Top 10 Home Remedies for Constipation
Everyone has experienced constipation at least once in their lives and I am sure would have wanted to know at the time the best home remedies for constipation. Constipation is medically characterized by three or fewer stools per week. However, constipation has different meanings to different people. Some of them include infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, difficulty (straining) in passing stool, or even a feeling of incomplete bowel movements.
The causes of constipation vary among people. Diarrhea can sometimes follow constipation. Such a situation usually occurs as part of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. The number of bowel (colon) movements also decreases with age. Some of the symptoms of constipation include:
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Straining during bowel moments
- Hard stools
- Less bowel movement
- Physical distress
- Rectal bleeding
There are many causes of constipation, including:
- Low fiber diet
- The abuse of laxatives
- Hormonal disorder
- Diseases that affect the colon
- High levels of progesterone or estrogen during pregnancy
You are advised to seek medical care if the constipation is severe or worsens. If it worsens, you will notice body changes such as loss of weight. Chronic cases can cause impacted stools in the rectum after which pressure is exerted on the pelvis leading to back pain. Read below for the top 10 home remedies for constipation.
Home Remedies for Constipation: Drink a lot of water
Dehydration is the leading cause of constipation. It is important for you to drink enough water and stay hydrated. Drinking a lot of water repairs and calms the digestive system, thus normalizing your bowel movements.
Studies have established that sparkling water is more helpful than tap water during constipation. Sparkling water may also help people with chronic constipation or even the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
However, do not take carbonated drinks such as soda because they may worsen the situation. Therefore, water is the first and easiest remedy to employ in relieving constipation.
2. Home Remedies for Constipation: Eat prunes
Prunes and prune juice are considered natural remedies for constipation. Prunes contain the natural laxative sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect.
Studies show that prunes are more efficient than fibers so they could be the easiest natural remedy to treat constipation.
However, you are advised to limit your intake of prunes if you have IBS as eating too many can cause cramping and diarrhea.
3. Home Remedies for Constipation: Drink coffee (mostly caffeinated coffee)
Coffee can increase the urge of some people to use the bathroom by stimulating the muscles in your digestive system. Studies show that caffeinated coffee can stimulate your gut in the same way as eating meals.
Studies show that caffeinated coffee can be 60% more effective than drinking water. Coffee also contains a small amount of fiber which may help to prevent constipation by improving the balance of your gut bacteria.
4. Home Remedies for Constipation: Eat more fiber (soluble and non-fermented fiber)
People experiencing constipation are encouraged to increase their intake of fiber. Consumption of fiber helps in regulating the consistency and ease of bowel movements. People with chronic constipation are advised to take more fiber, but at a minimum rate.
- Insoluble fibers – These are found in wheat, vegetables, and grains. They add bulk to your stools and contribute to the easy movement of the stool through your digestive system.
- Soluble fibers – These are found in oat bran, barley, nuts, beans, lentils, and peas. They absorb water which softens the stool and improves bowel movement consistency.
5. Home Remedies for Constipation: Lemons
Specifically, lemon juice can help in the treatment of constipation as it stimulates the digestive system. Eating lemons or taking lemon juice is one of the simplest methods you can try at home. First, you extract the juice and add warm water to your glass, add a pinch of salt and then drink the mixture. Drink this for a few days, and you will experience a significant improvement.
6. Home Remedies for Constipation: Honey
Honey acts as a mild laxative, and can aid in treating constipation. You are required to take it daily. Take 2-3 tablespoons of honey per day. You can also combine it with lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Drink it every morning on an empty stomach, and it will greatly help in relieving constipation.
7. Home Remedies for Constipation: Take senna
Senna is an herbal laxative that is commonly used to relieve constipation. Senna contains some compounds that stimulate the nerves in your gut and speed up bowel movements. It also helps in easing the passage of food through the digestive system.
8. Home Remedies for Constipation: Eat probiotic foods
Probiotics may help prevent chronic constipation. People with chronic constipation have an imbalance of bacteria in their guts. With the help of probiotic foods, the bacteria balance in the gut is maintained thus keeping constipation at bay.
Probiotic foods also produce lactic acid and a short chain of fatty acids which treat constipation.
9. Home Remedies for Constipation: Eat whole fruits and vegetables
Eating whole fruits and vegetables, as opposed to drinking fruit and vegetable juices, gives you the fiber and nutrients you need to keep your digestive system working in top condition. Berries, dried fruit and broccoli are great options to keep in your diet to prevent constipation.
10. Home Remedies for Constipation: Exercise daily
Include exercise in your daily routines to keep your entire body in shape, including your bowels. Walking, stretching, yoga and other low intensity exercises are great ways to help you and your digestive system stay active.
Treating and preventing constipation can be done at home through exercise and with many of the healthy inexpensive foods you have available in your kitchen. These simple solutions will enable you to treat constipation without having to make a trip to the doctor or pharmacy!