Natural Remedies for Constipation
Nobody likes to discuss their bowel movements, but constipation is a common issue and one that results in many people having to seek medical help. It might not seem like a severe issue on the surface, but it can have many adverse effects on a person’s quality of life, along with their physical and mental health. The causes of constipation are many and can range from diet and medications to lifestyle choices.
Remedies for Constipation
Thankfully, there are many straightforward and natural ways to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by constipation.
What’s more, many of these solutions can be executed from the comfort of your home, so there is rarely harm in giving them a shot.
Note: If you’re experiencing discomfort, please see your physician.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation, but this means there is also an easy fix. Increase your water intake to get your bowels moving again.
Some people find that sparkling water is more effective for tackling constipation, but not all carbonated drink options will have the same effect. Sugary soft drinks, for example, will aggravate constipation rather than making improvements.
2. Increase Fiber Intake
Increasing dietary fiber increases your stool’s bulk and consistency, which makes it easier to pass through the digestive system. In addition to helping with bowel movements, dietary fiber also helps aid digestion.
It’s important to note that the type of dietary fiber you choose will also have an impact on the problem, as not all sources work the same. Opting for the insoluble fibers present in wheat bran and vegetables tends to be more effective than the soluble fibers found in oat bran, nuts, seeds, and barley, which softens the stool.
The best option is to go for non-fermentable soluble fibers such a psyllium husk, which can be easily blended into a smoothie.
3. Get Moving
Exercise can also help improve constipation. People with a sedentary lifestyle have an increased risk of suffering from constipation. Even moderate movement such as a brisk walk, swim, yoga, or cycle can aid digestion.
While exercise doesn’t work for everyone suffering from constipation, it has so many other benefits; it really can’t do any harm.
4. Give Laxatives a Try
Herbal laxatives are another viable solution for constipation. Senna-based products are always a good place to start. The plant compounds in Senna stimulate nerves in the gut and speed up bowel movements.
Generally speaking, doctors consider Senna fairly safe for adults (except pregnant women) as long as you don’t take it for more than a few days. You’ll find these available both over the counter or through reputable online sources such as wellspringmeds.com.
5. Eat Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics enhance digestive health by feeding the good bacteria in your gut. In turn, this boosts probiotics and improves the balance of bacteria in your gut. Furthermore, prebiotics also helps increase the frequency of bowel movements and make stool softer.
Prebiotic foods that are worth incorporating into your diet to assist with constipation include onions, bananas, leeks, chickpeas, Jerusalem artichokes, and chicory.
6. Avoid Dairy Products
An increasing number of people suffer from dairy intolerance these days. For these people, consuming dairy products can have a negative impact on gut movements and cause constipation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a dairy intolerance, you can remove dairy from your diet while increasing other foods that are rich in calcium to see if the symptoms are alleviated.
7. Try Prunes
You’ll often hear prunes and prune juice being touted as nature’s cure for constipation. Prunes are a great option because they are probably the most readily available option for most people.
In addition to being an excellent source of fiber, prunes contain sorbitol which is a natural laxative. If, however, you suffer from IBS, then it is best to avoid prunes because of their sugar alcohol content.
8. Have a Cup of Joe
Coffee is known to stimulate muscles in the digestive system. Coffee also contains a small amount of soluble fiber, which can help prevent constipation by improving the balance of gut bacteria.
However, coffee isn’t a viable option for those suffering from IBS.
Constipation is an incredibly uncomfortable condition that can be caused by several underlying conditions. Thankfully, help is available with the aforementioned remedies, many of which are readily available and natural.
However, if you find that the symptoms of constipation persist even after having tried these, then it is best to speak to a medical professional to identify the cause and find an effective treatment.