Constipation is an uncomfortable and often painful condition that affects many people at some point. According to the research, about 20% of Americans suffer from constipation, and about 8 million people go to the hospital for help every year. Fortunately, there are some remedies to help get rid of constipation.
From making simple lifestyle changes to taking over-the-counter medications, numerous options are available to help eliminate constipation. However, note that these methods are very effective for mild symptoms severe. If It is a difficult situation, please seek medical help immediately. This article will discuss 14 natural remedies to get rid of constipation.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive disorder characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements. It is often accompanied by abdominal pain and bloating.
Common symptoms of constipation include having fewer than three bowel movements per week, small and hard stools, abdominal pain or bloating, and difficulty passing stools.
Other symptoms may include feeling as if you cannot completely empty your bowels, feeling full after only a few bites of food, and feeling nauseous. Sometimes constipation can be chronic, lasting several weeks or longer.
Common Causes of Constipation
Common causes of chronic constipation include a lack of physical activity, poor diet, dehydration, laxative abuse, certain medications, and changes in hormone levels.
In some cases, chronic constipation may indicate an underlying medical condition such as bowel obstruction, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or Parkinson’s disease.
The common causes of constipation include:
1. Diet: Eating a diet low in fiber or fluids can lead to constipation. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it move more quickly through the digestive tract.
2. Medication: Certain medications, such as antacids that contain aluminum or calcium, can cause constipation. Pain medications such as narcotics, antidepressants, and iron supplements can also slow the digestive system and lead to constipation.
3. Inactivity: Not enough physical activity can make it harder for the body to move waste through the intestines.
4. Stress: Stressful situations can trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, leading to constipation.
5. Ignoring the urge to go: If a person doesn’t respond to the urge to have a bowel movement, it can lead to constipation.
6. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a disorder that affects the digestive system and can cause constipation.
7. Certain medical conditions: Diabetes, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease can all cause constipation.
8. Changes in routine: Traveling or a change in daily routine can disrupt a person’s digestive system.
9. Eating disorders: Eating disorders can cause the body to absorb fewer nutrients, leading to constipation.
14 Best Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Constipation
Let’s introduce 14 best natural remedies to get rid of constipation fast.
1. Drinking more water
Drinking plenty of water is an important part of managing constipation. Water helps soften and move the stool through the digestive system, making it easier to pass.
- It is best to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day, spread throughout the day.
- Drink the water slowly rather than all at once, as your body needs time to process it.
- Avoid very cold or very hot water, as this can affect digestion.
- It is best to drink water away from meals, as drinking with meals can cause indigestion.
- If possible, drink water that is room temperature, as this is easier for the body to absorb.
- If you have difficulty drinking enough water daily, you may want to add some flavor with a slice of lemon or lime or some fresh herbs.
2. Eat more fiber
Constipation is a common problem that can be alleviated by eating more fiber. Fiber helps to add bulk to stools, softening them and making them easier to pass. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- To get the most fiber out of these foods, choose unprocessed and unrefined.
- Eating a high-fiber breakfast such as oatmeal, bran cereal, or whole-grain toast in the morning.
- Eating fresh fruit such as an apple or pear can also help. Adding legumes to meals is another simple way to increase fiber intake.
- You can add a handful of nuts and seeds or a spoonful of chia to salads and yogurt.
3. Regular exercise
Constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Regular exercise can help. Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes each day. Here are some tips to help you stay active and get relief from constipation.
- Take a brisk walk. Walking can help stimulate your digestive system, aiding in regular bowel movements.
- Do chair exercises. Sitting in a chair, you can do simple exercises like arm raises and leg lifts to keep your body moving.
- Try yoga. Yoga helps increase flexibility and reduce stress, which can also help reduce constipation.
- Do stretching. Stretching can help reduce stress, improve circulation, and aid digestion.
- Go for a swim. Swimming is a low-impact activity that can help reduce constipation.
- Do a dance routine. Get your body moving and your heart rates up with a fun dance routine.
- Take a bike ride. Riding your bike can be a great way to get exercise and help relieve constipation.
4. Take a magnesium supplement
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps keep our bodies functioning properly. It helps keep the digestive system functioning and can help keep our bowels regular.
A magnesium supplement can help relieve constipation by increasing water in the intestines, which helps to soften stools. It also helps to stimulate the nerves in the digestive tract to help move things along.
- Magnesium supplements are widely available in tablet, capsule, or powder form and can be taken daily.
- Start with a low dosage and increase gradually if needed.
- It is important to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any supplement to ensure it is safe.
5. Try probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help relieve constipation. They help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the digestive system.
Probiotics can help reduce constipation symptoms by increasing the movement of stool through the intestines and improving the consistency of stool.
Probiotics also help to reduce inflammation in the gut, which can help to reduce constipation. There are several ways to get probiotics into your diet.
- You can take probiotic supplements, eat probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, or take probiotic-rich drinks like kombucha.
- Another option is to take a prebiotic supplement, which helps to feed the probiotic bacteria in the gut.
- Incorporating probiotics into your diet can help to reduce constipation and improve overall digestive health.
6. Eat prunes
Prunes are a natural source of dietary fiber, making them a great choice for relieving constipation. Eating five to six prunes a day can help move food through your digestive system and restore normal bowel movements.
- To make the most of their natural laxative effects, soak prunes overnight in hot water or apple juice. This helps the prunes soften, making them easier to eat.
- Add a few soaked prunes to your breakfast cereal or oatmeal.
- You can also snack on them throughout the day or add them to salads and baked goods.
- Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help keep your digestive system regular.
7. Drink herbal tea
Herbal teas are an excellent way to help relieve constipation. Drinking a cup of herbal tea in the morning and in the evening can help move things along.
Choose a herbal tea that contains senna, a natural laxative. It is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to help you stay hydrated. It can also help the digestive system work properly.
- Herbs that can help relieve constipation include dandelion, fennel, ginger, licorice, and peppermint.
- Boil eight ounces of water, then steep one teaspoon of dried herbs in the water for 10 minutes.
- Strain and cool the tea before drinking. You can sweeten the tea with honey or agave nectar if desired.
- Herbal teas can be enjoyed daily for gentle, natural relief from constipation.
8. Take a warm bath
Taking a warm bath can be a great way to help relieve constipation. Warm water helps to relax the muscles in your intestines and encourages bowel movement.
The warmth also helps to increase blood flow throughout your body, which can help to speed up digestion. Additionally, warm water can help to reduce stress and tension, both of which can contribute to constipation.
- To start, fill your bathtub with warm water. Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold, as this can make the problem worse.
- Soak in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes and use your hands to massage your abdomen clockwise to help stimulate your digestive system.
- During the bath, focus on relaxing your body and calming your mind.
- You can add several drops of essential oils, such as lavender or ginger, to the bath for additional relief.
- After your bath, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help move things along.
9. Use psyllium husk
Psyllium husk is a natural and effective remedy for constipation. It is a soluble fiber derived from a plant called Plantago ovata. This fiber absorbs water and swells to form a gel-like substance in the intestines. This helps soften stool, making it easier to pass.
Taking psyllium husk can help increase the amount of time it takes for food to travel through the intestines, allowing for more water to be absorbed and stool to become softer. Psyllium husk also helps increase the frequency of bowel movements, making it easier to pass stool.
- To treat constipation, take 2-5 grams of psyllium husk with 8 ounces of water or juice one or two times a day.
- Start with a lower dose and increase gradually over time to achieve the desired effect.
- It may take a few days to a week for the full effects to be felt.
- It is important to drink plenty of fluids while taking psyllium husk to prevent dehydration.
10. Massage your abdomen
Massage is a great way to relieve constipation. Abdominal massage can help stimulate the digestive system and improve the movement of food and waste through the intestines. It can also help relax the muscles in the abdomen, allowing for improved bowel movements.
- Start at your belly button and move clockwise with gentle pressure.
- Place your hands on the lower right side of your abdomen and move in a circular motion, going up and around to the left side.
- Massage in an upward motion. Repeat this motion several times.
- Use both hands to massage your abdomen. Increase the pressure gradually as you massage the area.
- Do this for several minutes. You can also use your fingertips to press gently on the area.
11. Avoid Certain Foods
Certain foods can contribute to constipation, such as processed and refined foods, cheese, red meat, dairy, and fried foods. Limit your intake of these foods and focus on eating healthier, fiber-rich foods.
- Additionally, limit your consumption of red meat, as it can be difficult to digest.
- Avoiding caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda, can also help with constipation.
- Finally, eating various fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, can help keep your digestive system functioning properly.
12. Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the most common causes of constipation. When we are stressed, our bodies produce hormones like cortisol which cause the body to slow down. This can lead to slower digestion and constipation.
Managing stress levels can help reduce the frequency and intensity of constipation.
- One way to do this is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. These activities can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can help alleviate constipation.
- Additionally, setting aside time daily to focus on your mental health can help reduce stress levels. This could include activities like journaling, reading a book, listening to music, or walking.
- Finally, getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet can help to keep your body and mind healthy and reduce stress levels. Managing stress levels can not only help reduce constipation but also improve overall health.
13. Setting a regular toilet schedule
Having a regular toilet schedule can help with constipation. It’s important to stay consistent with your toilet schedule. Ensure to consistently follow your chosen routine and avoid skipping it, even if you’re feeling well.
- To set up an effective routine, first, determine a time that works for you. It’s best to choose a time when you can be consistent, such as after breakfast or dinner.
- Additionally, it’s important to ensure you don’t rush the process.
- Take your time to sit on the toilet and relax your abdominal muscles. This can be done by engaging in deep breathing exercises or visualizing your body loosening.
It’s also helpful to have a reminder, such as setting a reminder on your phone. Doing these things can help you maintain regular bowel movements and help alleviate constipation.
14. Olive Leaves
Olive leaves are an effective remedy for constipation. They are rich in dietary fiber, which helps to add bulk to stools and make them easier to pass.
Olive leaves also contain several compounds that act as laxatives, stimulating the colon and promoting bowel movements. Furthermore, they are packed with antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system, improving regularity.
- To use olive leaves to get rid of constipation, steep 3-4 tablespoons of dried olive leaves in a cup of boiling water.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and drink it up to three times a day.
- You may also chew a few fresh olive leaves to help relax your bowels.
- Olive leaves are a natural remedy that can help to ease constipation and get your bowels moving again.
When to see a doctor?
If you are experiencing constipation, it is important to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Some signs that you should see a doctor include:
- Having fewer than three bowel movements in a week,
- Having hard stools, straining more than usual when having a bowel movement
- Feeling like your bowels are blocked
- Having abdominal pain or bloating and noticing blood in your stool.
- Constipation has lasted for more than two weeks.
Additionally, if your constipation is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, or unintentional weight loss, you should see your doctor right away.