Constipation is not a disease but just a symptom that everyone goes through at some point. It can happen for many reasons, such as when the colon absorbs too much water from the stool or bowel movements are hard to pass.
This article will cover the main causes of constipation, symptoms and natural home remedies to treat or prevent it.
Symptoms of Constipation
Constipation results when one undergoes less than three bowel movements per week. Bowel movements that are hard to pass are generally formed of small hard pellets (like those excreted by rabbits) qualify as constipation, even if they occur daily. Constipation may be considered chronic if you experience lumpy or hard stools, blockage in your rectum or straining to have bowel movements. Other symptoms associated with constipation can include bloating, distension, abdominal pain, headaches, a feeling of lethargy and nervous weariness, or a feeling of incomplete emptying.
How can one Avoid Constipation?
Practicing Naturopathy treatment for constipation or performing yoga can be a great advantage to the patients. As per the Naturopathic medicine adding prunes, raspberries, pears, apples, lentils, beans and almonds to the daily meal can be beneficial. Also, naturopath doctors recommend the consumption of a high fiber diet, comprising 25 grams of fiber for women and 35gm for men.
One can also perform other activities such as Yoga to enhance the digestion process. Exercise Herbal or decaffeinated tea supplements to move the gastronomy and boost phytonutrients. Conventional treatment such as the use of laxatives is also effective but may have short- or long-term side effects. But before opting for a specific mode of treatment it is important to know the common cause of the illness.
Causes of Constipation
A colon is a muscular tube present in the body with a task to store, process, and eliminate waste. If your body finds it too hard and difficult to pass the stool present in the colon, for too long it results in Constipation. Your body might also face certain conditions that slow muscle contractions of the colon leading to constipation. Here are some common causes or reasons behind constipation listed below.
- The slow movement of stool within the colon
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pelvic floor disorders
- Lack of dietary fiber & eating disorders
- Physical inactivity
- Certain Medical conditions & medication side effects
- Hormonal disturbances/hypothyroidism
- Eating a lot of dairy products
- Loss of body salts
- Changes in diet & activities
- Problems with the nerves and muscles in the digestive system
- Certain neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- Mechanical issues such as an obstruction in the intestine
- Overuse of laxatives
- Resisting the urge to poop
Home Remedies for Constipation
Stress and lifestyle choices are also major causes of Constipation. Unfortunately, constipation can have a serious negative impact on your physical as well as mental health. Thus, it is recommended to treat and prevent constipation problems by changing your diet and increasing physical activity level. Make changes in your routine and check out certain natural ways or at-home remedies to help relieve constipation.
Here are 16 natural home remedies to relieve constipation.
- Drink more water: Regular dehydration may be a cause for constipation so drink enough water all day long.
- Bulk up on fiber: Take lots of high fiber foods, for example, oats, whole grain bread/cereal, fibrous veggies & fruits, almonds, rice, beans, etc. along with plenty of water/fluids.
- Get some exercise: Walking/ jogging/ swimming etc are light exercises that increase blood flow throughout the abdomen & encourage bowel movements.
- Take a fiber supplement: It works by adding bulk as well as volume to your stool & thus helps push the stool through your intestines & out of your body. Calcium polycarbophil (FiberCon) & Psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl) are fiber supplements.
- Take a stool softener: Stool softeners such as Colace &Surfak can moisten the stool by pulling water from the intestines & allowing it to exit from the body with much ease.
- Take a laxative stimulant: Take stimulants like Dulcolax, Ducodyl, etc. which squeeze the intestines to force the bowel movements.
- Try a suppository: A rectal suppository such as glycerine or bisacodyl suppository also softens stool and encourages bowel movement.
- Try an enema: Enema’s such as Fleet, soapsuds & tap water enemas work by softening stool enough to produce a bowel movement.
- Eat probiotic foods/probiotic Supplements: People with chronic constipation have shown an imbalance of bacteria in their gut. Thus probiotic foods/supplements may prove helpful in such cases.
- Avoid dairy: Dairy/lactose intolerance may be the cause of constipation in some cases. If you feel so, remove it from your diet for some time to clarify.
- Lemon water: Citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant to your digestive system & can help flush toxins from the body providing relief in constipation.
- Molasses: A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses before bed eases the problem by morning.
- Sesame seeds: Oily composition of sesame seeds works to moisturize the intestines & provide relief from constipation.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, nuts & avocados contain healthy fats which can lubricate the intestines & ease constipation.
- Castor oil: It is an ancient home remedy for constipation & has been handed down for generations.
- Stimulate your colon: Herbal tea/warm water may incite your colon & be useful in giving relief from constipation.
Some DON'Ts for Constipation
- Rely on processed foods
- Go overboard on dairy
- Drink coffee/caffeinated drinks all-day
- Drink alcohol
- Go in for fried/fast food
- Eat unripe bananas
- Eat gluten-containing foods
- Take stress
- Never hold your stool- The longer the stool sits in the intestine, the harder it becomes and the more difficult it is to push it out. Thus emptying the bowels regularly is important.
- Avoid straining- Try adding more fiber and water to your diet rather than straining to push the bowel out. It may lead to hemorrhoids, anal fissures or rectal prolapse.
By practicing many of the natural home remedies in this article can also provide relief. If these remedies don’t work, or you find that you’re chronically constipated, then visit or speak to your doctor to identify the potential cause and treatment for the same.