Very recently my friend—no, seriously, my friend and not me (see previous article noting how I will die before I wax poetic about my bowel movements)—could not figure out the cause behind her strangely frequent urination. She wondered whether it could be pregnancy or too much water intake, common culprits of chronic pee. But alas, after her UTI test came back negative, her doctor landed on a third answer: C. None of the above. That’s because there’s a shittier reason why you might be experiencing frequent urination: constipation.
Yep, to paint a not-so-pretty picture for you, if you’re, um, seriously backed up, the effect can be that it impacts other waste-dispelling organs.
“There is a two-way street with constipation and the surrounding organs of the pelvis,” says Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York–based internist and gastroenterologist. “The two big organs that have a give-and-take in constipation are the urinary bladder and the rectum. In essence, it is a chicken-or-egg scenario.”
You see where this is going, right?
“If a person is chronically constipated, and the rectum is very full and dilated, it can put pressure on the bladder and increase a person’s urinary frequency.” —gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal, MD
“If a person is chronically constipated, and the rectum is very full and dilated, it can put pressure on the bladder and increase a person’s urinary frequency,” Dr. Sonpal says. “However, if the person’s bladder has trouble emptying and is chronically not emptying fully, then this can can put pressure on the rectum and make a person feel like they have to use the bathroom more often.” Anyone else curiously hearing the opening chords of the “Circle of Life” about this hand-in-hand (or, hand-in-er…never mind) relationship between your two prominent bathroom-y organs?
Anyway, the tricky thing to realize about constipation is that you can totally experience it without really ever knowing it. Believe it or not, constipation isn’t necessarily as clear cut as not being able to go No. 2. Other symptoms include the quality, shape, consistency, and color, of your waste, and whether or not you actually feel empty. According to the the Bristol Stool Chart, a diagnostic tool used to classify your BMs, if your poop resembles separate hard lumps or is sausage-like and lumpy, you’re likely constipated. Cute!
So what to do to fix these bathroom issues? Drink gallons of water? Treat yourself to a burrito at Chipotle? Those methods might work, but you’d be wise to consult this list of tried and true natural constipation remedies. They worked for my friend. (Seriously, people—I swear I’m talking about my friend!)
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