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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Drink coffee, especially caffeinated coffee