How to Soften Stool?

Having hard stool makes bowel movement taxing and even painful. Generally, this is because the stool’s softness had been lost due to sluggish muscle contraction, causing the water in the stool to get absorbed in the colon. Every bowel movement often becomes a struggle as the person has to strain for the stool to come out. Moreover, the fear of feeling pain when defecating causes one to hold back which only makes the condition worse.

There are natural homecare remedies to address hard stool.  Their objective, generally, is to soften the stool and avoid similar problems in the future. Yet, if the condition persists despite varied efforts to address it, it would be best to seek medical advice and get a thorough evaluation so that the suitable treatment method can be employed.

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Causes of having Hard Stool

There are several reasons why the stool hardens, and these include:

  • Dehydration and low-fiber diet

Dehydration is the main culprit for the hardening of stool.  When the body is dehydrated, the fluid in the stool is absorbed, thus, making it hard and dry. Stool also becomes firm when the person’s diet is low in fiber.

  • Poor bowel movement habits

People who have irregular bowel movements will likely pass hard stools because the stool hardens the longer it stays in the rectum. Abnormal growths may also prevent one from passing stool regularly as these growths may block off the passageway for stool, allowing it to stay a bit longer.

  • Lack of exercise

Living an inactive lifestyle weakens the normal body functioning and response to illnesses. It could also affect the normal digestive function which will result in the hardening of stool.

  • Medicines

Drugs that contain iron and calcium are known to harden stool because they promote fluid retention, leaving little fluid available to soften the stool.

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Natural Remedies for Softening Hard Stool

People who are constipated normally pass hard stools. It is important for these individuals to soften their stools as constant straining when defecating could tear the tissues of the rectum and anus causing them to bleed. Some of the natural ways to soften hard stools are:

  • Increasing the fiber intake

Fiber helps in maintaining normal stool consistency by absorbing large amounts of fluids. It also helps in promoting regular defecation. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, oatmeal, bran cereals, beans, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

  • Drinking lots of water

Increasing water intake helps soften stools naturally by keeping the body hydrated and providing the needed moisture in stool formation. It is highly recommended to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. High-fiber prune or apple juices are healthier choices which also help soften stools.

  • Exercising regularly

Exercising at least 90 minutes every week stimulates normal body functioning, proper digestion and intestinal contractions which soften hard stools quickly. Walking, biking, jogging and swimming are great exercises to encourage normal bowel movement.

  • Moving bowels regularly

Affected individuals should change their defecation habits by not holding back their bowels when feeling the urge. Regular defecation is the natural way of softening the stool.

Should these natural remedies to soften hard stool prove ineffective, there are over-the-counter medications and suppositories which will help in softening stools.


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