When To See A Doctor About Constipation
If increasing fiber intake, exercise and hydration don’t solve the problem, your constipation may be characterized as chronic. Depending on the cause of chronic constipation, you may need physical therapy or even low-dose laxatives to treat the problem.
For chronic constipation, it’s important to meet with a professional who can help guide you to the right kind of therapy. This is especially important if you have any warning signs of disease, such as weight loss, bleeding or pain, or stools that become pencil-thin and stay that way.
All things considered, you should see a doctor if constipation or any other physical discomfort is interfering with your daily life.
Lemon Water Is One Of The Best Constipation Remedies
The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant to your digestive system and can help flush toxins from your body, providing constipation relief. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water every morning, or add lemon to tea you may find that the refreshingly tart water not only acts as a natural constipation remedy but also that it helps you drink more water each day, which will improve your long-term digestion. And dont be afraid to warm it up, says the American Cancer Society, sharing that warm or hot fluids can also be a helpful constipation treatment.
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How To Relieve Constipation Fast
When talking about immediate constipation relief, its important to have some patience. It takes some time for these remedies to get things moving through your system, so the impact wont be as quick taking a Tylenol for a headache, for example.
Most of these natural remedies for constipation will take a few hours or days to bring relief. However, these treatments for constipation have the potential to offer long-lasting benefits because they are, in effect, lifestyle-based.
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Home Remedies To Relieve Constipation Naturally
Now let us take a glance at some of the best home remedies to relieve constipation as follows
Honey is believed to be a beneficial home remedy to alleviate constipation. You can be either taken raw or added to milk, tea or water. The results are more beneficial when you add honey, with warm water along with a few drops of lemon juice. The enzymes in honey treat constipation and stabilize digestion.
Both lemon and honey are rich in antioxidants that help the body in healing processes some researchers believe that honey works as a natural laxative. You can replace salt with honey as it has magnesium which boosts the bowel muscles contraction and helps to flush out the toxin out of your body.
Definitely, yoga will not be the first constipation remedy that pops on your mind, but studies prove that certain yoga postures are helpful to alleviate constipation. Spending a few minutes every day can benefit you in long term.
Half spinal twist, supine twist, Matsyasana twist, crescent twist, leg up the wall pose, wind-relieving pose and the bow pose are some yoga postures that help in boosting the digestion processes by increasing the blood and oxygen flow in your body.
Other than fitness and benefits yoga helps to lead a healthy life and it is an easy and effective home constipation remedy.
If you are constipated, make yourself hydrated often.
Fiber content foods
- Wheat Bran
Milk & Ghee
Figs & Fennel seeds
What Is New In The Treatment Of Constipation
Each part of the intestine has a network of nerves that controls its muscles. A great deal of research is being done in order to gain an understanding of how these nerves control each other and ultimately the muscles. Much of this research involves the study of neurotransmitters. This research is allowing scientists to develop drugs that stimulate the various nerves of the colon which, in turn, cause the muscles of the colon to contract and propel the colonic contents. Such drugs have great potential to treat constipation that is due to colonic inertia. The first of these drugs approved for use is prucalopride. These drugs are an exciting development because they offer a new treatment for a difficult-to-treat cause of constipation.
Nevertheless, there are many questions about these types of drugs that must be answered. How effective are they? Will they work with many or only a few patients? Will they work on patients who have damaged their nerves with stimulant products? Since these medications are likely to be used for a lifetime, how safe will they be with many years of use? Will they be used indiscriminately in situations for which simple treatments or more appropriate treatments should be used?
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Fiber Is Not Always The Answer
If adding fiber to your diet in the form of food orsupplements makes you more bloated and blocked than before, there are a numberof potential reasons. For example, in slow transit constipation, a conditionwhere the bowel does not move things quickly through, fiber sits in your gut andcan make you feel worse.
Long story short: If fiber makes you worse, dont just addmore. See your doctor.
Otc Laxatives For Constipation Relief
Several types of over-the-counter laxatives can relieve constipation, such as:
- Stool softeners, like Colace or Surfak, add moisture to the stool to keep them from being too dry and hard. However, you might develop electrolyte imbalance if you use stool softeners too often.
- Fiber supplements, such as Benefiber, Citrucel, or Metamucil, increase the amount of fiber in your body, which draws water to make stool softer and bulkier. If you don’t drink enough water with fiber supplements, you may end up even more constipated.
- Osmotics, like Miralax, pulls water into the colon for easier bowel movement. Some side effects include bloating, nausea, and increased thirst.
- Stimulants or contract laxatives, such as Dulcolax or Senokot, act on the intestinal wall and increase muscle contractions to help you pass stool more easily. You may experience belching, cramping, and diarrhea as stimulants are more likely to cause uncomfortable side effects.
- Rectal laxatives, like Pedia-Lax or Dulcolax, are often used as enemas or suppositories to cause contractions in the intestinal wall or keep moisture in the stool.
Many individuals tend to overuse laxatives, which can cause your body to become dependent on them.
It’s best to avoid using them habitually because severe cases of dependence may cause damage to the tissues, nerves, and muscles of your intestines and bowels.
If you do decide to use laxatives, start with a quarter or half dose to see how it affects your body.
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Constipation Relief And Prevention
One of the healthiest steps you can take is choosing foods that relieve constipation or prevent it in the first place. You may already turn to foods that relieve constipation, such as bran cereal or prune juice. But if you dont yet have constipation symptoms, you dont need to wait until they start to begin eating healthier.
You can get constipation relief or work to prevent constipation now with the right moves. Follow these dos and donts.
How Can Constipation Affect You
Although people often worry about it, there is no reason to believe that constipation causes a poisoning of the system. It can cause feelings of sluggishness and bloating, but there is no evidence that bugs or toxins leak from the bowel into any other part of the body. Another common idea is that constipation may lead to cancer but there is no evidence that long-term constipation increases the chances of getting bowel cancer.
It is important to remember that the vast majority of cases of constipation are easily resolved with simple diet, lifestyle or medication change. However if constipation does not respond to different treatments there can be medium to long term effects including:
- Haemorrhoids or fissures: bleeding from haemorrhoids, or more rarely a fissure at the anus, is the commonest complication of constipation.
- Rectal prolapse: chronic straining can lead to the rectal wall protruding out through the anus.
- Faecal impaction: elderly or immobile patients may get so badly constipated that they quite literally get bunged up and this will need prompt treatment by either the GP or hospital.
- Diverticular disease: this is where small hard stools lead to increased intestinal contractions, creating pressure which causes the inner section of the intestine to bulge through the protective outer tube of muscle which surrounds it, creating a little pouch of intestine .
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Know When To See A Doctor
Sometimes simple changes are not enough. If yourconstipation doesnt respond to treatments or changes in your diet, and if itlasts for weeks or months, Dr. Zutshi recommends getting yourself checked outto exclude more serious medical causes.
Its especially important to see a professional if you haveother symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cramping or spasms.
Chronic constipation can be a sign of conditions such as:
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Opioid-induced constipation is its own entity and shouldalso be treated by a physician, Dr. Zutshi says.
Eat More Fiber To Relieve Constipation
If youre dealing with occasional constipation, upping your fiber intake for a few days to get back onto a more normal-for-you bowel movement schedule can be sufficient.
For chronic constipation, Slattery suggests consulting with a dietitian who can help you create a more fiber-rich, long-term eating plan. She recommends working up to 2530 grams of fiber a day for women and 3038 grams for men.
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Whole Grain Bread For Constipation Relief
Whole grains have lots of fiber, which is a good choice not only for the bowels, but also the heart.
- Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation. They reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010. Their subjects ate enough slices to get 30 grams of fiber a day, but you don’t have to eat that much for it to work.
- Arabinoxylan, the main component of dietary fiber in rye, helps keep food moving through the intestine.
- Ezekiel bread is another good choice for relief of constipation. It is bread made of sprouted whole grains and legumes, which provides a good dose of fiber and nutrients.
Try Squatting Over The Toilet When You Think You Might Be Ready To Go
The squatting position can be mimicked by putting a stool under your feet to raise your knees up, says Peyton Berookim, MD, the director of the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Squatting modifies the anatomy by relaxing the muscles in that area while also elevating the part of your colon that makes for easier emptying of the bowel. The closer you are to a full squat, the easier it will be to poop, he says.
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Protection Against Heart Disease
Several studies over the past several decades have examined dietary fibers effect on heart health, including preventing cardiovascular disease and reducing blood pressure.
A 2017 review of studies found that people eating high fiber diets had significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and lower mortality from these conditions.
The authors say that these heart protective effects could be because fiber reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called bad cholesterol, which is a major risk for heart conditions.
What Natural Or Home Remedies Relieve And Treat Constipation
- Don’t suppress urges to defecate. When the urge comes, find a toilet.
- With the assistance of your doctor and pharmacist, determine if there are drugs that you are taking that could be contributing to constipation. See if the drugs can be discontinued or changed.
- Increase the fiber in your diet by consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- It may be difficult to get enough fiber in the diet to effectively treat constipation, so don’t hesitate to take fiber supplements if necessary .
- Use increasing amounts of fiber and/or change the type of fiber consumed until there is a satisfactory result.
- Don’t expect fiber to work overnight. Allow a few weeks for adequate trials.
What if constipation does not respond to natural and home remedies?
These efforts should not be discontinued but other measures should be added. If it is infrequent, that is, every few weeks , it probably doesn’t matter what other measures are added-emollient, saline, or hyperosmolar laxatives, enemas, and suppositories. Even stimulant laxatives every four to six weeks are unlikely to damage the colon. Unfortunately, the tendency when using stimulant products is to unconsciously increase the frequency of their use. Before you know it, you’re taking them every week, or more often, and there is a concern that permanent colonic damage might result.
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Relief With Fermenting Fruits For Constipation
Fruits do not need any help for digestion. The intestines absorb all the nutrients and vitamins from fruits in less than 30 minutes. If we eat fruits with our intestines filled with stool, they will start to ferment. Also, they will remain blocked and will perturb digestion.
Fruits offer immediate constipation relief only because of fermentation. The process creates gas and forces the stool nearby to move towards evacuation. Also, the gas will evacuate itself without delay and warning. This thing is called flatulence. It can sometimes create embarrassing situations, as mentioned in the last chapter.
Sometimes you can hear the sound of gas moving towards the large intestines. Not to mention when we âaccidentallyâ fart without warning.
The effect over the stool evacuation takes less than 1 hour. Fruits digest quickly . If they stay blocked in the intestines, they will start to produce gas. The longer they stay blocked, the higher the chances are fruits turn into alcohol.
Enjoy A Cup Of Coffee
The caffeine in coffee increases the contractions of muscles within your gut to push things through, Dr. Bedford says. It also contains liquid, which can be beneficial. Too much coffee can dehydrate you, though, so Dr. Bedford recommends drinking water along with your coffee for maximum effect. Not a coffee drinker? Strong tea can have a similar effect.
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Take An Osmotic Laxative
The way osmotic laxatives work is slightly differently from how stimulant laxatives work. Theyre designed to help move fluids through the colon. Some examples include:
- magnesium hydroxide
- polyethylene glycol
- magnesium citrate
Its important to keep in mind that osmotic laxatives tend to work a bit more slowly than stimulant laxatives. You can expect them to work within 2 to 3 days.
With a doctors prescription, you can obtain higher strength PEG .
Immediate Relief For Constipation With Laxatives
Laxatives are the type of medicine that delivers an immediate relief for constipation with an instant stool evacuation. There are different types of laxatives suitable for different types of constipation. The stronger the laxative is, the faster the result will be. It is important to know what type to take. If you suffer from episodic constipation, there is no need to take a strong laxative. You can take a digestive pill that only improves digestion.
But if you need to have an immediate stool evacuation for a certain reason, laxatives are effective. This type of medicine is suitable for short-term use only. If you feel your intestines filled with stool and there is also a feeling of pressure going on inside, then, your body is sending signals that you need to empty them.
Eat Ripe Or Dried Fruits
Ripe fruits like juicy peaches, apricots, and pears are excellent sources of fiber, and theyre easily digestible. Prunes, dates, raisins, and figs are all loaded with fiber, too, if youd rather have a dried fruit snack. The new darling of the gastrointestinal world is kiwi. A study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2021 found that two kiwis per day were not only more enjoyable to eat than prunes and psyllium but also more effective at getting things moving in the bowels.
What Are Treatments For The Causes Of Constipation
There are several principles in approaching the evaluation and treatment of constipation.
- The first principle is to differentiate between acute and chronic constipation. Thus, with acute constipation or constipation that is worsening, it is necessary to assess for the cause early so as not to overlook a serious illness that should be treated urgently.
- Start treatment early for constipation and use the treatments that have the least potential for harm, which will prevent constipation from worsening, and it will prevent potential damage to the colon that can be caused by the frequent use of stimulant products.
- Know when it is time to evaluate the cause of chronic constipation. Evaluation for the cause of chronic constipation needs to be done if there is no response to the simple treatments.
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How To Relieve Constipation
Exercise regularly. Drink more water and eat more fiber. Try to walk, swim, or do something active at least 3 or 4 times a week.
If you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, go. Do not wait or hold it in.
You can also train your bowels to be more regular. It may help to go to the bathroom every day at the same time. For many people, this is after breakfast or dinner.
Rely On Processed Foods
Not only are processed foods high in fat and sugar and harmful to your health they are also low in fiber and should especially be avoided when you are constipated, says De Latour. They wont make things worse, but they certainly wont help. And a diet that relies on too many pretzels, cold cuts, and other processed foods may lead to constipation to begin with, so reach for an apple or orange instead.
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