Everyone has suffered from the troubling problem of constipation at one time or another in their lives. While this is a common and usually easily treatable condition, it is distressing, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful. In this article, we have listed numerous ways you can get instant relief for constipation. Some remedies may work right away, some may take more time to start working.
- 1 Causes of Constipation
- 1.1 Diverticular disease
- 1.2 Prolapsed rectum
- 1.3 Fecal impaction
- 1.4 Anal tears and fissures
- 1.5 Hemorrhoids (piles)
- 1.6 Lack of exercise
- 1.7 Not getting enough fiber
- 1.8 Excessive intake of dairy products, meat, and eggs
- 1.9 Overuse of laxatives
- 1.10 Hypothyroidism
- 1.11 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- 1.12 Antihistamines
- 1.13 Excessive use of antacids
- 1.14 Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure
- 1.15 Multiple sclerosis
- 1.16 Parkinson’s disease
- 1.17 Diabetes
- 1.18 Certain kinds of painkillers
- 1.19 Chocolate
- 1.20 Stress
- 1.21 Hemorrhoids
- 1.22 Imbalance in the intestinal flora
- 1.23 Magnesium deficiency
- 1.24 Not getting enough sleep
- 1.25 Travel and jet-lag
- 1.26 Being of an older age
- 2 Home Remedies for Constipation
- 2.1 Flaxseed oil and orange juice
- 2.2 Prunes
- 2.3 Pure olive oil
- 2.4 Eat more fiber and natural foods
- 2.5 Aloe vera
- 2.6 Lemon
- 2.7 Exercise more often
- 2.8 Baking soda
- 2.9 Molasses
- 2.10 Coffee
- 2.11 Epsom salt and fruit juice
- 2.12 Figs
- 2.13 Castor oil
- 2.14 Grapes
- 2.15 Honey
- 2.16 Spinach
- 2.17 Stay properly hydrated throughout the day
- 2.18 Fennel
- 2.19 Probiotics
- 2.20 Barley
- 2.21 Dandelion tea
- 2.22 Oatmeal
- 2.23 Raisins
- 2.24 Psyllium seeds
- 2.25 Ginger or mint tea
- 2.26 Increase your intake of healthy fats
- 2.27 Cherries
- 2.28 Apricots
- 2.29 Sesame seeds
- 2.30 Avoid fried foods
- 2.31 Avoid processed foods
- 2.32 Avoid alcohol
- 2.33 Take cod liver oil supplements
- 2.34 Take pectin supplements
- 2.35 Try meditation
- 2.36 Avoid “empty calorie” foods and snacks
- 2.37 Avoid refined flour
- 2.38 Eat more apples
- 2.39 Schedule time for the bathroom
- 2.40 Try synthetic or processed fiber
- 2.41 Think about stool softeners
- 2.42 Glycerin suppository
- 2.43 Triphala powder (also called churna)
- 2.44 Seed mixtures
- 2.45 Oranges
- 2.46 Guava seeds
- 2.47 Be Careful With Laxatives
Causes of Constipation
You should have at least one bowel movement every day. If you do not, you might be constipated. It is believed that constipation can be readily diagnosed if you have fewer than three bowl movements in one week. Some symptoms of constipation (in addition to a lack of regular bowel movements) can include gas, lower back pain, bloating, and sometimes even fatigue or anxiety. Others include dry, hard, and maybe lumpy stools and stools that are painful or difficult to pass. As many as 20% of adults in the United States regularly experience constipation.
Chronic constipation can lead to a number of health problems, such as:
With diverticular disease, tiny pockets (called diverticule) develop in the bowel’s lining. This condition is generally caused by frequent straining to pass stool. Make certain to consult with your doctor if you think that you might have diverticular disease.
This condition occurs when either all or part of the rectum slides down. Sometimes it can even stick out of the anus. Prolapsed rectum tends to occur after years of straining to pass stools. You need to speak with your doctor if you think that you might have a prolapsed rectum.
When you have fecal impaction, dry, hard stool is stuck in the rectum. You are unable to pass it. You must go to your doctor if you think that you might have a fecal impaction.
Anal tears and fissures
Anal tears and fissures tend to happen when stools are excessively hard and dry. A medical professional can prescribe a cream if you have this problem.
People who are often constipated and therefore often have to strain in order to pass their stools are at much greater risk of developing hemorrhoids, an often painful condition. You need to consult with your doctor regarding treatment of your hemorrhoids.
Constipation has a number of different possible causes. Some of these include:
Lack of exercise
Not getting enough exercise can make constipation more likely to occur.
Not getting enough fiber
Failing to get enough fiber in your diet makes you more susceptible to constipation.
Excessive intake of dairy products, meat, and eggs
Eating too much food that is low in fiber and high in fat makes you more likely to become constipated.
Overuse of laxatives
Using laxatives on a frequent basis can make the body dependent on it, causing you to become more likely to experience constipation.
It is believed that the condition of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can make constipation more likely to occur.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) can make you more likely to experience constipation.
Certain kinds of antihistamines can make you more prone to becoming constipation.
Excessive use of antacids
Excessive use of antacids that contain aluminum or calcium tend to make constipation more likely to occur.
Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure
Certain medications prescribed to address high blood pressure can lead to constipation.
People who have MS (multiple sclerosis) can be more susceptible to constipation.
Parkinson’s patients can tend to become constipated more easily than others.
Diabetes can lead to more frequent constipation.
Certain kinds of painkillers
Certain kinds of painkillers (especially narcotics) can lead to constipation.
Chocolate can cause constipation in some people, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation.
it is believed that high levels of stress can make constipation more frequent.
People with hemorrhoids tend to be more prone to experience constipation because of the pain they feel when eliminating.
Imbalance in the intestinal flora
Any imbalances in your intestinal flora can lead to constipation.
A deficiency in magnesium (an essential mineral) can lead to constipation. This is because magnesium functions as an electrolyte and is key to optimal muscle functioning.
Not getting enough sleep
Not getting a sufficient amount of sleep can lead to constipation.
Travel and jet-lag
Travelling and jet-lag can sometimes contribute to constipation.
Being of an older age
Older people tend to be more prone to constipation than younger ones.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible if there is blood in your stool; you have a bulging abdomen; you have symptoms of an enlarged spleen; the constipation does not go away and/or is chronic; or you experience both frequent diarrhea and constipation.
Flaxseed oil and orange juice
Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed oil into a glass of orange juice. This remedy can take as long as five hours to work. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids and large amounts of fiber. Many people find this remedy to be extremely effective.
Eat prunes or drink prune juice to cure your constipation. Drink one glass of prune juice in the morning and another at night. There is at least one full gram of fiber in each prune. Additionally, prunes are known to have a chemical that causes contractions of the intestines that can help relieve your constipation. If you want to avoid the bloating that prunes often cause, think about eating dried figs instead. Prune is without a doubt one of the most well-known and effective instant constipation relief.
Pure olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice. Olive oil will stimulate your digestive system, thus helping to ease your constipation. Olive oil can be useful in preventing constipation, as well. Take one tablespoon of olive oil every morning, preferably on an empty stomach. You can mix in a bit of lemon juice, if you wish. Olive oil will not only help with your constipation but also boost your general health and well-being with its antioxidant and fatty acid content.
Eat more fiber and natural foods
Eat more foods with high levels of fiber. Examples of helpful foods include nuts, apples, plums, pears, broccoli, berries, whole grain bread, apricots, and beans. Try eating a high-fiber bran cereal in the morning. If you are not used to eating bran cereal, you might find the laxative effect to occur especially quickly.
You can take two tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Mix the aloe vera gel with your choice of fruit juice. You should drink this in the morning to ease your constipation. Alternatively, you can drink one cup of aloe vera juice. Consult with your local health food store as to what kind of aloe will be suitable.
Lemon juice will stimulate your digestive system because of its citric acid. It will help to get rid of toxins. Mix lemon juice with warm water and drink every morning. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to hot tea. Lemon juice has a high vitamin C content which will help boost your immune system and general health.
Exercise more often
Exercise will help to stimulate the smooth muscle in the colon. You should wait at least one hour after eating before exercising. Try to go for a 15-minute walk every day. At least move around a bit after large meals. It’s a bad idea to just lie down after eating. Getting more exercise will not only make constipation less likely but also make you a healthier person overall.
Some people find baking soda helpful in dealing with constipation. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a quarter cup of warm water. Drink this as quickly as you can. Don’t use this remedy too frequently if you have hypertension (high blood pressure), as the sodium content would be problematic and even dangerous. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you are at all unsure.
Take blackstrap molasses to help prevent and resolve constipation. Molasses has magnesium and other minerals and vitamins. Mix one teaspoon of blackstrap molasses in tea or warm water. It is recommended that you start with this amount, but you can try one or even two tablespoons of molasses if you wish. Many people find it be especially effective to take their doses of blackstrap molasses at night before bed. You’re likely to experience relief in the morning.
Hot coffee will stimulate your digestive system. Try drinking one or two cups. Be careful not to have too much coffee, as it can cause dehydration which can lead to constipation. Sipping hot fluids in general seems to be useful in addressing constipation.
Epsom salt and fruit juice
Mix two teaspoons of Epsom salts into a cup of fruit juice (or water). You shouldn’t use this remedy with children. Avoid this remedy if you have hypertension (high blood pressure). Consult with your doctor if you feel at all uncertain about the safety of this approach.
Eat figs, preferably with the skin on. You can also make a fig, almond, and honey paste. Soak almonds in water for a few hours, and then peel them. Grind the almonds and figs, and mix in honey. You can take one tablespoon of this mixture each night to help ease your constipation. Figs are good for you generally and will improve your health and well-being.
Castor oil is an extremely effective constipation remedy. It tends to be fast-acting. Take a teaspoon or two of castor oil on an empty stomach. You can take it with juice, if you like. It is believed that castor oil has a component that leads to stimulation of the small and large intestines. Don’t take castor oil too frequently as its efficacy could lead to diarrhea and dehydration (which can in turn lead to more constipation as well as a host of other problems). Make sure to be extra careful to stay properly hydrated if you are using castor oil.
Grapes contain fiber that will help to prevent and ease constipation. Try to eat grapes on a daily basis. They are a quick and healthy snack at any time of the day.
Incorporating more honey into your diet can help to prevent constipation. Take two teaspoons of honey three times each day. Alternatively, you can mix one tablespoon of honey and some lemon juice in warm water, and drink on an empty stomach each morning. It is easy to add honey to other foods and incorporate it into your daily diet. Raw and organic honey might be especially beneficial.
Try to incorporate spinach (especially raw spinach) into your daily diet. This will help to prevent constipation. The antioxidants in spinach will also benefit your health overall.
Stay properly hydrated throughout the day
Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Staying hydrated is an important part of preventing constipation. Many people also like drinking coconut water, which is extremely hydrating.
Fennel seeds assist in encouraging movement in the smooth muscle of the digestive system. Dry roast a cup of fennel seeds and then grind them. Store the resulting powder in a jar. You can take half a teaspoon of this with warm water each day.
Try taking a probiotic supplement each day. Some people feel that they may help to prevent constipation by balancing the flora levels in the intestines.
Increase your intake of barley in order to help prevent constipation. It is easy to incorporate barley into a variety of different meals, especially soups.
Allow one teaspoon of dried dandelion root to steep in water. Strain and then drink this three times daily.
Eating oatmeal each day may help to make you less likely to become constipated. It will also generally calm your digestive system and give you energy throughout the day.
Raisins contain fiber and tartaric acid that can help to prevent constipation.
Allow one teaspoon of psyllium seeds to steep in hot water for two hours. Drink after mixing in honey and lemon.
Ginger or mint tea
It is ginger’s characteristic of being a “warming” herb that helps to make it effective in stimulating the digestive system. Drink a hot cup of ginger tea to help with your constipation. Mint tea will also be helpful because of the menthol in peppermint. Menthol is known to have an antispasmodic effect.
Increase your intake of healthy fats
Increasing your intake of healthy fats will help to prevent constipation. Examples include the fats in avocado, nuts, and olive oil. Try eating salads with green leafy vegetables and olive oil dressing, as well as fruit or natural nut butter (one tablespoon).
Try eating cherries to help prevent constipation. This fruit has a surprising amount of fiber and other beneficial components.
Apricots have a large amount of fiber and are therefore useful in dealing with constipation. Try to make apricots part of your daily diet, especially when you might be constipated or are trying to prevent constipation.
Sesame seeds have oily components that will help to add moisture to the digestive system that will help remedy dry stools and constipation. If you wish, you can process the seeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkle them on your food. Another way to incorporate sesame seeds into your diet is to add them to salads and cereal. You can also eat sesame seeds as a simple and healthy snack.
Avoid fried foods
Avoid fried foods as much as possible to help prevent and alleviate constipation. This is also an important step to take to optimize your general health and well-being.
Avoid processed foods
Avoid processed foods as much as you can. Examples include chips and ice cream. These foods will make you more likely to become constipated.
Also, avoid ultra-processed foods. Examples include snack cakes, frozen pizza, and sugary cereals. This is important as such foods will put you at greater risk of constipation.
Avoid alcohol to help prevent constipation. Alcohol can lead to dehydration that makes constipation more likely to occur.
Take cod liver oil supplements
Taking cod liver oil supplements on a daily basis will help to keep your digestive system (and entire body) healthy. You can find cod liver oil supplements at your local drugstore or health food store.
Take pectin supplements
Taking pectin supplements will help to make you more regular. You should be able to find pectin supplements at your local health food store.
If you feel that stress could be contributing to your constipation problem, think about trying meditation. Many people who meditate daily feel much more relaxed and have a greater sense of well-being.
Avoid “empty calorie” foods and snacks
“Empty calorie” foods and snacks will make you much more likely to become constipated. They have no benefit to the body.
Avoid refined flour
Avoid making and eating foods containing refined flour. Intake of refined flour will make you much more likely to suffer from constipation. Try to increase your intake of whole grains, instead.
Eat more apples
Incorporate more apples into your daily diet. Apples contain a fiber called pectin that you will find to be very useful in preventing constipation.
Schedule time for the bathroom
Set aside time for at least one bowel movement every day, even if you don’t feel like you have to go. Don’t rush yourself.
Try synthetic or processed fiber
Try Metamucil, Perdiem, Citrucel, or another synthetic or processed fiber product. You can find these at any drugstore.
Think about stool softeners
Think about trying a stool softener such as Colace if your stool is particularly hard and you are having trouble passing it.
If your constipation is very stubborn, think about using a glycerin suppository. You can find such suppositories at any drugstore.
Triphala powder (also called churna)
This powder is made from three specific fruits: vighitaki (Bellirica Myrobalm), haritaki (Chebulic Myrobalan), and Indian gooseberry (amla). Take one teaspoon with a glass of warm water and honey. You should drink this before you go to bed or even early in the morning (preferably on an empty stomach).
Mix and grind together almonds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Take one tablespoon of this daily. It is recommended that you take it for a week. If you wish, you can sprinkle it on top of your cereal or salad.
Eat at least two oranges a day until your constipation has resolved. Oranges have a large amount of fiber that will help your digestive system run more smoothly.
Guava seeds contain insoluble fiber and the pulp soluble fiber. They also help promote the production of necessary mucus in the anal area. Try to incorporate guava seeds into your diet when you’re constipated, and to help prevent constipation.
Be Careful With Laxatives
There are a number of different kinds of laxative you can find over-the-counter or obtain with a prescription. These include:
- Saline laxatives (these are usually effective within 1 to 3 hours)
- Stimulant laxatives (these are usually effective within 6 to 24 hours)
- Lubricant laxatives (these are usually effective within 5 to 9 hours)
- Bulk creating laxatives (these are usually effective within 1 to 3 days)
- Stool softening laxatives (these are usually effective within 1 to 4 days)
Don’t let yourself become dependent on laxatives (over-the-counter or prescription). Doing so can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including acid/alkaline base changes; fluid loss and dehydration; colon and digestive organ damage; electrolyte imbalance; failure of the body to produce sufficient digestive enzymes; frequent diarrhea and constipation; light-headedness and dizziness; water retention (edema); and even problems with the cardiovascular systems.
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