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Smooth moves
April 12, 2006 1:10 PM   Subscribe

What lubricates bowel movements on the way out, and what makes it happen?

Sometimes bowel movements leave smoothly, as if they're coated in some sort of gel, requiring little hygiene effort. Other times they don't, and require more cleaning. In both cases the movements seem normal, not hard and not loose. What's the difference? What can i do to have more of the slippery kind?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
 
Drink more water.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:17 PM on April 12, 2006


Make sure your diet has enough healthy fats, like olive or canola oils.
posted by catfood at 1:19 PM on April 12, 2006


There's a mucuous membrane down there that helps things along. Sometimes it's over or under productive if you're dehydrated or sick.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:31 PM on April 12, 2006


What can i do to have more of the slippery kind?

(more) Water + fibre.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:49 PM on April 12, 2006


A teaspoon or two of psyllium (flea seed husk) per day.From the sort of shop that sells nutritional supplements,health foods and the like.If you live in the UK near an Indian shop you can buy it far cheaper as flea seed husk.
posted by Dr.Pill at 2:10 PM on April 12, 2006


Previously.
posted by plinth at 2:12 PM on April 12, 2006


A teaspoon or two of psyllium (flea seed husk) per day.From the sort of shop that sells nutritional supplements,health foods and the like.If you live in the UK near an Indian shop you can buy it far cheaper as flea seed husk.

And you can get a giant vat of it from Trader Joe's if you're in a location that has them.
posted by phearlez at 2:45 PM on April 12, 2006


Mucus is the lubricant. Bowel irritant laxatives, such as phenolphthalein or senna, can stimulate the production of lubricant; but they also can cause bowel spasms and shouldn't be used habitually.

Docusate is something that is safe to use habitually. I've always understood its mechanism of action to be stimulation of mucus secretion, but apparently that's not the full story.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2006


Drink a glass of Metamucil every day. You'll thank me after your first twelve-second bowel movement. For real, holmes.
posted by billysumday at 3:15 PM on April 12, 2006


Mineral oil can help. Also, 8 glasses of water a day.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:10 PM on April 12, 2006


Umm, I almost hesitate to suggest something that might not be conceived as the most healthy, but caffeine does a good job of dumping water into the colon and moving things along. I suppose if you don't normally drink coffee you shouldn't start because of my comment, but if you do, perhaps consider having another cup o' joe to get things going.
posted by mollweide at 6:19 PM on April 12, 2006


Well, if you're inclined that way... becoming a vegetarian straightened everything out naturally. Maybe you're just not consuming enough veggies/fruits. I don't recommend a vegetarian diet for everyone, but it did the trick for me!
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:58 PM on April 12, 2006


Pumpkin's good.
posted by flabdablet at 11:04 PM on April 12, 2006


Mucus is the lubricant, it gets slipperier as it gets wetter, and fiber helps retain water.

I can attest to the beauty of a bowel movement after a couple days of eating 30+ g of fiber per day. 1/2 square of toilet paper will do the job.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:21 AM on April 13, 2006


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