You’re ready, willing and eager to poop—but you just can’t seem to get the job done.
You’re not alone. Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the U.S., affecting an estimated 42 million people every year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
But it can mean different things for different people. One person’s constipation may mean having a bowel moment fewer than three times per week, says Satish Rao, M.D., director of the Digestive Health Center at Augusta University. Another’s might be pooping three times a day, but still having “incomplete evacuation,” or a feeling of pressure, like you didn’t get everything out, he says.
Constipation can make you feel bloated, gassy, and generally pretty crappy—and it can raise your risk of unpleasant conditions like hemorrhoids, too.
Increasing your fibre, drinking more fluids, and taking probiotics can help you in the long-term, says Dr. Rao—but if you need a faster fix, try these 5 tricks to get pooping right now.