Drinking enough water, regular exercise, avoiding holding in stools, having fibrous food, drinking coffee (caffeinated coffee), probiotic food, correct position, having magnesium and vitamin c, coconut oil, stimulant laxatives, acupressure, avoiding dairy products, prunes, formal diet and glucomannan supplement are some of the home remedies for constipation relief.
What is constipation?
Constipation[i] is an unavoidable condition of the digestive system where an individual has hard faeces that are difficult to expel. In most cases this occurs because the colon may have absorbed an excess amount of water from the food present inside it. The more slower the food moves through the digestive tract, the more water the colon will absorb from it. As a result the faeces may become dry and hard. Therefore emptying the bowels can become very painful.
Causes of constipation
The most common causes of constipation are listed below:
- Lack of fibre in the diet: high fat foods such as cheese, meat or eggs are low in fibre. It is important to have foods rich in fibre such as fruits and green vegetables because fibre promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation.
- Physical inactivity: this is specially the case for older adults. Physical activity keeps the metabolism high, making the process in the body happen more rapidly.
- Medications: the most common medicines to cause constipation include narcotics, antidepressants, antacids, anticonvulsants etc.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) get constipation much more frequently than others.
- Changes in routine: sometimes changes in routine can cause changes in food timing or irregular eating or staying up late at night. These changes may affect the body functions and cause constipation.
- Aging: as we get old our body systems function slow and there is less intestinal activity. This may also add to constipation.
- Not having enough water: drinking plenty of water is helpful or else the faeces may dry up and harden causing constipation.
- Not going to the toilet when needed: some people tend to ignore the urge for a bowel movement. This urge can gradually go away but may cause the stool to become harder.
Symptoms of constipation
The main symptoms include difficulty and straining while passing stool or releasing less quantity of stool than usual. Other symptoms may include stomach pain or stomach cramps, feeling bloated or nauseous, loosing appetite etc.
15 Amazing Home Remedies for Constipation Relief
Some of the natural and effective homemade solutions for constipation include the following below:
Drinking enough amount of water will keep the body hydrated and prevent the stool from getting dry and hard. Carbonated or sparkling water is better than regular water.
Regular exercise can keep the body fit and make the body processes more regular including the passing of stools. It also reduces the time for the stool to pass through the large intestine and also acts as a stress reliever.
Avoiding holding in stools
Responding to the natural urges on time is a key to avoid constipation as holding on would make the faeces dry and hard. The longer it is held the more water gets absorbed making the stool harder.
Having fibrous food
Increasing fibre intake increases the bulk and consistency of the bowel movements making them easier to pass. Some of them include barley, oats, vegetables, lentils, nuts etc. Soluble fibre helps water remain in the stool so that it does not become hard.
Drinking coffee (caffeinated coffee)
Coffee can increase the urge to go to bathroom. This is because of the fact that coffee stimulates the muscles in the digestive system. Coffee may also contain small amounts of soluble fibres that help to prevent constipation by improving the balance of the gut bacteria.
People having chronic constipation are shown to have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut. Probiotics help to treat constipation by producing lactic acids and short chain fatty acids. This will improve gut movement, making it easier to pass a stool. Probiotic foods include yogurt, kimchi etc. Which contain live, friendly bacteria. Thus probiotics may help treat chronic constipation.
The squat position is the ideal position while passing faeces because when the knees are above the hips, it creates the optimal angle to pass a stool with the least amount of strain.
Having magnesium and vitamin c
Many people with constipation have a deficiency in magnesium. Supplementation with magnesium citrate can act as a natural laxative. Supplementation with vitamin c is also helpful.
Having a tablespoon of coconut oil everyday can help lubricate the intestines and in turn help to prevent constipation. Direct consumption may not be approved by everyone so they can either use in food or salads.
Many herbal laxatives or diet teas are stimulant laxatives. They include herbs such as rhubarb, aloe, senna, senna tea etc. These help to regulate the bowel movement without any strain.
A point that is often recommended by acupuncturist for constipation is large intestine 4. This is a simple home remedy for constipation that may work for some people. While doing, the pressure should not be painful odds uncomfortable.
Avoiding dairy products
Dairy intolerance can cause constipation due to its effect on gut movement. Being intolerant to lactose in case of adults and cow’s milk protein in children can cause constipation and should be removed from the diet for a short period of time to see if it works.
Prunes and prune juice are often known to be nature’s remedy for constipation. It contains natural laxative sorbitol. For best result this should be consumed twice a day.
The fermentable oligopoly saccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols diet involves high formal foods for a period of time and reintroducing them to determine which ones the person can tolerate. This is often used to treat ibs (irritable bowel syndrome).
It is a soluble fibre which improves bowel movement and improves balance of good bacteria in the gut. Shirataki noodles can also be consumed as they are made with glucomannan.
These are the basic natural homemade effective remedies to prevent and cure constipation. However even after trying these solutions, one still faces problem for a long period of time then medication is highly recommended. Constipation may be a chronic problem or a result of an irregular bowel movement. These solutions cater to both set of problems.