10 Excellent Home Remedies for Constipation
Constipation is a pretty common health problem, and it is more common with older people. About 20 out of every 100 Americans suffer from constipation. It is responsible for about 8 million visits to the doctor every year. People may suffer from constipation due to the food they eat or avoid, the medications they take, their lifestyle choices, or the medical condition they have. In many people, what causes their chronic constipation is unknown. Constipation with an unknown cause is known as chronic idiopathic constipation. Several effective and excellent home remedies for constipation can help you deal with the condition. However, before we mention these remedies, we should first get the proper knowledge of constipation itself.
You will learn the following from this article:
What is Constipation?
Constipation arises when a person has difficulty in passing stool. It becomes chronic when the condition lasts for over a few weeks. Most people experience mild constipation occasionally, and they treat it at home without visiting their doctors. Chronic constipation, however, may be life-threatening.
Symptoms of Constipation
The following are the symptoms of constipation:
- A feeling that you have not passed all stool
- Pain or difficulty when passing stools
- Dry, hard, or lumpy stools
- Less than three bowel movements per week
- Blockage of the rectum
- When you need to press your hand on your stomach to go to the bathroom due to pain
- When you need to use your hand to bring out stool from your rectum
- Cramping and bloating
- Decreased appetite
Constipation can have a negative effect on physical and mental health and quality of life. However, there are many excellent home remedies for constipation you can use, and you can carry them out in the comfort of your home. Also, most of these natural remedies for constipation have scientific backings.
When You Need to Poop but Cannot
Constipation is the medical term for a situation of not being able to poop regularly or finding pooping very hard. Other symptoms include having a bellyache and feeling sick or bloated. Constipation often happens because a person is not consuming enough fiber, exercising enough, or drinking enough fluids. A change in routine or stress can also result in constipation; this could be a side effect of some medications.
Traveling can keep a person from using the restroom at the usual time, eat their typical diet, or hydrate regularly. Therefore, planning bathroom breaks to maintain a routine may go a long way in relieving your constipation.
Anxiety or stress about using a restroom outside of the home can keep people from emptying their bowels. A person should try to relax, not rush, and feel comfortable.
Tips for Healthy Bowel Movement
Drinking plenty of water, eating high-fiber foods, and regular bowel movements can help prevent constipation. Here are tips for healthy bowel movement:
- Consuming Fiber
A diet with enough fiber can help keep the digestive system healthy. The diet needs two important kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Sources of fiber include the following:
- Pulses, such as lentils or beans
- Brown rice
- The skin of vegetables and fruits, such as apples or potatoes
- Cereal, bread, whole grain pasta
Other examples of rich sources of fiber include the following:
- Black beans
- Bran cereal
- Brussel sprouts
- Black raisin
Processed foods, ice cream, and fries do not contain enough fiber. If you’re unable to eat the fruits and fresh veggies, consider taking a fiber supplement like methylcellulose (Citrucel) and psyllium (Metamucil).
2. Drinking Water
Drinking adequate water will soften the stool, making it easier to pass. However, the amount of water an adult should consume varies. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) gives no recommendation for the quantity of plain water adults should consume each day. Still, the NHS (National Health Service) in the United Kingdom suggests that an average adult should drink 6 to 8 glasses of plain water daily.
3. Regular Bowel Movement
Planning a regular bowel movement that should occur at about the same time every day can help some people pass stool normally. However, a person should not hesitate to pass stool when the urge first arrives. Delayed stooling makes the body absorb the water, which results in harder stool that will be harder to excrete.
The body needs some time to digest food, so you should allow some time to pass before using the restroom after a meal. Regular mealtimes also help with normal bowel movements. Giving yourself enough time to use the bathroom and making this a relaxation space can help because stress can make pooping a difficult process.
4. Avoid Dairy Products
Several series of research carried out have shown a connection between constipation and the consumption of dairy products. Some believe that this may result from an intolerance to dairy, while others believe it has to do with certain components available in milk.
5. Take Laxatives
A laxative is a kind of over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can assist with bowel movements. There are some options:
- Stool softener. These medicines soften hard stool, making it pass more easily.
- Lubricants. Mineral oil assists hard stool in passing more easily through intestinal lubrication.
- Osmotics. These laxatives will help increase the amount of intestinal fluid that will make you visit the bathroom more often.
- Stimulants. This particular kind of laxative creates intestinal contractions that force you to visit the bathroom.
6. Use Enema
An enema is a process of passing liquid into the rectum. This process often clears out stool or other blockages. An enema with water and a little bit of salt can reduce the severity of constipation. Some enema solutions contain sodium phosphate (a compound capable of agitating the rectum), thus helping you to visit the bathroom. However, enema should be the last natural constipation relief. Resort to enema only after trying the other immediate constipation relief at home.
10 Home Remedies for Constipation
Constipation is usually a problem that you can easily treat. A few changes in diet, using certain OTC products, and lifestyle changes can help relieve the symptoms of the condition. Below are some practical ways you can get rid of constipation:
Regular exercise assists the body system in making the stool softer by reducing the time it requires for food to move through the large intestine. This also reduces the amount of water the body absorbs from the stool. So exercising most times of the week is crucial in maintaining bowel movements.
Probiotics are living microbes that increase the growth of bacteria beneficial to the guts and improve digestive health. Probiotics are available in food forms (such as yogurt) and supplements. Examples of probiotics you can find in supplements include:
- Chicory fiber
Prebiotics function as the food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Natural sources of prebiotics are:
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Green vegetables
- Dandelion greens
4. Avoid Straining at Stool
First and foremost, desists from regular use of laxatives. You can use them once in a while, but constant use of strong laxatives will make you habituated to it. One of the examples of these strong laxatives is senna which, too much use of it, may destroy the nerves that stimulate bowel movements. Also, avoid straining during stooling to avoid damaging weakening the muscles around your anus.
5. Consider Taking Magnesium Supplements
Incorporating enough magnesium into your diet can also help reduce the symptoms of constipation. Oral magnesium supplements act as osmotic laxatives – this means that they introduce water into your digestive system, which can help reduce the hardness of your stool.
You can get magnesium capsules at pharmacies or health stores. You can also derive magnesium from food sources. You should inform your doctor before taking magnesium, especially if you have a history of kidney problems. Most foods that contain high magnesium content also have high fiber in them. For instance, dark leafy greens and whole grains are excellent sources of both magnesium and fiber.
6. Coconut Oil
Taking a tablespoon of coconut oil each day can help lubricate your intestine, which, in turn, will prevent constipation. However, your doctor should first tell you if this natural constipation relief might work for you.
However, if you don’t like swallowing a spoonful of coconut oil, there are some alternative ways of adding it to your diet. For instance, you could mix it into your morning coffee or blend it with vinegar for a simple salad dressing.
Ginger has been an excellent remedy for digestive problems. Ginger reduces the pressure on your lower intestines, which may help you have a regular bowel movement whenever you have constipation. Ginger can also assist you in managing other symptoms associated with constipation, such as bloating, cramping, and nausea. Unlike some other remedies for immediate constipation relief at home, ginger is safe for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. In fact, ginger is also excellent for people who experience constipation and nausea during pregnancy.
To use ginger for treating constipation, slice raw ginger root into different small pieces and chew it slowly. If you don’t like the taste of it, you can try brewing some ginger tea or just steeping it in hot water.
8. Lemon Water
Lemon (including other citrus fruits) contains high vitamin C and water-soluble fiber. As a result, citrus can sometimes stimulate your colon. That’s probably why some people apply warm water to get things moving when there is the problem of constipation. In addition, lemon peel powder also helps relieve colitis. This home remedy is safe for any child old enough to drink diluted lemon juice, including pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Simply squeeze out some fresh lemon juice into a bowl of warm water and sip it slowly – the best time is in the morning. Also, ensure that you stay hydrated with regular water for the rest of the day to relieve your constipation.
9. Senna Tea
Senna tea is a herbal blend concocted from plants belonging to the legume family. Senna plants can grow in any part of the world, but a particular type of plant is mostly cultivated in India for its medicinal properties. Senna leaves have compounds known as sennosides, which can irritate your digestive tract enough to trigger a bowel movement. You should not take senna if you are pregnant, taking steroid medications or blood thinners, or breastfeeding. You should not use senna all the time either, but too much of it can damage the digestive tract – use it only to relieve constipation.
You can buy senna in tea bags, or you can get the leaves to brew up yourself by using a tea ball.
Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which indicates that consuming too much of it can make you urinate more, thereby causing dehydration, which can cause an increased chance of constipation. However, research has revealed that small doses of coffee can actually improve bowel movements. The best way to approach this particular kind of home remedy for constipation is to first stick with one cup of coffee and see how your body takes it. If you have some uncomfortable feelings, then the coffee is not suitable for you.
While some foods are essential for improving your bowel movements, there are some foods you should also avoid if you experience constipation; such foods include the following:
- Dairy products
- Ready meals or fast foods
- Red meat
- Sweet treats
- Under-ripe bananas
Home remedies for constipation can work wonders, but that does not mean that you should use them carelessly. As a matter of fact, you should approach them with the same consideration and carefulness that you would use for other types of medicine. Just have it at the back of your mind that moderation is the key.
Speak with a healthcare worker if you are dealing with constipation regularly, or if any of the home remedies for constipation mentioned above do not provide you with the necessary relief. You might be having some underlying health problems that only your doctor may be able to determine and prescribe the best methods of treatment. In addition, some other medical conditions may share the same symptoms as constipation, so you have to be certain that it is constipation that you are experiencing.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.