According to the National Institute of Health, 20 percent of the population suffers from chronic constipation. Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week. The symptoms of constipation include hard or lumpy stool, feeling as if you are unable to empty your bowels, feeling as if there is a blockage in your bowels, excess straining during a bowel movement, or needing help to fully empty your rectum. Luckily, there are several protocols to prevent constipation and provide you with natural constipation relief. Explore here 15 Natural Remedies for Constipation
Natural Remedies for Constipation
Constipation is caused by the foods you eat, your lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and medications. Knowing what is causing your constipation and making healthy changes can help you avoid constipation naturally. Here are the top ways to find relief.
Massaging your abdomen can help relieve your constipation. Lie on your back and massage in a clockwise manner for about 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat twice daily or until you get relief. You can help improve the effectiveness of the massage by drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea before your abdominal massage.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice can help soothe your digestive tract and relieve your constipation. Drink a serving of aloe vera juice twice daily to help you go.
Avoid Dairy Products
Did you know that lactose intolerance can cause constipation? When you eat dairy products, it can slow down gut motility and lead to constipation. Lactose is a protein found in cow’s milk that can cause a plethora of symptoms including abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, and excess gas.
Boost Fiber Consumption
If you are like most people, you have probably heard that it is important to increase your intake of fiber; however, this may not be the best thing if you suffer from constipation. Excess fiber can help increase the frequency of your bathroom visits, but it may not ease other constipation symptoms like bloating, gas, and the consistency of your stool. This is because different types of fiber offer different benefits. The main two types of fiber are insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber bulks up stools and helps them travel through the digestive system faster. Conversely, soluble fiber absorbs water and softens the consistency of your stool for improved consistency.
Change Your Bathroom Habits
Using a toilet stool helps reposition your body in the most natural way to help with defecation. A toilet stool is designed to raise your knees above your hips to help relax your digestive muscles so that you can poop more easily. If you don’t have a toilet stool, you can place your feet on a small step stool to help elevate your knees.
Coffee, especially caffeinated coffee, may help relieve your constipation naturally. Coffee stimulates the muscles in your digestive system. Coffee also contains soluble fiber which can help improve your digestive system’s gut bacteria. Additionally, the warmth of the coffee helps to soothe the digestive system and soften your stool for easier passage. However, care should be taken to not overdo the consumption of caffeine.
Follow a Low FODMAP Diet
A Low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and may help relieve chronic constipation. FODMAP are types of carbohydrates and sugars that can result in digestive issues. A FODMAP diet provides you with direction on foods to avoid in constipation.
Glucomannan is a type of fiber from the konjac plant that helps to improve your bowel movements. It acts as a prebiotic and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Most people who use glucomannan supplements find that their constipation is eased naturally. It is recommended to consult with your functional medicine clinician before taking any supplements.
Increase Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with an increased risk of constipation. Daily physical activity like brisk walking, swimming, or biking improves gut motility. Although daily exercise may not increase the frequency of bowel movements, it has been shown to relieve constipation symptoms and improve the overall quality of an individual’s life.
Magnesium citrate is often used as an effective constipation prevention supplement. This mineral acts as an osmotic laxative. Osmotic laxatives work by drawing water into your stool for softer, easier to pass, frequent bowel movements.
Maintain Adequate Hydration
Dehydration can result in constipation. You want to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating water rich foods. If you are already constipated, grab some sparkling water. Studies have shown drinking sparkling water relieves constipation quickly. Avoid drinking sweetened carbonated beverages as this can actually worsen your constipation.
If you are looking for foods to avoid constipation, look no further than prebiotics. Prebiotics increase bowel frequency and helps soften stool naturally. Some of the best prebiotic foods include bananas, chickpeas, chicory, garlic, leeks, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Probiotics are living bacteria that help to improve gut health and immunity. These bacteria are used to break down food, reduce inflammation, and relieve chronic constipation naturally. In addition to taking a probiotic supplement, eat fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, and sauerkraut to increase the number of healthy bacteria in the GI tract.
Grandma was right about using prunes to help her go. Prunes are natural laxatives that help gently relieve constipation. Prunes contain both fiber and sorbitol, a natural laxative. For best results, try enjoying about seven prunes a couple of times a day to help relieve your chronic constipation.
Senna is an herbal laxative that is safe and effective. Senna contains glycosides, a type of plant compound that stimulates the nerves in the digestive system and speeds up bowel movements. Senna should only be used sparingly. If your symptoms do not go away within a few days, contact your doctor.
How We Can Help With Constipation Prevention?
Constipation is quite uncomfortable. It can be caused by a number of reasons, which is why it is essential to find any underlying root causes. Once this is determined, you will be able to find out what you should eat and what you should avoid, along with other proven methods for relieving chronic constipation naturally.
If you are ready to find out how to avoid constipation naturally, contact our functional doctors who specialize in digestive issues. We will look for the root cause of your chronic constipation and provide guidance on how to relieve your constipation and keep it away. We utilize the latest conventional medical discoveries along with proven natural remedies that have been used for thousands of years.