Constipation is a symptom that is associated with several chronic digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A person suffering from constipation can experience bloating, abdominal cramping and painful bowel movements. Constipation is generally defined as having less than three bowel movements a week. The good news is that you can find natural constipation relief and avoid having to take laxatives.
Constipation most commonly occurs when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract. This causes the stool to become hard and dry. One way to relieve constipation is to drink plenty of fluids and rehydrate. The recommended daily water intake is 8 – 10 glasses. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these can cause dehydration.
Alter Your Diet
Your daily diet should include at least 20 to 25 grams of fiber. Eat more beans, especially lima and kidney, pick whole grain and whole wheat cereals, breads, pastas and oatmeal, and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Leafy greens like spinach and cabbage are good sources of fiber, as are broccoli, zucchini, apples, pears, figs, prunes and oranges.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Aerobic exercise will increase the blood flow to your gastrointestinal tract, leading to quicker and smoother movement of waste through the colon and out of your body. Effective exercise includes biking, swimming, running, walking and yoga. However, don’t take your exercise to the extreme. Exercising too hard can cause another problem, diarrhea. Finding a balance is key.
Activate Your Bowel Movement
Experts advise that one of the best constipation remedies is to set aside a regular time, every day, to attempt to evacuate your bowels. For most people, the best time to try to have a bowel movement is in the morning before they take a shower. Sit on the toilet for at least 10 minutes every day, whether your bowels move or not.
Natural Remedies to Relieve Constipation
Drink some Oil! Yes, I said oil. (It’s not just for cooking)
Pure olive oil stimulates your digestive system, which helps get things moving through your colon. Drinking it every once in a while it can even prevent constipation.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
You should drink a tablespoon in the morning on an empty stomach. Don’t take it when you have eaten.
Squeeze your Lemons!
Not only do lemons smell delicious and make tasty drinks, they also help your stomach. The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant to your digestive system. The acid helps flush out toxins and undigested material that may have built up in the colon.
- 1 fresh lemon
- 1 cup of water
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into 1 cup of warm water, then sip until you can’t sip anymore!
Aloe Vera is Very, Very Beneficial!
Take pure aloe vera gel from the plant, because it is more concentrated than commercial aloe juice.
- 2 tablespoons of pure aloe gel or 1 cup of aloe vera juice
Mix 2 tablespoons of pure gel with fruit juice and drink in the morning.
Baking Soda, Baking in the Belly
Baking Soda works so well for constipation because it is a bicarbonate, which encourages air to come out of you one way or another, and relieve pain from pressure. It also re-alkalizes the stomach, neutralizing the acid a little bit and helping things pass through your gut.
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ cup warm water
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with ¼ cup of warm water. Then quickly drink the mixture. The quicker the better it works!
Blackstrap molasses is crystallized, but contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, specifically magnesium. Consume one teaspoon of the molasses, and if you find that a teaspoon has not been effective, you can drink as many as 1-2 tablespoons.
Add These to Your Diet!
- Aloe Vera
- Greek Yogurt
- Activia Yogurt
- Flax Seeds
- Prune Juice
Whole Grains – Natural Constipation Remedy
Do you avoid carbs, with the belief that they are causing you constipation? Think again! If the bread you’re eating is made from whole-grains, it can actually act as a natural constipation remedy. Whole-grain breads are low in fat and high in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates.
How Much Fiber Do You Need For Natural Remedy Of Constipation?
Often constipation and IBS symptoms are simply the result of consuming too little fiber. The average adult needs between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day as a natural remedy for IBS. To avoid bloating and cramping, you don’t want to suddenly go from eating 10 grams of fiber to 25 in a day, according to Charlene Prather, MD. Add more fiber-filled foods to your diet gradually, and drink plenty of fluids in the process to help fiber flow properly through your digestive tract.
Other Fiber-Rich Options That Help Treat IBS
In addition to whole grains, there are an endless amount of high-fiber alternatives to naturally treat IBS. High-fiber breakfast cereals have at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. If your favorite cereal doesn’t have a lot of fiber, you can add your own by sprinkling wheat bran or flaxseed on top. For a sweet constipation remedy, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are all great examples. A half-cup of fresh strawberries provides 2 grams of fiber while the same size serving of blackberries will provide 3.8 grams and raspberries 4 grams.
For a light snack, popcorn is a great low-calorie way to include more fiber in your diet. Popcorn is a whole grain, as well. Another delicious, and surprisingly a great option for battling constipation are potatoes. One medium baked potato with the skin on will provide 3.8 grams of fiber. A sweet potato is an even better alternative, providing 4.8 grams of fiber with its skin.
Know When to Visit a Doctor!
All of these tips are no replacement for traditional medicine. Especially when the problem persists. In those situations you HAVE TO visit a doctor, do tests and learn more about your bowels.