Constipation is a fairly common condition that plagues almost every individual at some point in time during their life. It entails a problem with bowel function, which may be irregular, infrequent, or difficult to achieve. There are numerous possible causes of constipation ranging from mildly concerning to life-threatening. Apart from the underlying cause, being constipated is, in itself, very discomforting. Thus, various remedies including allopathic, natural, and alternative, can be used to alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
One means of relieving constipation is orally consuming laxatives prescribed by the doctor. Mostly, milk of magnesia is recommended on account of its mildness as a laxative agent and economic viability as well. You should use stronger bowel stimulants sparingly. In the case of chronic constipation, polyethylene glycol is known to be the most effective. Other than these, prokinetic medication may be used to improve gastrointestinal movement. On the whole, however, most physicians would attempt to identify and treat the underlying disease or infection that is causing constipation as opposed to directly prescribing laxative medication.
Fibrous foods are known to add bulk to stool, preventing too much water from being absorbed from it, which often makes its release difficult. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which should form the basis of your daily diet. As a constipated person, you could also add dehydrated foods like dried beans, prunes, and psyllium seeds or husk to your meals for more fiber. Adding fiber-rich flaxseed to various other preparations like smoothies, cereal, or yogurt, can also soothe symptoms of constipation. It is important to note that alongside an increase in fiber, water consumption must also increase. Drinking at least two liters of water a day is essential if you are constipated.
Teas and Coffee
Caffeine is known to have a bowel-stimulating effect, and thus, many individuals suffering from constipation drink varied kinds of tea or coffee first thing in the morning. Dandelion, mint, and ginger tea are all particularly well-known for their constipation-relieving properties. However, if you do not want to increase your daily caffeine intake, you can consume decaffeinated and herbal varieties instead. Hot liquids are helpful in restarting internal organ activity in the aftermath of a restful night. They push the abdominal muscles into action, thus allowing for a natural bowel movement. Teas, coffee, and other hot beverages are, however, helpful only in cases of mild constipation where no infection or serious health condition is responsible for it.
Physical exertion is significant for maintaining a healthy gut and regular bowel movements. When you exercise regularly, your metabolism becomes quicker and more efficient, allowing foods to digest quickly after meals. If the metabolism is slow, food may not be digested in full measure, thereby hindering the capability of producing and expelling waste from the body. For those who live a sedentary life and suffer from constipation, merely adding regular exercise to their routine can resolve ill-health in the gut. At least half an hour of brisk walking every day is a must and should help relieve your constipation.
Individuals who do not want to take recourse to allopathic and other alternative remedies for relieving constipation may try acupuncture instead. Though there is little scientific data to prove its efficacy in alleviating constipation, personal accounts and acupuncture experts maintain that it can be beneficial. There are four solid points associated with acupunctural therapy for constipation. These include the elbow point, stomach point, hand valley point, and below knee point. You should talk with an acupuncture specialist to learn precisely how to stimulate these points for achieving optimal benefits. However, it is important to remember that acupuncture will show results over an extended period and you should expect results in no less than a week or two.
For those who ascribe to alternate remedies, ayurvedic treatment may also be an option for treating constipation. Several naturally occurring herbs and plants act as laxatives as medication for health ailments including constipation. Triphala is one such ayurvedic concoction, which is very popular with many individuals giving positive feedback concerning its effectiveness for constipation. However, before beginning consumption of such ayurvedic treatment, you should consult with your doctor; this will ensure that the ayurvedic supplements you are consuming do not interfere with the action of other medications. Also, such products should be purchased only from standard brands or outlets, and the instructions for consumption and shelf-life need to be read carefully as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most natural remedies for treating constipation is perhaps apple cider vinegar. As it contains pectin which is a water-soluble fiber, bowel movements become better after drinking some. Therefore, apple cider vinegar makes for an excellent natural treatment for constipation. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and drink this mixture twice or three times a day. To make the drink more palatable and aid digestive problems, add grape juice to it. Although apple cider vinegar can relieve constipation, it might also help treat symptoms concerned with the underlying condition, too.
Magnesium supplements are known to promote bowel movement and prevent hard-to-treat constipation. Foods high in magnesium include soy milk, dairy products, nuts, grains, prunes, avocados, green vegetables, fish, berries, peas, and legumes. This mineral is known to increase water in the intestines, which further initiates a wavelike motion that pushes the fecal matter out of the body. It also moves food inside the belly. The use of magnesium eases the intestinal muscles and helps sustain an even rhythm. Thus, with the intake of magnesium, the water level in the large intestine will increase, and the stool will soften.
Lemon juice increases the alkaline levels in the body. You can drink lemon juice in the morning instead of your regular cup of coffee or tea to cure constipation. Just add a dash of salt and one teaspoon of lemon to a glass of warm water. Make sure the water is not boiling but is lukewarm. Drinking this mixture after waking up can help you pass stool smoothly, and in an effortless manner. It is an adequate remedy that can ease pain and discomfort associated with constipation.
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Constipation can be well-managed with a few smart tips, most of which are related to a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and a balanced diet. You should avoid junk food and eat healthy including spinach. Consuming this particular green every few hours will help prevent constipation. If you want to snack between meals, try eating fresh or dried fruits. Nuts are also okay in moderation. To aid digestion, you can include spices like cumin, carom seeds, and turmeric in your foods. Eat as many fibrous foods as possible including beans, oranges, strawberries, and more. You can even rely on fruit juices, but they aren’t as beneficial as they lack fiber. Lastly, drink as much warm water as possible when you wake up and before bedtime.