Constipation is a common health problem experienced by most people; this digestive problem can be caused by poor diet (mostly regular intake of processed foods that have been stripped of fiber and its nutrients).
Other causes are dehydration, unhealthy lifestyles, side effects of medication, underlying medical condition, stress, and problems with the digestive system. Some people have chronic constipation and the cause is unknown; this is called chronic idiopathic constipation.
For diagnosis of constipation, one must have less than three movements of bowels per week; it also comes along with discomforting signs and symptoms like bloating, gas, hard stools, painful bowel movement, dry and difficult bowel movement and restlessness.
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If left untreated, it can lead to diverticular disease; fecal impaction, prolapsed rectum, varicose veins, anal tears and fissures, and piles also known as hemorrhoids.
Effective Natural Remedies for Constipation
Below are ten wonderful remedies for constipation.
As stated above, dehydration is a major cause of constipation; being dehydrated regularly can lead to the formation of hard stools which becomes difficult to eliminate.
To avoid this and also to treat constipation; take lots of water daily, take at least 8 cups of water on a daily basis and take more during hot weather or after an intense exercise or hard physical labor.
When you are constipating, you should drink carbonated water also; this will help rehydrate you and set the bowels moving. Some studies confirmed carbonated water to be better than ordinary tap water. It even helps those with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic idiopathic constipation.
Note that too many carbonated drinks like sugary sodas are not good for your health; they can make your condition worse and cause other health problems.
Increase your intake of fiber
People who are constipated are deficient in fiber and increasing your levels of this vital nutrient will help you overcome this condition.
When you increase your intake of fiber; it will help to increase the bulk of your stool, it will increase the number of bowel movement and also aid easy movement of bowels.
You should take in the two classes of fiber because each has its own functions. Insoluble fibers aid easy movement of stools through the digestive system and they can be found in whole grains, wheat bran, and vegetables. Soluble fibers soften stools and improve its consistency and they can be gotten from fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
This works for some people; caffeinated coffee increases the urge to use the bathroom because coffee stimulates the muscles of the digestive system.
A study found that coffee has the ability to stimulate the gut the same way meals can; this effect it has on the gut is 60% stronger than that of drinking water and 23% stronger than the effect of decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee also has a little amount of soluble fiber which helps in preventing and treating constipation; it also improves the friendly bacteria in the gut and stimulates the muscles in the gut.
These seeds are rich in many laxative compounds and they are effective in curing mild to moderate constipation. They have been used in the treatment of constipation since ancient Egypt.
They are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids; take flaxseed tea by adding a teaspoon of flaxseed to a cup of hot water. Leave it to steep for at least five minutes, strain it and drink it when cool.
You can also add powdered flaxseeds to your meals like soups, salads, cereals, yogurt, smoothies and anything you choose.
Lemons are rich in citric acid; this compound stimulates the digestive system, it also eliminates toxins from the body and this helps in relieving constipation because toxins can clog the digestive system and cause lots of problems and constipation is one of them.
Take lots of lemon water when you are experiencing constipation; take it on an empty stomach in the morning and regularly take it during the day, before meals and after meals.
It also hydrates the body and reverses dehydration which is also a cause of constipation; it also boosts healthy digestion and prevents other digestive problems.
Lemon water is very easy to make; get some good juicy lemons and juice them. Mix the juice with water twice its size and your lemon water is ready. You can preserve it in a fridge.
Aloe vera juice
It serves as a natural laxative; it reduces inflammation in the body and it improves the frequency of bowel movement. Take ¼ cup of aloe vera juice twice daily and reduce the quantity as the symptoms reduce till you get normal.
They are rich in pectin which is an insoluble fiber that makes the stool bulky; it aids regular bowel movement and allows stool to pass through the digestive system easily.
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Prune or prune juices are one of the most effective cures for constipation; they act as natural laxatives due to their high content of fiber. They also contain sorbitol which is a natural stool softener; it can’t be digested, so it carries a lot of water as it passes through the intestine and this makes the stool bulky.
Do not take an excess of this; it can make stool too soft and also cause gas and diarrhea. Take two glasses of prune juice daily till you get relief; one in the morning and one at night before going to bed. You can also eat plenty prunes daily if you don’t want to drink the juice.
The king of home remedies, baking soda is not left out in the treatment of constipation. It reverses constipation and stomach pain; it contains bicarbonate which dispels air from the body and relieves pain caused by pressure, it also neutralizes stomach acid and aids regular movement of bowels.
Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water; stir thoroughly and drink it at once, not in sips. This will make it work better.
Moderate exercise and physical activity help to increase the activities of the muscles in the intestines; they even boost the functions of the digestive system and set it “fired up” when done in the morning.
Rebounding is good in stimulating the functions of the lymphatic system and it also stimulates bowel movements. Light exercises like walking, dancing, stretching, jogging and swimming can support bowel functions.