At some time or another all of us have suffered ( even for a short period of time ) with constipation. It is uncomfortable, irritating and even be extremely painful. It disrupts your life-style, making it very difficult to even do the simplest of tasks during the day. It may even feel like it came out of no where. The one day you fine and the next you are ” blocked up “.
There may be many reasons why you have become constipated, or have suffered with constipation for a long time. Either way there are a few things you can very easily do to prevent and relieve constipation. As I am all for natural remedies, “What are the best natural remedies for constipation in adults ? ” are probably one of the most common questions I have been asked.
Why am I constipated ?
Looking at a few, or most common reasons why we become constipated are really where anyone should start before attempting to treat it. It could really be as simple as a sudden change in diet. Below I have compiled a list of the most common reasons.
- Sudden change in diet
- Lack in physical movement or exercise
- Not drinking enough fluids ( incl water )
- Not enough fiber in you diet
- Consuming too much meat and dairy
- Some medications
- Overuse of laxatives
Everyone’s bodies work differently. Two people that are doing or eating exactly the same might not have the same bowel movements. If you have suddenly made huge changes to you diet by adding or removing food groups ( ie. going on a diet ), you will notice a change in your bowel movement. Not having enough High soluble fiber in your diet will disrupt or limit your bowel movement. Examples of food containing high soluble fibers you should incorporate are citrus fruits, strawberries, prunes, potatoes, peas, most vegetables, whole grains, seeds and cereals.
Excessive amounts of meat and dairy could also cause a problem. Red meat in particular has very tough protein fibers that makes for difficult digestion as well as being rich in Iron, which can cause constipation. There is nothing as good as a juicy steak I must admit, but do try to limit your intake.
Drinking enough water or fluids. This may include water, juice and tea ( NO Alcohol ). Constipation is related to dehydration of the colon. Having adequate amount of water or fluids are an absolute must. I know being told to drink eight glasses of water a day is what you should do, but you can incorporate fruit juice ( Apple, Prune or Pear) and different tea as well. Physical movement or exercise is important for good over all health, and is just as crucial to maintain a healthy bowel movement. I’m not saying we all should get our runners out and take a 5-mile down the road. You can of course if you want to, but just make sure you at least move around. Don’t just sit or lie in one spot.
The overuse of laxatives or taking medication can lead to constipation. Taking laxatives might be fine to use, but is never meant to be a long term solution. Long term use may lead to your bowel becoming dependent on them as well as decreased bowel function ( or as I would say a lazy colon ). If you are taking any prescription medication or OTC ( over the counter ) and you do notice a change in your bowel movement, speak to your GP about this.
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Taking it a step further
Now that you have looked at the more common reasons why you are constipated, there are some additional natural remedies you can incorporate into your diet or fluid intake.
- Cup of hot water with a fresh lemon slice – Lemon is one of natures’ own laxatives. It acts as a stimulant to the digestive system and help flush toxins from your body.
- Dandelion herbal tea – Dandelion detoxifies and is a gently laxative
- Ginger Root tea – Ginger has a warming effect on your intestines which can speed up sluggish digestion
- Blackstrap Molasses – One tea spoon before bedtime will give you relief in the morning
- Eat some raisins – Raisins contain tartaric acid which has a laxative effect
- Castor oil – Castor oil breaks down and in turn stimulates the small and large intestines. One to two teaspoons on an empty stomach should have you sorted out in about eight hours.
- Sesame seeds – The oil composition in the seeds lubricates and moisturize the intestines. Add some over cereal or salads.
Don’t give up
Like most things, don’t expect to have your constipation sorted out in a day. Be a little patient ( if you can ). Have a good look at why you are sitting with the problem and then incorporate the correct actions. I would say by day three you would have had some relief. And then just continue from there on out.
If you have however tried and adjusted all you could, please don’t hesitate to see your GP ( General Practitioner ) or Physician. There might be underlying issues you are not aware of. But please don’t ” fret ” most of the time it is just a lazy colon that needs a nudge in the right direction.
Until next time