Constipation is a very common digestive problem: we’ve all been – or will go - through it at least once in our lives. While many individuals prefer using medication to treat constipation, others prefer natural remedies to alleviate their symptoms.
One of these natural remedies is our good old friend the hot water bottle! Indeed, hot water bottles can help to relieve abdominal pain, increase blood flow, stimulate digestion, and help relax your body when you're constipated.
Let us dive into how hot water bottles can help alleviate the symptoms of constipation!
4 ways hot water bottles can help with constipation
1. Relieve abdominal pain
If you’re constipated, you’ll likely be suffering from abdominal pain. This pain is notably caused by the buildup of gas and faeces in the intestines, as well as by the strain of trying to pass hard, dry stools.
Applying a hot water bottle to the abdomen can help to relieve this pain by relaxing the muscles in the intestines and promoting the release of gas. The heat from the hot water bottle can also help to reduce inflammation in the area, which will help you further reduce pain and discomfort.
2. Increase blood flow
Another way that hot water bottles can help with constipation is by increasing blood flow to the intestines. When the blood flow to an area is increased, the muscles in that area are better able to relax, which can help to stimulate bowel movements.
3. Stimulate digestion
Constipation also occurs in cases where your intestine muscles are not working properly. After you eat, muscles help push food through your colon through rhythmic contractions (for those who like medical terms, this is called peristalsis, in simple terms: digestion).
Hot water bottles can help to stimulate peristalsis by relaxing the muscles in the intestines and promoting the release of hormones that control the movement of the muscles.
4. Help to relax the body
Many people experience constipation when they are under stress. Stress can cause the muscles in the body to tense up, including the muscles in the intestines. This tension can make it difficult to pass stools.
Applying a hot water bottle to the abdomen can help to relax the body and reduce stress, which can in turn help to alleviate constipation.
3 reasons to use a hot water bottle as a natural remedy for constipation
Hot water bottles can be purchased for as low as $8 online or at your neighbourhood pharmacy. In addition to being cheap, they last a long time, up to 5 years if you take good care of them.
In contrast, medication is at least as expensive at the time of purchase and doesn’t last nearly as long as 5 years, especially if you’re constipated more than once a year. In that regard, hot water bottles provide a long-term solution to help alleviate constipation symptoms.
2. Easy to use
Another notable advantage of hot water bottles is they are very easy to use. They can easily be prepared in under 5 minutes and used just about anywhere, at home, at the office, or even on an aeroplane.
Make sure you fill your hot water bottle safely to avoid burns and accidents.
3. Non-invasive and no side-effects
Whereas some constipation medications may not be natural and lead to side effects, hot water bottles constitute a natural remedy and do not pose any health risks if you use them wisely.
One of the risks you run is getting burnt or getting a rash if you put it in direct contact with your skin or keep it on your stomach for too long. Read our full article on the simple steps you can take to reduce these risks associated with hot water bottle use.
We recommend you use a hot water bottle cover. We also advise only applying the hot water bottle on your stomach in 15 minutes cycles (15-minute application, 15-minute rest).
Important: if using a hot water bottle increases your pain, remove it from your stomach immediately. Always consult a health professional if you have doubts or concerns about your symptoms.
We hope we managed to give you a good overview of how hot water bottles can help you reduce constipation symptoms.
To summarize, hot water bottles constitute great natural remedies for constipation and can help:
Relieve abdominal pain
Increase blood flow
Help to relax your body
Nothing better than hugging a nice warm friend on a rough day. Next time you’re constipated, pour yourself a nice cup of tea, fill your hot water bottle and curl in bed with a nice book or your favourite series. You’ll get through this!
And never forget: just keep warm and cosy!