Infrequent bowel movements could be very uncomfortable, making you spend hours in the toilet to pass stool. Constipation is a condition when you are having difficulty passing stool. It can occur due to several reasons: less physical activity, hormonal changes, poor eating habits, or medication could be one of them.
While you can always try different laxatives or fiber-rich foods to ease your constipation, at the same time, one can also use heating pads to get things moving again.
Usually, we use heating pads in muscle pain or period cramps, but very few people know its benefits in relieving constipation, making you poop easily.
Here, we will discuss how heating pads can help with constipation and what medical science says about this remedy.
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Does a heating pad help with constipation?
Constipation occurs when the muscles that control bowel movements are unable to push your poop through the colon. Heat therapy could be an effective way in relaxing your abdomen muscles which thus restore bowel movements.
For practicing heat therapy, one can use heating pads. Such uses of a heating pad on the stomach help alleviate constipation effectively. To do the process, you can also use a hot water bottle in place of heating pads.
Heating pads on the stomach help your muscles relax. It is soothing and reduces muscle inflammation in your digestive tracts, resulting in a smoother pooping experience.
Using heating pads for constipation relief is safe, and it is extremely beneficial in reducing your dependency on laxatives or medicines. This heat therapy is most effective in treating less severe or mild constipation symptoms.
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How does a heating pad stimulate bowel movement quickly?
Applying a heating pad on your abdomen area helps your tissues get some warmth. Depending on the effectiveness of your heating pad, the heat reaches down to your digestive tracts. This process increases blood circulation, relaxes the muscle, and thus helps with better bowel movement.
Stress caused constipation and heating pads
Constipation can occur if you are under too much stress. The negative effect of stress hormones on the body aggravates gastrointestinal symptoms, including stomach pain and constipation.
According to some studies, in times of stress, your body diverts blood flow from the intestine towards the other vital organs such as the brain, heart, lungs, or kidney. This change of blood flow slows down the intestinal metabolism and thus results in constipation.
Applying a heating pad on the abdomen causes blood vessels to dilate and circulation to increase. Along with that, it also gives your brain a signal to release endorphins. Endorphins help your body muscles relax and support bowel movement.
Endorphins are the neurochemicals produced by the pituitary glands. These are natural pain relievers and muscle relaxers. Due to their effect on mood, it is also called the feel-good chemical.
When to use heating pads?
Heating pads could be very effective if you have mild constipation symptoms or your constipation is caused by stress. However, if you have severe constipation, it might not be very helpful. In that case, it would be best if you take medications suggested by your doctor.
If you are already taking a laxative or oral medication, it is not harmful to use a heating pad to help better bowel movement. In every case use of a heating pad on your stomach will soothe your digestive tract muscle and give you quick relief from constipation.
Apart from constipation, using a heating pad also helps treat abdominal cramps caused by constipation. Improved bowel movements will benefit bloating or gas problems.
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Precautions and safety tips
Heating pads are great for constipation and cramps, but they can cause health trouble to you if not used properly. Here are a few precautions and safety tips that you should take to avoid any injury:
- It is a big no to apply a heating pad directly on naked abdomen skin. It can cause skin burns. Always use a towel or any other cloth layered between your skin and the heating pad.
- If you are pregnant, it is not advised to use heating pads as excess heat can be dangerous to your fetus. It would be best to consult your doctor before trying anything like this.
- Don’t fall asleep while using the heating pad. This might sound very obvious, but it is the most common mistake people make.
- Don’t use too hot heating pads. Set it to a lower temperature and increase it gradually.
While you might be struggling with your poop, a heating pad could be very helpful for you. It is the first thing you should try if you are suffering from constipation. However, to solve your constipation from the root, you should be including more fiber-rich foods in your daily diet. Healthy eating habits, more water intake are the best ways to help your tummy pass poop.