Talking about suffering from constipation may feel embarrassing, but almost everyone on planet Earth has experienced, or will experience, this medical condition at some point.
Whether you struggle with infrequent bowel movements, with stools that are hard or painful to pass or with bowel movements that never come regardless of straining, there are some natural remedies for constipation that may be able to help you.
For a more comfortable and regular system, consider these troubleshooting remedies, which can help you understand how to assist your bowels in functioning more properly.
Drinking enough water
Not drinking enough water will back up your system. For an easy, non-medicated and free approach to relieving your body of constipation, make sure to take in the right kinds of fluid. Carbonated sodas and alcohol can actually have dehydrating effects on your body so stick to nature’s beverage of choice and drink 8 to 16 glasses of water everyday.
Go out and buy a big water bottle, if need be, to always have a drink within arm’s reach and to remind you to stay on top of your desired consumption.
Eating enough fiber
Fiber essentially is the wonder drug that makes bowel movements possible even when your pipes have been blocked for awhile. Eat a hearty, high-fiber breakfast to give your body a dose of what it needs when you first wake up. Eat whole grains and fruit in the morning and then some cooked beans, dark-green vegetables and starchy vegetables later in the day for lunch.
Don’t skimp on the water because increasing your fiber intake without increasing your water consumption can actually cause constipation.
Getting enough exercise
Your body needs an adequate amount of exercise in order for your heart to get beating, your blood to get pumping and your digestive tract to get things rolling. If you’ve been suffering from episodes of constipation, consider if a lack of an exercise routine could be playing a role in your problem.
Maintaining an immobile, low-level of activity lifestyle can be harming your health all around, but you may only be noticing the bowel-related symptoms of such habits. Develop a routine that works for you. If you can walk twenty minutes a day, five days a week, that’s great. If you can add in some jogging, running, cycling or swimming, wonderful.
If your present exercise system consists of walking from the couch to the fridge and back again, it’s okay to start small and gradually increase your level of physical activity while you build strength and endurance.
Trying an olive oil treatment
Olive oil can act as a nice, safe lubricant for your digestive tract, naturally easing your constipation problems. Measure a tablespoon of olive oil and either drink it directly like you would a cough medicine or pour it on something like a whole-grain roll or a salad topped with nuts. Follow-up the medicine-style approach with eating a fiber-containing meal so you aren’t ingesting the fatty liquid all by itself.
Olive oil has around 120 calories per tablespoon so if you want to take a dose at each meal for a day or two, make sure to be taking out the butter or fats in other meal choices so you’re not not just adding in over 300 extra calories of fat each day.
Drinking honey and lemon juice
The scientific research to solidly back up a honey and lemon drink is lacking, but you may find that the anecdotally-liked solution also works for you.
Mix a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice into 8 ounces of warm water and drink up the naturally-sweet mixture. You can opt for ingesting this type of solution every day for a few days, if desired, but be sure to follow up the drink with plain water if you’re concerned about the effect lemon can have on your enamel.
Keeping stress in check
Even stressing out about not being able to have a bowel movement can further impact your problem. The many different sources of stress in your life may not go away, but the way you deal with those problems can have a drastic affect on your body’s ability to physically cope.
Find ways to help simplify life and put things in perspective by meditating, turning to your spiritual beliefs or even just developing an optimistic outlook even though your circumstances aren’t perfect.
Declutter what you can in life and have faith that the rest will sort itself out in time. When your mind convinces your body that things are okay, your bowels will get the hint and stress-related constipation should disappear.
Having some blackstrap molasses
This kind of molasses is the dark liquid that remains after maximum extraction of sugar and contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, which can help alleviate your constipation.
You can add 1 to 3 teaspoons to a glass of warm water or juice and drink the solution every day for a few days.
Avoiding too much fat
The obvious remedy to constipation that stems from eating too many fatty foods like cheese and meats is to simply reduce your consumption of such irritants. Foods that are high in fat, especially ones that are low in fiber, can slow down your digestion so either kick the unhealthy foods to the curb or only eat them in extreme moderation.
Remember, though, if you stick to a good diet in order to get through a current bout of constipation and then go right back into your unhealthy ways of eating once you’re cured, you’re likely to egg on a return of your bowel movement problems. Figure out a healthy and sustainable solution so you don’t have to keep revisiting this condition.
Understanding your medication
Many medications have side effects that can disrupt the normal functioning of your bowel movements. Even if your constipation problems didn’t start right away when you started taking medication for a different condition, the medication may slowly have started to take its toll on your digestion.
Talk with your doctor about the medication she prescribed and if there is a reasonable likelihood that what you’re experiencing is a side effect of such a prescription. Consider alternative medications, as needed, to treat your separate condition while not worsening your time in the bathroom.
If your diet is on point but you’re still having bowel movement troubles, don’t hesitate to discuss your situation with a medical professional who may be able to analyze your circumstances and produce valuable insights as to why your body is experiencing the trouble that it is.