Home Remedies for Constipation

Home Remedies for Constipation

Constipation is easily treatable with a variety of medications such as laxatives, but they can be costly and come with some adverse side effects when used long-term such as bloating. When constipation becomes an everyday problem, making lifestyle changes and relying on natural remedies can keep your digestive and overall health in better shape in the long run. So here are some home remedies for constipation.

Lemon Juice & Olive Oil

How you start your day determines how the rest of it is going to go, especially if you experience constipation and digestive issues. Giving your digestive system a nudge in the right direction will benefit you immensely. A good way to accomplish this is having a mix of one teaspoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of olive oil every morning.

Lemons and olive oil are rich in acids that can relieve constipation. However, this is not a fast-relief option; it is an additional boost to your digestive system that can take at least a few days to become effective.

Blackstrap Molasses

In terms of fast-relief, blackstrap molasses has been shown to be effective in relieving constipation. Blackstrap molasses is the same thing as regular molasses except the only difference is it gets boiled one extra time. Blackstrap molasses is high in magnesium, and magnesium promotes digestive health.

The recommended intake is one tablespoon per day. You may also mix it with warm water or tea. If you do not see results with one tablespoon, you can increase the amount by one tablespoon.

Flaxseed

Having a constipation-friendly diet is a must when you have digestive problems, so incorporating more foods with fiber into your diet can also relieve constipation. Flaxseed is rich in fiber, for instance, and can be added to smoothies, cereal, salads, and many other dishes and beverages. Adding a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your orange juice with pulp can also be a fast constipation relief.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used for pretty much everything, so it can also be beneficial in treating certain conditions, like constipation. Baking soda works by reducing air in the digestive tract, lowering pressure, and regulating stomach acids, all of which contributes to easier bowel movements. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and get relief.

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Constipation in Kids

Constipation in Kids

In healthy individuals, after absorbing the needed fluids in the intestine, feces easily make their out of the colon with the help of the intestinal contractions. However, with constipation, the feces are not able to move through the intestines as fast and remain in the body much longer. Once the fluids needed to pass stools are reabsorbed, feces cannot move along the colon and begin to accumulate. Constipation in kids is also common, but their symptoms vary depending on how severely they are constipated.

Adults vs. Children

Constipation is very common and happens to everyone. For many, constipation is abrupt and temporary while for other it is chronic and long-term.  Constipation in adults is typically brought on by dietary habits, not drinking enough water, and being physically inactive. However, some medical conditions and medicines can also impact the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in constipation.

Even though these factors are also applicable to children, constipation in children can be different for a variety of reasons. For instance, children do not require regular physical activity, and a lack of it is unlikely to lead to constipation.

With kids, constipation often arises during the process of potty training as some children may have a hard time adjusting to the new way they are supposed to pass stools. Some children may also not be willing to use the toilet when they are not home, and any type of delay can lead to constipation. The process is similar – when a child does not pass a stool, the body reabsorbs the liquid needed for movement. Fortunately, constipation in children is usually temporary and does not last for long.

Treating Constipation in Children

Medicines and dietary changes are typically recommended to treat constipation in children. If potty training is the issue, putting a halt on the training until the constipation is relieved is also important. Positive reinforcement usually works while toilet training, which solves the problem of constipation as it is often fear-based.

Getting children used to a regimen like getting them to use the bathroom in the morning and following a meal can also speed up the adjustment process. You may also need to increase your children’s daily intake of water and fiber.

If there is no improvement with dietary changes and training tricks, it is important to consult a doctor to discuss options to relieve constipation. In some cases, medications or enema may be needed for relief.

When to Consult a Doctor

Constipation in children is only a concern if it lasts longer than a week or presents itself with symptoms such as fever, bleeding, swelling in the stomach, weight loss, and vomiting.

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Adapting Your Diet for Constipation Relief

Diet for Constipation

Constipation can be a very uncomfortable condition to cope with and can even impact your everyday life without proper care and treatment. Constipation can be brought on by a wide variety of factors such as a poor diet that is lacking in enough water and fiber, not being physically active, too much alcohol and smoking, and stress. Unless you have a gastrointestinal condition that causes the symptom of constipation, however, managing constipation with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies is relatively easy. So here are some tips for adapting your diet for constipation relief.

Lower Your Risk

Your daily fiber intake is an important part of the picture where constipation is concerned. If you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber, you can improve your digestive health. Some fruits that can relieve constipation include apples, pears, prunes, bananas, and kiwis. Studies show that at least two daily servings of these fruits can increase the frequency of bowel movements. Green leafy vegetables are also your best friend and can aid in having easier bowel movements.

Constipation Relief

Prunes are one of the richest sources of fiber and also nature’s laxative. Prunes have been thought of as an all-natural way to prevent constipation and promote regularity for centuries. Foods that are rich in whole grains like oatmeal, bran cereals also help in having bowel movements. Have one or two prunes every morning with a glass of lukewarm water (you can even add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in it) and also have a bowl of fiber-rich cereal with low-fat milk or almond milk.

Foods You Need to Avoid

Although studies aren’t clear as to why it affects the digestive tract negatively, chocolate usually triggers constipation or at the very least diarrhea. Store-bought chocolate is made with dairy and rich in fat, which can impact muscle spasms in the gut. As a matter of fact, dairy typically causes constipation in those who tend to experience digestive problems like constipation frequently. Even if you cannot cut out chocolate and dairy products altogether, limiting your intake may improve your symptoms.

Increasing your fiber intake can improve your constipation, but it is also important to note that when your body is not used to a high intake of fiber, a gradual daily increase is recommended. Without letting your body adjust to healthy amounts of daily fiber, too much of it can lead to stomach cramps and bloating. Adults typically need a daily intake of 25-35 grams of fiber, so it is suggested that you increase your intake by 5 grams every week.

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The Symptoms of Constipation

symptoms of constipation

Constipation refers to having infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stools, which can considerably uncomfortable. If have irregularity and have difficulty passing stools, it is constipation. Thankfully, constipation is easily treatable. So what are some symptoms of constipation?

Constipation is very common, and everyone has it now and then. However, some people experience chronic constipation. People whose diet is rich in complex carbohydrates, refined sugar, and those who consume too much alcohol tend to suffer from constipation more. In addition to lifestyle habits, some gastrointestinal conditions can also cause constipation such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IDB) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In most cases, constipation is temporary and no reason for concern, but if it happens frequently and persists, a doctor consultation is necessary as it can start to have a grave impact on the quality of life. Furthermore, prolonged constipation can also result in fissures and hemorrhoids or can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

In addition to infrequent bowel movements, constipation is also associated with pain and straining during elimination, as well as incomplete bowel movements.

Understanding Constipation Symptoms

The primary symptom of constipation is infrequent bowel movements. People who experience constipation typically have fewer than three bowel movements per week. While you may wonder if 4-5 bowel movements per week are regular, not passing a stool every day may also mean you are constipated.

Most common symptoms associated with constipation is also pain and strain while passing stools. In healthy individuals, stools are softened enough to be passed through the intestines easily, but this is not the case with constipation and causes strain. Too much strain can even damage the anal tissue and cause some bleeding. This type of bleeding is usually very little, but if you notice continuous bleeding, seek medical attention immediately.

When you cannot have bowel movements days on end, constipation can also lead to stomach pain, bloating, gas, and general discomfort. Incomplete bowel movements are also common with people who experience constipation. It may feel like they still need to use the bathroom, but there is usually no relief.

Secondary Constipation Symptoms

Constipation is only serious if it is a symptom of a more serious medical condition. In addition to constipation, if you frequently experience stomach cramps and pain, discomfort, dark stools, prolonged constipation, periods of diarrhea coupled with constipation, and bleeding, you must consult a doctor.

In more advanced cases, constipation can also lead to a loss of appetite and fatigue. With the bloating caused by constipation, fatigue is, in fact, a common secondary symptom associated with constipation. Chronic constipation especially also has effects on the mood such as leading to depression, which can impact daily activities in combination with the physical implications of the condition.

Relieving constipation is doable with lifestyle changes, drinking plenty of liquids, and over-the-counter medications, but if your symptoms do not improve with standard treatment options, consult a medical professional to manage your symptoms more effectively. It is also recommended that you treat constipation with the supervision of a doctor since non-prescription aids such as laxatives can also have a detrimental effect on your digestive health in the long run.

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Treating Constipation

Treating Constipation

Not everyone has regular bowel movements all the time, and most people suffer from constipation more than once throughout their lives. Everyone experiences constipation differently; some cannot have enough bowel movements while others have difficulty and endure pain and strain while passing stools. Constipation can affect both women and men at any age, but there are many ways to get relief. So here are some tips on treating constipation.

What Causes Constipation?

A lot of factors can play a role in an individual experiencing constipation, but it is typically caused by lifestyle choices or underlying conditions such as dietary habits, gastrointestinal diseases, stress, hormonal imbalances, and a diet lacking in fiber.

Magnesium deficiency can also result in constipation because magnesium promotes healthy intestinal muscle function. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of magnesium and fiber.

Primary Constipation Symptoms

Constipation is characterized by symptoms like hard stools that can cause pain and strain during elimination, sparse bowel movements, and stomach cramps. Without treatment, continuous constipation can lead to bloating and severe discomfort.

Constipation Relief

Constipation treatments aim to improve the frequency of bowel movements and lessen the strain while passing stools. Constipation relief is vital in maintaining digestive health, getting relief, and preventing complications.

In addition to lifestyle changes like getting more physically active and incorporating more dietary fiber into your diet, there are also treatment options like laxatives, enemas, colon cleansing, stool softeners, and surgery for more advanced cases.

Laxatives: Laxatives can be used to relieve constipation. Some laxatives work by stimulating the intestines and softening the stool. Whereas, others do not stimulate the colon and only soften the stool for easier bowel movements. Long-term use of laxatives can be detrimental and have a counterproductive effect, so discussing the use of laxatives with your doctor is essential.

Diet: Modifying your diet can also improve constipation and irregularity. One of the most important steps is to increase your daily intake of fiber by incorporating more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grain foods like oatmeal. Fruits like apples, prunes, and bananas can also improve constipation. Drinking enough water is also imperative to have regular bowel movements.

Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that the body naturally produces in the gut. If you consume foods that are rich in probiotics like kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut or take probiotics supplements, they can promote digestive health and healthy immune function.

Physical activity: Not being physically active can also contribute to constipation. Physical movement can make it easier to have a bowel movement.

Constipation can be painful and uncomfortable, but it is usually not serious. It is only a concern if it is not treated or it is a symptom of an underlying disease that requires immediate attention.

If your constipation persists and does not improve with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, consulting a doctor may be the best option to determine whether there is an underlying cause.

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Can Constipation Cause Fatigue?

Can Constipation Cause Fatigue

Constipation is a common intestinal condition characterized by sparse bowel movements and pain and strain while passing stools.   While the inability to pass stools is the primary issue with constipation, you might wonder, “Can Constipation Cause Fatigue?”. The answer is yes.

In order to improve fatigue, the first step to determine that it is caused by constipation and aim to relieve constipation first. Many people think having irregular bowel movements do not necessarily mean constipation, and some are not aware that constipation can even cause diarrhea now and then.

Constipation Fatigue Causes

Many studies show that a majority of people who experience constipation frequently also report feeling fatigued. Even though constipation may not always lead to fatigue, there are very much associated.

One of the primary aspects constipation and fatigue have in common is that they are typically caused by the same factors such as having an unhealthy diet, too much stress, and not being physically active. Some medications also come with the side effects of both fatigue and constipation.

Some of these medicines are crystodigin, calcium gluconate, and digitoxin. Some drug interactions also result in feeling fatigued and constipation as well, so it is important to discuss the medications you are on with your doctor. Constipation combined with fatigue can also lead to difficulty sleeping.

Treating Constipation Fatigue

When constipation is the direct cause of your feeling fatigued, relieving constipation will also improve tiredness. Think of every bowel movement as waste elimination; a way for the body to get rid of the waste that is needed.  When you are constipated, your body is unable to eliminate the waste it is meant to on a daily basis, which naturally causes bloating and lethargy.

Constipation is fairly easy to treat and manage as long as it is not caused by a more serious underlying disease. If fatigue is a symptom of constipation, it will improve on its own when you start treating constipation.

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Natural Laxatives to Relieve Constipation

Natural Laxatives

Even though medicinal laxatives are effective in relieving constipation, they are still chemicals, and you may prefer a more natural way to manage your constipation. So here are some natural laxatives that can help you prevent constipation just as effectively.

#1 An apple a day…

Apples are one of the fruits best known for its fiber-rich content, so they can improve digestive health noticeably. Apples also contain a substance called pectin that works as a stimulant, which can relieve constipation. Though the taste of it isn’t all that pleasant, experts also recommend a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning, which can also work as a stimulant.

#2 Try prunes

Prunes are one of the most surefire ways to improve constipation. Not only are they full of essential nutrients and vitamins, but they are also rich in soluble fiber, which promotes regularity in those who experience constipation often.

Prunes also contain a compound called dihydrophenylisatin, which helps with muscle contractions in the intestines. However, it is important to start eating prunes in small amounts and up your intake gradually. Typically, one to two prunes per day should do the trick, but if you see results, you can start to consume more slowly.

#3 Be physically active

Working out and being fit can benefit your digestive health immensely. Even though there isn’t enough research to explain as to why regular exercise can prevent constipation, staying active is one of the best ways to avoid constipation coupled with a healthy diet. The physical movement promotes healthier bowel movements.  

#4 Drink lots of water

Not drinking enough water is one of the most common causes of constipation. Having enough water with your food and throughout the day softens stools and makes elimination easier. Although individual factors play a role in how much water one should drink a day, 8-10 glasses per day are typically ideal.  

#5 Eat Sauerkraut

The pickled cabbage delicacy can also relieve constipation. First of all, cabbage itself has a good amount of fiber, and secondly, fermented foods are rich probiotics, which sauerkraut is. Probiotics are essential, healthy bacteria that our gut also naturally produces. They can work as a stimulant and promote regularity and digestive health.

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What Causes Constipation

Causes Constipation

We all eat food, break it down, and then eliminate the waste once the body has absorbed all the energy and nutrients from it during the process. So what causes constipation?

The process of bowel movement or defecation is relatively straightforward; the food you eat gets broken down, moves through the intestines, makes it way through the rectum, and exits through the anus. Having one bowel movement every day is healthy and what people refer to as regularity. However, if you cannot have a BM for a day or longer, then you are experiencing constipation or irregularity.

Of course, regular also means a different frequency for every individual as not every digests food at the same speed, so some people who are in tip-top health can have 2 or even 3 bowel movements per day. Whereas, people who typically experience constipation may not have a bowel movement for a few days in a stretch.

Constipation happens when waste moves too slowly through the intestine, resulting in fewer bowel movements weekly. Constipation is also typically associated with pain and strain during elimination.

Constipation is so common that the cause of it may be a myriad of factors, from the use of a particular medication to a lifestyle habit.

Constipation: Lifestyle Risks

Just like many conditions, constipation is often a result of lifestyle choices. Not having a healthy diet that is low in fiber, smoking, excess drinking, and not being physically active can all contribute to constipation. Stress and depression can result in constipation as well. People with eating disorders may also experience constipation, as well as pregnant women due to hormonal imbalances.

Constipation can also be brought on by not having enough water and too much dairy. Even though we are not always in a position to relieve ourselves, delaying bowel movements can also lead to constipation.

Medications That Can Cause Constipation

Many drugs can either cause diarrhea or constipation. Antidepressants and pain relievers are known to cause diarrhea, as well as certain heart medications. Using laxatives long-term to relieve diarrhea can also lead to more constipation as your body becomes dependent. Discuss potential drug interactions and laxative options with your doctor before combining treatments.

Conditions That Can Cause Constipation

Constipation can sometimes merely be a symptom of an underlying condition. Diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, hypothyroidism, and diabetes can also cause constipation.

Unless there is an underlying condition that needs attention, constipation is manageable with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications in most cases. However, if it persists despite changes and treatment, and you experience severe pain or bleeding, it is vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

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