When the bowel is healthy, it works regularly and goes unnoticed. Instead, you should worry about the presence of symptoms and never underestimate them.

Doctor Beatrice Salvioli, gastroenterologist at Humanitas, spoke about the lazy bowel in an interview for Radio24’s program “Heart and money”.

In the past doctors were the ones to decide whether an intestine was lazy or not, according to international criteria that are valid still today. However, as Doctor Salvioli remarks, nowadays we went from objectivity to subjectivity. “The disorder is not defined by the frequency of evacuations, but by the way patients feel their own health and life quality”. Thus, the lazy bowel is a subjective disorder, mainly present in women.

Indulge in the stimulus

“The most natural position to evacuate is the one we assume when we use a squat toilet. In fact, sitting on the toilet for a long time may be harmful in the long run, because gravity pushes on the pelvic floor. This may lead to severe issues, such as hemorrhoids and prolapses”.

Thus, it is important to avoid spending too much time on the toilet and also to educate children to behave this way.

“Another important aspect to keep into consideration when educating children, is avoiding feeling ashamed when the need to evacuate arises. In fact, it is paramount to indulge in the stimulus when it is present. Instead, children often find it difficult to evacuate at school and wait to be at home, but the stimulus may disappear in the meantime. They risk to wait many days, and impactions (lumps of hard stool) may develop. This mass may cause fissures, pain, worse constipation, and start a vicious cycle that may lead to chronic constipation and a difficult relationship with the act of evacuating itself”, the specialist says.

Tips to avoid having a lazy bowel

  • Fibers play a very important role, both in quantity and in quality. In fact, some fibers require more water and facilitate intestinal movements.
  • Intestinal movements may be helped by eating kiwis, ripe pears, bran or oatmeal at breakfast.
  • Legumes are important too. Those who suffer from bloating should eat decorticated ones.
  • It is paramount to drink water, almost one liter and a half per day. “Eating many vegetables and drinking too little water hinders the intestinal movements instead of helping them”, Doctor Salvioli highlights.
  • You should also exercise regularly if you want to stimulate your bowel and help its movements.
  • If it is necessary, you may also use osmotic laxatives.