Bowel Management

Coffee, Tea, Cocoa or Soft Drinks

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Coffee, Tea, Cocoa or Soft Drinks Drinks like coffee, tea, cocoa, or soft drinks contain caffeine, a diuretic that may move the fluid out of your body. In fact, diuretics can cause you to lose more fluid than you drink. There is some evidence that caffeine stimulates peristalsis (involuntary muscle movement) in some people. You may want to avoid drinking caffeine drinks or limit how much caffeine you drink.
Alcohol Alcohol affects bowel function. It can change bowel habits and reduce appetite, making it hard to stick with the diet part of your bowel routine. It can cause problems with continence and bloating. It may hinder your ability to cope and keep your routine regular. If you’re having trouble following your bowel routine because of alcohol use, please tell your healthcare professional so they can help you.

It is important to do your bowel routine around the same time everyday or alternate day. It can take several weeks to establish a good routine. If things are not going right do not be tempted to change after a few days or even a week. You should choose a time when you will not be rushing to complete your routine. Bowels empty more easily 30-60 minutes after a meal or warm drink (when the gastrocolic reflex is stimulated. You can time your routine to take this reflex into account to help you have a bowel movement. Once your routine is established, stick to it. The bowel is a creature of habit and you may have accidents if you change your routine frequently or change more than one part of your routine at a time.

Managing your bowels
The science bit
Upper motor neuron or reflex bowel
Lower motor neuron or flaccid hypotonic bowel
Other factors
Performing bowel care
Manual evacuation
Medication stimulant laxatives
Osmotic laxatives

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