Tips for a healthy digestive system Timing Sit on the toilet about 20 minutes after eating a meal to take advantage of your gastrocolic reflex. The gastrocolic reflex will stimulate faeces to move through the large bowel leading to a bowel motion. Transit Time The time it takes for ingested food to travel through your gut is between 24-36 hours (if consuming a western diet). If transit time is too slow, bowel motions can become dry and hard. If transit time is too fast, there is more fluid in the bowel and bowel motions can become loose or liquid (diarrhoea). Constipation Fibre Your fibre intake should be about 25-30g each day to keep the gut healthy. Fluids Drink 6-8 glasses of non-caffeinated fluids daily. Exercise Stimulate bowel movement with regular gentle exercise. Faecal Incontinence Toilet Position Adopt a good toileting position. Foot rest Correct Position • Knees higher and wider than hips • Lean forward and put elbows on knees • Bulge out your abdomen • Straighten your spine • Avoid straining or holding your breath Your bowel motions are difficult to pass, and you are straining at least 25% of the time. Bowel motions are lumpy and hard at least 25% of the time and you are having less than 3 bowel motions each week. There is a sensation of incomplete emptying of your bowel. Independence Australia has a large range of laxatives, suppositories and enemas to assist you with the management of your constipation. Accidental leakage of a bowel motion. It can be a sign of chronic constipation, diarrhoea or other underlying health issue that needs investigation. Any ongoing changes in your bowel motions or frequency of your bowel motions should be discussed with your doctor to rule out any serious health issues causing these changes. Independence Australia has a large range of bowel care products and aids to assist with management of your bowel leakage problems. • protection (pads, bedsheets) • anal plugs • anal irrigation • disposable pads • activated charcoal • skin care to prevent dermatitis Independence Australia specialises in bowel care related products. Visit store.independenceaustralia.com or call 1300 788 855 Disclaimer: The information supplied is general in nature. Please consult your health professional for individual advice.