13 home remedies to relieve constipation naturally

A problem which is incredibly common is constipation. Around 20% of Americans are thought to be affected by constipation, resulting in 8 million doctor visits per year Cause of constipation can be foods being eaten or avoided, lifestyle choices, medication or disease. But for many people, chronic constipation cause is often not known which is referred to […]

A problem which is incredibly common is constipation.

Around 20% of Americans are thought to be affected by constipation, resulting in 8 million doctor visits per year

Cause of constipation can be foods being eaten or avoided, lifestyle choices, medication or disease.

But for many people, chronic constipation cause is often not known which is referred to as chronic idiopathic constipation.

Constipation is classified by less than three bowel movements per week.

However, other unpleasant symptoms can also be involved, such as discomfort when going to the bathroom, abdominal bloating and pain due to stools being hard, dry and difficult to pass.

Unfortunately, a serious negative effect can be caused by constipation on quality of life, as well as your physical and mental health

Constipation can be relieved with the help of many natural ways which can be done in the comfort of own home and most of them are even supported by science.

Below are 13 natural home remedies to relieve constipation.

  1. Drink more water

Constipation can be caused by being dehydrated regularly. To prevent this, it’s important that enough water is drank and stay hydrated

When constipated, relief can be found by drinking some carbonated (sparkling) water to help to rehydrate and get things moving again.

Sparkling water can be more effective than tap water at relieving constipation as found in some studies which includes people with chronic idiopathic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

However, more carbonated drinks should not be started like sugary soda, as they’re a bad choice for health and may make constipation worse

 

  1. Eat more fiber, especially soluble, non-fermentable fiber

Fiber intake is often suggested to be increased for people who are constipated

This is because when fiber intake when increased it is thought to increase the bulk and consistency of bowel movements, making the passing easier

In fact, a recent review found that around 70% of people having chronic constipation benefited from supplementing with fiber

However, some studies have found that problem can become worse by increasing fiber intake

Other studies have found that the frequency of bowel movements can increase dietary fiber can, it doesn’t help with other symptoms of constipation which include stool consistency, pain, bloating and gas

This is because the kind of dietary fiber that is added to the diet is important.

There are many kinds of dietary fibers, but in general, they fall into two categories:

  • Insoluble fibers: Found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. Bulk is added to the stools and is thought to help them pass more quickly and easily through the digestive system.
  • Soluble fibers: Found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and peas, as well as some fruits and vegetables. Water is absorbed and a gel-like paste is formed, which softens the stools and improves the consistency.

Studies examining the effects of insoluble fiber as treatment for constipation have not been conclusive which is due to insoluble fiber which can make the problem worse in some people with a functional bowel problem, such as IBS or chronic idiopathic constipation

For treating constipation, some fermentable soluble fibers may also be ineffective, as they are fermented by bacteria in the gut and lose their water-holding capacity

A fiber supplement’s best choice can be when constipated is a non-fermentable soluble fiber, such as psyllium. Various brands are available online.

To prevent constipation, a mix of soluble and insoluble fibers should be consumed. The total recommended fiber intake per day is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men

 

 

 

  1. Exercise more

Mixed results have been shown in studies on the effect of exercise on constipation

In fact, many studies have shown that the frequency of bowel movements is not affected by exercise

However, a recent randomized controlled study on constipated people having IBS found some interesting outcomes which were that exercise significantly reduced symptoms

Other studies have also found results same as that for this group of people

While many studies have found that symptoms of constipation are reduced by exercise and it does not affect the number of times people go to the bathroom

If constipated, then going for regular walks should be tried which is definitely worth a try.

 

  1. Drink coffee, especially caffeinated coffee
Woman with mug of coffee.
For some people, the urge to go to the bathroom can be increased by coffee which is because coffee stimulates the muscles in the digestive system

In fact, a study found that gut is stimulated by caffeinated coffee in the same way that a meal can. This effect is around 60% stronger than drinking water and around 23% stronger than consuming decaffeinated coffee

Small amounts of soluble fibers may also be contained in coffee that helps prevent constipation by improving the balance of the gut bacteria

 

 

 

  1. Take Senna, an herbal laxative

To relieving constipation, the herbal laxative Senna is commonly used. It is available over-the-counter or online, and can be consumed orally or rectally

A number of plant compounds called glycosides are contained in Senna, which stimulate the nerves in the gut and speed up the bowel movements

Consumption of Senna for short periods of time is usually considered safe for adults, but doctor should be consulted if symptoms don’t go away after a few days.

Senna is usually not suggested for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have certain health conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease.

 

 

  1. Eat probiotic foods or take probiotic supplements

Chronic constipation can be prevented with the help of probiotics.

An imbalance of bacteria in the gut is present in people who have chronic constipation

Balance can be improved and constipation can be prevented with the help of probiotic foods

Constipation can be treated with the help of probiotic foods by producing lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids which may improve gut movements, making it easier to pass a stool

A recent review found that functional constipation is sought to be treated by probiotics by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and improving stool consistency

Probiotic-containing foods should be consumed by including probiotics in the diet. Examples include yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, which contain live, friendly bacteria.

Alternatively, a probiotic supplement can be tried which is usually recommended to take daily for at least 4 weeks to see if it has any beneficial effects

 

  1. Over-the-counter or prescription laxatives

Doctor or pharmacist should be consulted about choosing an effective laxative

One of the following types might be recommended:

  • Bulking agent: are fiber-based laxatives which are used to increase the water content of the stool.
  • Stool softener: Oils are contained in stool softeners to soften the stools and ease their passage through the gut.
  • Stimulant laxative: The nerves in the gut are stimulated by these to increase bowel movements.
  • Osmotic laxative: Stool is softened by osmotic laxatives by pulling water from the surrounding tissues into the digestive system.

However, most of these laxatives shouldn’t be taken on a regular basis without first doctor consultation.

  1. Try a low-FODMAP diet
Protein in fish, meat, and dairy products.
A symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be constipation.

An elimination diet that’s often used to treat IBS is known as low-FODMAP diet which could be effective at treating the constipation if IBS is the cause

FODMAP is abbreviated for fermentable oligo-saccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Limiting high-FODMAP foods for a period of time before reintroducing them to determine which ones can be tolerated is involved in this diet

However, if having constipation-predominant IBS, the low-FODMAP diet alone is often not enough.

Attention may need to be paid to other aspects of the diet, such as getting enough water and fiber, to experience relief from the symptoms

  1. Eat shirataki noodles or take a glucomannan supplement

A type of soluble fiber is glucomannan which has been shown to effectively treat constipation

A study in children found that around 40% of those taking glucomannan experienced relief from severe constipation, compared to only around 13% in the control group

However, no significant effects were found in another controlled study

As well as improving bowel movements, functioning as a prebiotic and improving the balance of good bacteria in the gut is shown by glucomannan.

If constipated, more glucomannan should be tried to add in diet which can be achieved this by taking a glucomannan supplement or by eating shirataki noodles, which are made with glucomannan.

Glucomannan supplements differ in their benefits by brand, so it is important to compare them before buying.

 

 

  1. Eat prebiotic foods

Stool consistency and bulk is increased by dietary fiber, both of which can improve bowel movement frequency.

Through effects on chronic constipation on digestive health is another way that some fibers may help treat

Digestive health is improved by prebiotic fibers by feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut. The balance of the gut bacteria can be improved by this

In fact, the frequency of bowel movements can be increased with the help of prebiotics like galacto-oligosaccharides, as well as make stools softer

Garlic, onions and bananas are foods which are high in prebiotic fiber.

  1. Try magnesium citrate

A popular home remedy against constipation is by consuming magnesium citrate which is a type of osmotic laxative that can be bought over-the-counter or online

Constipation can be relieved by taking moderate amounts of magnesium supplements. Prior to surgery or other medical procedures, higher doses are sometimes used to prep and clean out the bowel

  1. Eat prunes
Prunes for constipation.
Prunes and prune juice are often considered as nature’s remedy for constipation and for good reason.

In addition to fiber, the natural laxative sorbitol is contained in prunes which is a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect

Studies have shown that more effective than fiber are prunes. If constipated, prunes could be the easiest natural solution available

The dose which is effective is thought to be around 50 grams (about 7 medium-sized prunes) twice a day

However, prunes might want to be avoided if having IBS, as sugar alcohols are known FODMAPs.

  1. Try avoiding dairy

In some circumstances, a dairy intolerance can cause constipation due to its effect on the gut movements

In some cases, constipation can be experienced if children intolerant to cow’s milk protein and adults with lactose intolerance

If intolerant to dairy, then removing it from the diet temporarily can be tried to see if it improves the symptoms.

Just ensure to replace the dairy in the diet with other calcium-rich foods.

 

The Bottom Line

An uncomfortable problem with a number of underlying causes is constipation.

If this is a problem, then doctor should be consulted to identify the potential cause and find an effective treatment protocol.

 

 

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