Treat ibs or fodmap sensitivities, adjust your fiber intake, drink adequate fluids, probiotics may help, lower stress with mindfulness meditation, move your body, try abdominal massage, go when you have to, over-the-counter treatments, hot water & lemon and magnesium are some of the tips on how to relieve constipation.
Constipation refers to the difficulty in moving the bowels. Most people have experienced acute constipation at least once. It’s caused by many factors, including diet, stress and changes to daily routine, and usually resolves within a couple of days. Constipation is considered chronic if symptoms are present at least 3 times per week for 3 months. It’s very common and affects a large part of the world’s population. Chronic constipation can be caused by medications or health conditions such as thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s disease or spinal cord injuries. Structural and functional problems including slow bowel transit and pelvic floor dysfunction can also cause it. More commonly it’s the result of irritable bowel syndrome (ibs). Sometimes the cause remains unknown. In this article, we will find out how to relieve constipation immediately through 11 powerful remedies.
How to Relieve Constipation: 11 Instant Natural Home Remedies
Treat ibs or fodmap sensitivities
Irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) affects an estimated 11% of the world’s population. It causes chronic constipation (ibs-c), chronic diarrhea (ibs-d) or alternating symptoms (ibs-a or ibs-m). There’s no known cure for ibs, but certain diets including a low-fodmap diet can help prevent constipation. Fodmaps are short-chain carbohydrates that are found in many fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and sweeteners. They’re not digested well in the small intestine and ferment when they reach the bowel, causing constipation and other digestive problems. Removing high-fodmap foods from the diet for several weeks and then systematically reintroducing them helps to identify food intolerances. This method has been shown to relieve ibs-c symptoms for those with food sensitivities.
Adjust your fiber intake
Soluble fiber helps soften and bulk the stool. It has shown better results in reducing constipation than insoluble fiber. In fact, insoluble fiber can worsen constipation for some ibs patients. Lower insoluble fiber intake is advised for those with constipation from slow bowel transit or pelvic floor dysfunction.
Incorporating more foods rich in soluble fiber may be useful, but use caution if you’re sensitive to fodmaps.
Drink adequate fluids
It seems logical that drinking more fluids would help relieve chronic constipation. Dry stools are a common symptom, after all. Staying well-hydrated has many health benefits that are related to digestion, though. Drinking water is recommended.
Probiotics may help
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are consumed for their health benefits.
Certain strains are helpful in reducing symptoms of ibs, including constipation. Probiotics are safe for most healthy adults. A doctor can recommend a safe and effective dose.
Lower stress with mindfulness meditation
Digestive symptoms like constipation can lead to anxiety and psychological stress. In turn, stress strongly affects the gut. Chronic stress is known to modify the gut microbiota and to alter nerve action in the intestines. It’s important to manage stress, both for overall health and to ease digestive symptoms. Mindfulness meditation has shown particular promise in reducing ibs symptoms.
Move your body
Physical activity is often recommended by medical professionals to help ease chronic constipation. It’s said to shorten intestinal transit time, but research on physical activity and constipation is conflicting. Even if exercise doesn’t directly improve constipation, it may still be helpful for those with the condition.
Try abdominal massage
Abdominal massage has been used to treat chronic constipation. Specific massage techniques help move stool through the intestines more quickly by increasing bowel muscle contraction. Massaging the abdomen has shown particular promise in relieving constipation among those with certain medical conditions such as parkinson’s disease and physical disability. It’s also been shown to improve quality of life for constipated patients. Abdominal massage is considered safe for most people.
Go when you have to
Certain practices before and during bowel movements can help reduce chronic constipation symptoms. Bowel withholding is one common habit that may increase risk. Occasionally resisting the urge to move the bowels is probably not harmful. Frequent withholding of stool, on the other hand, may cause the stool to dry out and become more difficult to pass. Chronic stool withholding may lead to nerve damage and cause the bowel wall to become stretched. These issues could, in turn, worsen constipation. It’s best to move the bowels when you have the urge.
Over-the-counter treatments for constipation
Diet and lifestyle changes should be the first steps in treating constipation. Occasionally, over-the-counter laxatives may be useful for constipation that causes significant discomfort or that does not resolve with gentler measures. It’s very important to speak with a doctor before beginning any constipation treatment, due to the risk of side effects.
Hot water & lemon
You have an in-built laxative inside your body. That laxative is called bile, and it’s made in the liver. If you’ve heard of bile before, you may know that its primary purpose is to help break down fats and it’s stored in the gallbladder until it’s needed. One of its other functions is stimulating peristalsis (contractions in the colon) that help move the poop along. What’s that got to do with hot water & lemon? Lemons are one of the many bitter foods that help stimulate bile production, and therefore bowel movements. Simply squeeze 1/4 lemon into a cup of hot water, and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning.
One of the main functions of magnesium is to help relax muscles and the nervous system, one of those muscles being the intestinal wall, which is responsible for moving the feces along. Not only does magnesium help alleviate any tension in the colon; it also helps draw more water into the gut, which softens the stool and makes it easier to come out. The best magnesium to take for constipation is magnesium citrate, or magnesium oxide. This is because they are not extremely well absorbed, which makes them more effective at pushing things out.
These home remedies will effectively help you to get rid of the constipation immediately. But in case the problem is still there, always visit a doctor.