flour yogurt”. There are also easy-to-use syrup-type products. However, it is a type of sugar, so be careful not to take too much.

[Recommended foods for constipation]
Onions, garlic, soybean flour, honey, etc.


Recommended for relieving constipation! Comfortable bowel massage & bowel massage

In order to relieve constipation, it is important to stimulate the intestines with moderate exercise and massage along with meals. Here are two recommended massages to relieve constipation.

How to do a “comfortable bowel massage”

First of all, I will explain how to do a comfortable bowel massage, which activates the movement of the intestines and relieves constipation. The best time to massage is when your body is warm, such as when you are taking a bath.

1. Put the palms of both hands on your sides.

Comfortable bowel massage

2. While exhaling, press your belly with four fingers other than your thumb. Push diagonally toward the hipbone behind and put your fingers deep into your abdominal muscles.

Comfortable bowel massage

3. Let’s massage while moving your hands from the side to the center while pressing for about 10 seconds in one place (*Repeat steps 1 to 3 three times)

Supervisor: Takahiro Onuki

How to do “intestine massage”

Next, I will introduce how to massage the large intestine by pressing five places where stool tends to get stuck. Take care within 1 hour after eating or when you feel unwell, and do it according to your physical condition.

1. Along the flow of the large intestine, slowly push while exhaling with overlapping hands.

Intestine massage (colon massage)

2. The place where the large intestine is changing direction is a place where it is easy to get stuck. Press four places in an M shape.

Intestine massage (colon massage)

3.Massage the last 5 points in a circular motion while pressing firmly.

Supervision: Waka Mano

How to prevent constipation?

How to prevent constipation

In addition to the recommended foods and exercise to relieve constipation, check the following preventive measures.

Constipation prevention point 1: Drink plenty of fluids (water, hot water)

If the stool is hard, it will be difficult to defecate, so it is necessary to pay attention to the lack of water. For adults, drinking 1.5L or more of water a day is said to help relieve constipation. Also, drinking a glass of water immediately after waking up stimulates the large intestine and makes it easier to have a bowel movement. It is also recommended to drink hot water instead of water.

Constipation prevention point 2: Relieve stress and relax

Intestinal peristalsis becomes active when you relax and the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominant. Therefore, it is important to relax to relieve constipation. Try to create an environment and time where you can consciously relax in a calm state without rushing.

The key to relieving and preventing constipation is eating, massage, and relieving stress. Let’s improve the intestinal environment in our daily life according to the cause of constipation!

Who taught you about constipation relief?

Vice Director of Tamaki Clinic Wataru Miyakogi

Graduated from Wakayama Medical University. After working at Municipal Toyonaka Hospital, Municipal Hirakata Hospital, and Osaka Medical College Hospital, he joined Tamaki Clinic. He is in charge of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy. Along with the high level of expertise, we aim to be a homely clinic where even trivial matters can be consulted. He is a physician certified by the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine and a specialist in gastroenterology certified by the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology.

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