NATURAL CONSTIPATION REMEDIES
Constipation is defined as inability to pass a stool with ease and regularity. This can result in symptoms of bloating, gas, pain when going to the bathroom, hard small stools and straining at the stool, as well as the need for a body cleanse. Everyone is a little bit different in his or her normal stool cycle. Some have stools once to twice a day, while others may be regular and comfortable with having a stool 3 times a week, and either is considered normal. It is important to understand a bit about the function of the colon. Many chronic sufferers of constipation can get permanent relief by changing some facets of their diet and lifestyle. Finally, it is good to be aware of some common constipation remedies and understand how they work, just remember no natural constipation remedy is guaranteed as everyone’s bodies are a little different.
Function of the Colon
The colon is the last part of the digestive system that food must go before being passed as stool. The purpose of the colon is to absorb some of the last remaining nutrients from those foods, but more importantly, the colon is where water is absorbed. It is a smooth muscle, in other words it moves involuntarily, like the heart, to move the food through the digestive tract. That is the reason why many people with muscular wasting diseases, such as Multiple sclerosis, may suffer from chronic constipation. There are no exercises that can strengthen the muscles in the colon, but keeping your health good overall will help prevent future colon problems.
Lifestyle Contributors to Constipation
Exercise is important to remain healthy for your whole body, including your colon health. Regular exercise does not have to be strenuous, but should be regular and involve some rise in the heart rate. This will keep your external musculature strong and help keep your bowels regular. Walking or riding a bicycle several times a week is a great way to get enough exercise.
Try to stay on a routine. When your body feels that urge to have a stool, it is important to be able to allow it to happen. Do not hold it in any longer than you must for while the stool remains in the colon, more water is taken out and it becomes harder to move. If you suffer from constipation, try to respect your body’s routine and remain accessible to a bathroom.
Since the bowel’s function is to absorb water from your diet, it is important to drink plenty of water to keep your body satisfied. Dehydration can lead to constipation, as the body takes the water from the stool to nourish itself, leaving the stool hard and compacted. It is recommended to drink at least 6 glasses of water per day and even as much as 10 glasses of water a day. During warm weather, you may need to drink more to avoid dehydration. Refraining from caffeine and alcohol is important as well. Any drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine can actually cause dehydration. They will contribute to constipation problems.
Eating a healthy diet is probably the single most important factor in preventing constipation. The food you ingest should be of the right variety to provide the body all the necessary nutrients. Getting a good mix of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains all lead to regular bowel movements. Meats, white grains, fats, and dairy products can slow the bowel function, thereby causing constipation for many people. Natural dietary fiber is good for keeping the water in the gut and keeping the stool soft enough to pass effortlessly. Fiber is found in nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. The other important note about diet is the addition of appropriate dietary supplements in case you are not able to eat enough foods rich in all the necessary nutrients. For optimal bowel health, make sure you are getting enough magnesium, potassium, and folic acid.
Natural or Herbal Constipation Remedies
Once constipation is an issue, it may take a bit of time to find a remedy and become comfortable again. Laxatives sold over the counter are not necessarily the best solution. They can become habit forming and make your bowel lazy. There are natural remedies that will work well, be safer, cost less, add to your nutrition, and bring you relief.
Fiber in natural form, whether that is in an apple, cabbage, or ground flax seed mixed into foods will ease constipation. Taking supplements such as probiotics, basil, cayenne, dandelion, milk thistle, or honey are known to work as well. Some of the natural remedies bringing more rapid relief are senna, cascara, aloe, rhubarb, and fennel seeds. Some recommend lemon juice and water, while some use milk and honey concoctions or mineral oil. All of these additional supplements either add fiber to your digestive system or gently work to increase the muscle activity of the colon.
Constipation is more common in men than in women and while not a serious condition, it is definitely uncomfortable. Getting relief is not difficult but may require some lifestyle and diet changes such as those listed above. If those changes are not quite enough, experiment with some of the constipation remedies outlined in the preceding paragraphs to get relief fast.