Diet and lifestyle play significant roles in constipation. Factors like age, health status, and gender affect one’s bowel movements, too. Constipation symptoms include lumpy, hard, or dry stools; difficulty passing stool; and a hunch that not all stool passed. People experiencing less than three bowel movements per week are considered abnormal. Constipation may happen as a result of dehydration and not getting enough fiber. While some cases may be simple, other causes may be more serious. Constipation is associated with hormonal changes, stress, and other gastrointestinal problems and affects physical and mental health. There are many natural remedies for constipation. Most of the medications are backed with science and can be done at home. This article will include home remedies for constipation that will relieve your symptoms.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking water can give you natural constipation relief. Regular bowel movements rely on hydration. The recommended daily water intake is at least eight glasses of water a day. Studies suggest that in treating constipation, carbonated (sparkling) water is more effective than tap water. Some carbonated drinks, however, are full of sugar. Drinking sugary beverages are not advisable for good health and may worsen constipation. Hence, sticking to clean water is preferable.
2. Eat more fiber
Eating fibrous foods is the best natural remedies for constipation. Greater fiber intake increases the bulk of the stool and the consistency of bowel movements. Fiber also speeds up the passing of stools. Eating foods high in fiber such as oats, apples, and leafy greens can treat your constipation. Dietary fibers have two major categories: soluble fibers and insoluble fibers.
These fibers differ in their effects on digestion. Soluble fibers soften and improve the consistency of the stools while insoluble fibers add bulk and ease its passage. Aside from the two major types, there is another type of fiber, and it is deemed the best in helping with constipation. It is called non-fermentable soluble fiber. This fiber is abundant in cereals. Eating fibrous foods also requires an increase in fluid intake.
If your constipation roots from a low-fiber diet and you want quick relief, you may opt for taking a fiber supplement. Fiber supplements are effective and are readily available. Common fiber supplements include methylcellulose, psyllium, and calcium polycarvophil.
3. Exercise more
People with a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of developing constipation. For natural constipation relief, regular exercise is a must. Exercise is a proven effective way of improving symptoms. Activities need not be extreme. Increasing blood flow in the abdomen, which stirs bowel movement, can be achieved even by light activities like jogging, cycling, and walking.
4. Drink coffee
Coffee stimulates the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract; hence drinking coffee can increase the frequency of bowel movements. A study suggests that caffeinated coffee can activate the gut 60% better than water. Coffee has few soluble fibers that fight constipation by enhancing the balance of bacteria in the stomach.
5. Take Senna
Senna is among the popular remedies for constipation. It is an herbal laxative that has been proven safe by doctors. Senna has oral and rectal forms that are available online and over the counter. Senna has glycosides, a plant compound that accelerates bowel movement by stimulating the gut’s nerves. Senna is safe over a short period, but individuals should contact their healthcare provider if the symptoms persist after several days. Senna should not be taken by pregnant and lactating women and people with specific health conditions.
6. Eat probiotic food
Probiotics are live microorganisms beneficial for digestive health. A popular probiotic is Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is a type of good bacteria commonly found in yogurt, probiotic drinks, and fermented food. Probiotics can help with constipation by managing the balance of gut bacteria. A recent study shows that consuming probiotics in two weeks aids constipation by increasing the consistency and frequency of stool. Probiotics also help with constipation by producing short-chain fatty acids that activate the gut’s movements and ease the passage of stools. Some of the probiotic-rich foods are sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, miso, pickles, and kombucha.
If probiotic food is not appealing to your taste buds, you can try taking probiotic supplements instead. Probiotic supplements are readily available and can be purchased online.