Constipation remedies

There are various types of constipation remedies and treatments, but before treating constipation it's important to know what's causing it. Constipation can range from an occasional missed bowel movement to chronic, long term constipation. If accompanied by other symptoms, it could require immediate medical attention.

Constipation is the state of having too few bowel movements or difficulty passing hard stools. It is common at all ages, but women tend to be more susceptible, especially those over 65.

If constipation is a relatively new problem for you, it might be connected to a change in lifestyle. It doesn't necessarily have to be something dramatic. Have you changed your diet in any way, has your schedule changed, new job, new friend? Although these things might not have affected you in the past, as we age, our body becomes sensitive to factors that previously had no effect on us.

Symptoms of constipation

  • Infrequent bowel movements. Regularity varies with each person. For some people three times a day is considered normal while for others three times a week is normal.
  • Straining to pass stools
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Nausea
  • Dry stools
  • Hard, small stools

Causes of Constipation

Constipation occurs when the stool is too hard and dry and when the muscle contraction of the large intestines is not strong enough. So what causes bowel movements to be hard and dry and muscle contraction to be weak?

  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of liquids
  • Changes in daily routine
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Certain medications
  • Various medical conditions, such as stroke
  • Taking too many laxatives
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome , colon problems, intestinal problems

Constipation remedies

There are a number of things you can do to relieve constipation, but you should see a doctor before you try any of the constipation remedies suggested here or anywhere else.

Increase fiber in your diet - The following foods are high fiber foods that could be especially helpful in improving bowel movements. However, consuming large amounts of fiber can cause bloating and gas. They should be increased gradually until you begin to feel a change.

  • Fruits: dried prunes, dates, apples (with skin), dried apricots, ripe bananas, raisins, blue berries, strawberries, and citrus fruits
  • Vegetables: cooked broccoli, brussels sprouts swiss chard, kale, carrots, sweet corn, peas, zucchini, summer squash, potatoes (with skin), cauliflower, and string beans
  • Whole grains, rice, and cereals: barley, bran, oatmeal , brown rice
  • Legumes: baked beans, kidney beans, chick peas, dried peas
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts

Move your body - One of the main causes for constipation in baby boomers is lack of physical activity . Any type of exercise is good. Walking is an excellent choice and helps your entire body function better. Even if you're not feeling well, get up and do something physical!

Drink plenty of liquids - Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. This is probably the best natural constipation remedy for most people. If it's hard for you to drink plain water, try diluted juices or the "flavored" water beverages. Products containing alcohol and caffeine (beer, coffee, cola, etc.) worsen the problem because they dehydrate the body. Avoid them if you suffer often from constipation.

Change your habits - Generally, the bowel is most active after a meal and this is the best time to try to poop. But, if you ignore the signals, they eventually become weaker and weaker. Begin now getting in the habit of being very aware of your body's signals, especially after breakfast and lunch. Don't put it off. Don't rush. Make the time every day, even if you don't feel the urge.

Laxatives - For most people that are occasionally constipated there is no need to take laxatives. If your doctor prescribes laxatives, taking them for a limited time can bring on relief. The problem starts when people grow dependent on laxatives and can no longer have a bowel movement without them. If this is your case, consult a doctor so he can assist you in stopping their use. There are various types of laxatives. Consult your doctor and let him determine what kind will be best for you.

Magnesium - There is evidence showing a link between constipation and low magnesium levels. Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Check with your doctor before taking any magnesium supplements. Excessive magnesium can seriously damage your kidneys.

Herbal remedies for constipation

Herbs that have soothing properties and can also have a laxative effect are chamomile, fennel, valerian, licorice, and dandelion root. Use them individually or make a synergy. Use about a teaspoon per cup and steep for 5-10 minutes.

Herbs that have laxative properties are psyllium husk , flaxseed and fenugreek. These are mild herbs that are high in fiber and must be taken with at least 2 glasses of water. Herbal laxatives, like any other laxatives, should not be used on a regular basis. They can be habit forming.

Decoctions made of licorice root, rhubarb root, and dandelion root are also effective laxatives. Decoctions are made by gently simmering the herbs in water for 20-30 minutes.

Home remedies

Below are a few simple, safe constipation remedies that have worked for many women over the years.

  • 2 tablespoons of Black strap molasses taken before bedtime
  • A tablespoon of olive oil mixed with juice of half lemon in warm cup of water first thing in the morning helps keep the intestines lubricated
  • Prunes or prune juice is a well known cure as well as a preventative measure and always worth mentioning
  • Eat a boiled sweet potato, with skin before bedtime.
  • Eat an apple, before bedtime, including its skin, chewing well.

For additional information on constipation remedies and coping with constipation link on to: Ultra Cleanse Guide - Causes of Constipation  - What are the causes of constipation? What are constipating foods? And, how can you overcome constipation problems?

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