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How to Deal With Constipation - Tight Stools, Bloating Stomach and Gastric Problems

Venkat passed through lots of ups and downs in life with frequent health issues of family members, gained much experience in tackling them.

Why This Topic on Constipation and Bloating Stomach?

Recently, I began experiencing some constipation and gas related problems such as trouble in getting a complete bowel movement (or excrement of feces) and a feeling of swelling of my stomach known as bloating of the stomach. I feel that passage of gas from my body is getting obstructed. Medications from my Doctors who treat me for the heart, cholesterol, and other minor problems, offer temporary relief for the time being but not solve the gas problems permanently.

So, I have been doing some general research on the internet on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) problems and symptoms so as to manage myself in controlling the problems on a regular basis. And, while I am collecting these useful tips and applying them, I thought of sharing this useful information with others also having similar problems. The result is this hub.

I have included an expert's opinion also who clearly emphasized the main points be taken care of while going through these symptoms collectively known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What is Constipation? The Real Problems Experienced

Constipation is the problem of experiencing hindrance or taking too much time in emptying the bowels or discharging the human waste from large intestines. It is characterized by tight stools or hard and dry bowels. The degree of tightness or hardness may vary according to the seriousness of the problem. Too hard and dry stools may be accompanied by the release of blood also as it may get excessive friction within the colon at the releasing point of the anus. But it happens in very serious cases only and requires surgery and prolonged treatments. Normal constipation is, in general, an experience of taking more time in the excretion of feces with a feeling of tightness and uneasiness in intestines which can be regularised with diet and normal exercises.

Large Intestine, the Actual Place of Constipation

The large intestine through which bowel movements take place and exit from body.

The large intestine through which bowel movements take place and exit from body.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation can be the result of one or many of these circumstances.

  • Irregular or frequent eating.
  • Shortage of water for the digestion process.
  • Consumption of excessive starch foods, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Inactivity or lack of exercise in the body.
  • Overstay of food in the colon due to some temporary physical obstructions or lack of coordination between brain and body muscles.
  • Postponing or holding of your stools for long which may lead to accumulation of waste in your body.
  • Stress and strain also lead to constipation as the coordination between brain and nervous system get affected.
  • Kidney failure is another major cause.
  • Some diseases and medications also contribute to constipation.
  • Old age can also be a cause of constipation as your digestion process weakens due to aging factor and weakness of the whole system.

Tight Stools, Hard-Dry Stools Blocking the Colon

As mentioned above, tight stools or hard and dry stools are the results of constipation. Shortage of water due to less drinking of water and overeating can cause drying up of the half-digested food that gets transferred to colon from cecum. The colon further tries to absorb the remaining liquids and wetness from the food before it is sent to the rectum.

In addition to above reasons, the fatty or sticky substances stick to the walls of colon making the passage narrower.

The waste that enters the rectum becomes dry and hard because of above-cited reasons and, thereby, you may experience many problems in your bowel movement or excretion.

Too much of hardness can result in a stone formation leading to piles in anal canal which require surgery to remove stones and clumps.

Bloating Stomach Symptoms and Reasons

Bloating stomach refers to the swelling of the stomach due to the accumulation of air or gas and undigested food in your stomach. The accumulated waste food and gas or air make the stomach swell into a balloon. You will be feeling tightness and heaviness accompanied by swirling of gas in your body. You may experience abdominal pain also. Sometimes, the gas can enter into your upper portion of the body making you feel much uncomfortable.

Reasons for bloating of the stomach may be as follows:

  • Swallowing of excessive air.
  • Digestion problems.
  • Consumption of carbonated food and beverages.
  • Eating foods like pulses, beans, broccoli and dairy products which cannot be digested by some people.
  • Stress and strain.
  • Wearing tight clothes.
  • Hindrance in the passage of gas from your body.

Bloating of the Stomach

stomach bloated with gas accumulation

stomach bloated with gas accumulation

Gastric Problems Symptoms

Most of us know that certain foods and vegetables cause gas problems. There many symptoms associated with gastric problems. Some of the main symptoms, which I also experience are as follows:

  • Acidity and heartburn.
  • Burping and belching.
  • Frequent release of gas.
  • Abdominal pain and chest pain.
  • A feeling of nausea and vomiting experience.
  • Indigestion.

Causes for Gastric Problems

General causes of gas in the stomach are due to dietary irregularities, indigestion, and inactivity. But many other factors contribute to gastric troubles. Some prominent causes are listed below.

  • Excessive eating.
  • Allergy to protein-rich foods and fat and starch.
  • Fructose and Lactose intolerance. This is an allergy to certain fruits and dairy products.
  • Eating too quickly or drinking while talking with people.
  • Tension and stress.
  • Lack of certain hormones or changes in hormones may also cause constipation and gastric problems.

Exercise for Stomach

A good exercise, if you can do it, for tummy health.

A good exercise, if you can do it, for tummy health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome (shortly known as IBS) can be identified as a collective name for all these problems of constipation, bloating of stomach and gastric problems. But, it requires a long-term treatment whereas temporary incidents of constipation, gas, etc. may be cured within a couple of days by managing dietary habits, lifestyles, and stress factors.

Constipation Remedies and Treatment

Constipation and tight stools can be treated at home up to some extent. If the need arises, you should consult a doctor and take medications and advice. The below mentioned are some of the constipation remedies that I follow.

  • Eating fiber-rich food with vegetables and fruits having sufficient fiber content.
  • But, avoid too much or heavy fiber which cannot be digested and remains undigested in the intestines.
  • Drink sufficient water. Normally recommended by doctors is 8 glasses per day including drinks.
  • Eat slowly chewing the food so that it easily gets digested.
  • Take a walk of 1 or 2 km gradually increasing from lesser distances.
  • Practice light exercises also daily at least for 5 or 10 minutes.
  • If you experience difficulty in feces excretion, better use a toilet that facilitates releasing by sitting on your feet instead of the modern toilets.
  • You can use some laxatives also with doctor's advice like Lactose, Milk of Magnesia, etc. I prefer my own home remedy of "rasam" a liquid recipe prepared using tamarind, coriander powder, black pepper powder and cumin powder and some spice leaves all boiled in water. The purpose is to dilute or soften the hard stools so that they get excreted.

What about you?

How to Get Rid of Stomach Bloating

Constipation and gastric problems lead to stomach bloating. So, we should avoid constipation and gas formation in the stomach and intestines. This can be done by following these guidelines.

  • Avoid fatty foods.
  • Avoid heavy and protein rich foods which are not easily digested like beans, cabbages, broccoli, onions, and gas producing carbonated drinks.
  • Eating small doses of food with frequent intervals also aids in avoiding gas formation instead of eating much in one sitting.
  • Fiber intake helps in preventing constipation and gas formation.
  • Don't wear tight clothes and tight-fastened belts.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Don't sleep immediately after eating food. Spend an hour or so in some activity.

Expert's Opinion on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment

"To-Do" and "Not-To-Do" Lists for Constipation and Gastric Problems

All above tips are not restricted to only one symptom. Each tip is applicable for all of above symptoms or for any of the symptom as well. You can take advice from your Doctors also.

SymptomTo DoNot to do

Constipation

Eat liquid food. Do exercising and walking.

Avoid starch and fatty foods. Avoid inactivity and excess sitting.

tight stools

Drink lots of water and try to sit on feet/ toes while in toilet

Avoid accumulation of food in stomach and inactivity.

stomach bloating

Wear loose clothes, and do walking and exercising

Avoid carbonated drinks, coffee, etc.

gastric problems

Eat fiber-rich foods and fruits and drink lots of water

Avoid beans, broccoli, cabbage, other heavy foods and wearing tight clothes.

Important Points to Remember

Whether it is constipation, tight and hard, dry stools, bloating stomach or gastric problem- all are interrelated to one another. One symptom can lead to the other symptom and so on. The whole disease is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

So, when you experience any or all of above symptoms, you should take care to control and prevent the problems at early stages. You can consult your physician and also follow your own precautionary steps.

  • Control your eating habits by restricting fats and fried foods and most of those foods out of your digesting capacity. You can know what is good or bad from your own experience.
  • Drink lots of water and fluids, but avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, and coffee, etc.
  • Practice exercises and walking within your capacities.
  • Try to wear loose clothes as far as possible and avoid excessive sitting for long hours without movements. Keep active always.
  • Change your lifestyles according to situations for good health.
  • And last, but not least, keep in touch with your doctor.

Comments

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on May 19, 2020:

Are you getting treated regularly these three years? I think it got very long. You need to be careful in your diet and lifestyles. Be in touch with your doctors and follow their guidelines strictly. I wish for some quick relief to you from the ulcers and the entire issues.

We are safe here in some remote corner of Hyderabad city. I hope your family as also all your friends are safe. Now, we have to live along with it maintaining social distancing and safety measures.

Alianess Benny Njuguna from Kenya on May 19, 2020:

I didn't know wearing tight clothes can lead to this problem. I have a problem with constipation that has gone on for more than 3 years. I was diagnosed with stomach ulcers but will have to check for IBS.

I hope you're a fine together with your family during this period of corona disease.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 05, 2020:

True Peggy. Constipation and Gas problems are very common among all of us. That's why I searched for some solutions and shared here along with some of my personal experiences.

Thanks for the visit and your feedback.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 05, 2020:

Constipation is something that affects almost everyone at some point in their life, even if infrequently. Your tips are all good ones to help avoid getting constipated. We have no control over getting older, but we can do something about our diet and exercise.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on June 27, 2018:

You are welcome. I thought of sharing my experiences and some of the research done by me to solve these issues to help others.

Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on June 27, 2018:

Thanks for sharing the detailed information.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 25, 2016:

Thank you, Kelly. I am glad you found my article so interesting and appealing. I am honoured with your visit.

Thanks for your visit, nice comment and for following me.

Kelly A Burnett from United States on March 25, 2016:

Venkatachri M,

Excellent hub! I find the lack of exercise combined with stress is a sure way to make my stomach unhappy. All the more reason to exercise!

Really enjoyed the comprehensive study and the layout.

So glad you stopped by my hub on red home gyms. Glad I fouund you!

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on January 30, 2016:

Thanks, Parul.

Parul Srivastava from Lucknow,India on January 30, 2016:

Sir,this is a great hub for stomach ailments and remedies.Thanks.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on November 04, 2015:

Thanks for the visit and a nice feedback. Truly, water is one great substance that cures and purifies most of the diseases and filth. I have seen it with my eyes when my father used to perform wonders with water and a soft mud, perhaps loamy soil. He used to treat most diseases using these ingredients.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on November 04, 2015:

A very distasteful subject, but one that can and should not be ignored! I find that water alone cures a lot of ills that we spend thousands going to doctors for. People assume that coffee, soda and juice add up to water, but they do not. I have self medicated with water since I had a kidney stone in 1998, and I feel a lot better for it. Great hub!

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 30, 2015:

Alan Marshal, thanks for your visit and feedback.

I personally do not recommend "enema" to anybody. It is a very sensitive treatment which should not be done personally by anybody. Some proficient person can do it to the other patient but not to himself. My father was an expert in this. But he never recommended it on regular basis. It is done in extreme cases only.

I hope that @rawspirit will be viewing this comment thread, and he should not feel otherwise at these opinions. It is for the precautions of people trying to do things carelessly on their own without knowledge.

jonnycomelately on July 30, 2015:

@the rawspirit

If you are finding lots of success in your lifestyle and techniques, that is commendable.

However, I personally would consider "90% raw vegan" and "enema's for deep colon cleansing once or twice a week" very extreme and certainly not "natural."

I would recommend anyone contemplating following such a regime be fully conversant with all the theoretical aspects. Do so with complete understanding and get other opinions beforehand.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 29, 2015:

Thanks. I am much honoured by your nice comment. Thanks for following me and for the visit and comment. Blessings.

Robert Morgan from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ on July 29, 2015:

I make green smoothies every day with my vita mix. I am a 90% raw vegan so I have bowel movement tow or three times a day. I also use enema's for deep colon cleansing once or twice a week. I have neve had a kind of constipation since becoming a vegan. I am a Naturopath and yu have done an excellent job on the article. I will be following you. Blessings to you and your family. Bobby

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 15, 2015:

Wow! That's great. You could have included an image of it so that I could have tasted it with my senses. Seems good idea.

Thanks for the visit and this nice idea.

jonnycomelately on July 15, 2015:

I have purchased a small machine that makes me fantastic "smoothies." I include a piece of carrot, a small apple, some banana, small leaf each of spinach, kale, broccholi, etc., fresh from the garden, whatever's available, a pinch of salt, half teaspoonful each of turmeric and ground ginger, tablespoonful of dry rolled oats, a raw egg, some rice milk and maybe a little cream and/or olive oil. Blend it for about 15-20 seconds.

Tastes wonderful, and it helps me sleep without too much reflux.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 15, 2015:

Glad to know, Jan saints. I feel much happy of being some help to you. Thanks for the visit and nice comment. My blessings to you.

Fredrick aka JS from Intercontinental on July 14, 2015:

Got great help from this hub. I'm able to deal with some of my digestion problems with the help of this article.

Thanks Venkatachari!

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 03, 2015:

Thanks for the re-visit and feedback, Jonny. You are 100% correct. Timing and eating habits matter more than the therapies. One should adopt whatever is good and healthier for him. And some physical exercise should also be included in the daily routine.

Thanks a lot.

jonnycomelately on July 03, 2015:

Too much cola, too much junk food, bad eating habits and the time of day, can all do nasty things to the body and its physiology. Add to this a tendency to avoid good, sound, disciplined examination and diagnosis, before resorting to any kind of treatment.... I am not favouring conventional or alternative therapies here. Just advising caution when your child's health is concerned.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 03, 2015:

It's very alarming to know about fainting on a side walk. We must avoid such foods harming our health. I hope they are all fine now.

Thanks for the visit and sharing your experiences. My blessings to you all.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 03, 2015:

bloated tummy is alike a pregnant mum. Recently, my kids had constipation due to lack of water and eating too much of dumplings. They had fever, headace, tummy ache and one fainted on the sidewalk

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 03, 2015:

Thank you Dora, for your visit and nice comment.

I have not done any in-depth research. I simply shared some general awareness points for our self-help in dealing with these problems.

My blessings to you.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 03, 2015:

Learned a lot from your article. Thanks for this in depth study and explanations.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thank you Eric, for your most valued visit and comment. I agree with you. Good eating habits and lifestyles always protect us from diseases and lead to a better healthy and happier life. Thanks and my best wishes.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 01, 2015:

Very well done and interesting. A great blend of explanation and justification. Around here we feel it is important enough to talk about regularly and check in with each other. Teaching our youngster good practices and habits now, we hope, will lead to better health for life.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thanks for the visit and comment.

David B Katague from Northern California and the Philippines on July 01, 2015:

Very informative hub. Voted up!

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thank you, Larry, for the visit and nice comment.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Bill, very happy at your visit. Thanks a lot for the visit and nice comment.

It is not pleasant for discussion, but we have to face it at times and can't avoid or have other option.

My good wishes to you.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thank you, Kiss and Tales. Very glad to view your comment. Thanks for it and the visit.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 01, 2015:

Not the most glamorous of topic:-) but something we all deal with from time to time.

Very useful hub.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 01, 2015:

Not the most pleasant of topics but one we all can be interested in and learn from. Thank you for the great information and suggestions, and peace be with you always.

Kiss andTales on July 01, 2015:

A very good and important hub you have created, we all as humans can benefit ourselfs by reading your hub of how to better take care of our bodies , thank You Venkatachar, you are much appreciated.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thanks Jonnycomelately. (But you do not seem to come lately!!!).

Thank you for the visit and feedback. Most of us do not realise the value of these old practices unless we face problems.

New techniques are developing for easing the life, but they are not looking at the other side of the effects on our life.

jonnycomelately on July 01, 2015:

How the "western" sitting toilet has caused us problems! Bad posture, causing us to strain (the Valsalva manoeuvre) and sometimes take for ages to defecate, is being adopted by many people in India.....just because they think it's modern and more acceptable.

Many people laugh at the squatting method. But in reality, it's the very best way to help prevent constipation.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on July 01, 2015:

Thanks for the visit and nice comment and all votes and shares.

JR Krishna from India on June 30, 2015:

Very informative hub. This hub reminds me of Amitabh Bachan's movie Piku:)

Voted up and shared