Constipation, as defined by the National Institute of Health (NIH), is having a bowel movement that is irregular, like lesser than three times per week. Constipation is also known by other names like dyssynergic defaecation, dyschezia and costiveness. It is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints among people. People suffering from constipation usually have a painful bowel movement and often experience sensation of a full bowel, straining, bloating and sometimes blood in their stools. In constipation, stools are dry, hard, small in size and difficult to eliminate.
Causes of Constipation
Constipation may affect individuals from all age groups. One of the reasons for this disorder is disruption in the function of the bowel, which may give rise to infrequent elimination of feces. Here are some other causes of costiveness.
- Certain medications and laxatives
- Problems with the colon and rectum
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
- Chronic idiopathic constipation (problems with intestinal function)
- Changes in routine like travel, pregnancy, etc.
- Lack of fiber in the diet
How to Get Relief from Constipation
It should be noted that constipation is not a disease but a mere symptom of a disorder in the body. There are many natural remedies that help relieve the signs of constipation. Using natural methods to relieve this bowel problem will ensure that there are no unwanted side effects. In case, this problem does not resolve after trying these remedies, then medical help should be sought. Mentioned below are some of the remedial measures to curb constipation.
- Drinking lots of water will help you get rid of constipation. When you are suffering from constipation, it is advisable to limit the intake of tea, coffee and soft drinks.
- Eating fibrous foods like wheat bran or wheat germ, bananas, etc. and green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts etc. will reduce constipation.
- Practice healthy bowel habits and do not strain if you do not have success or you may get hemorrhoids.
- Avoid using laxatives because it can keep the essential nutrients from being absorbed and can kill good intestinal bacteria.
- Eating garlic daily can help get rid of constipation. Garlic also helps in reducing inflammation of the intestines and, soothes and cleanses the digestive system.
- Avoid eating junk foodstuffs, fried foods, sweets and fruits that have lots of seeds like strawberries or raspberries.
- You can take dietary supplements like vitamin B1, vitamin C and folic acid. Some people also find relief from constipation by taking iron supplements, but it should be taken after consulting a dietitian.
- Being on a juice fast is a good way to give rest to the digestive system, while the intestines and colon become clear and to eliminate toxins from the body.
How to Stop Constipation Fast
Suffering from constipation can be a distressing experience since it can hamper the daily routine. Here are a few methods for fast constipation relief to inhibit the unwanted effects of constipation
- Eat a banana for breakfast to add extra fiber. You can also mix ¼ cup of bran with your bowl of cornflakes.
- Drink 2 teaspoons of aloe vera juice three times daily, half an hour before you take your meals.
- You can eat a raw garlic clove daily in order to reduce constipation. Drinking cherry juice or eating cherries is one of the home remedies for constipation.
- Eating flaxseed oil mixed with vegetable drink or cottage cheese provides relief to the irritated gastrointestinal tract and softens the stool. But you must also drink extra glasses of water after eating flaxseed oil.
- Drinking lemon juice or corn syrup or honey with warm water helps in easy bowel movement.
Preventing Constipation During Pregnancy
Nearly every pregnant woman suffers from some form of constipation, be it mild or severe. When a woman is pregnant, the digestive system slows down and becomes sluggish. This happens because nutrition from the food or drink ingested is extracted by the intestines so that the developing fetus can get the nutrients that it requires to grow. The bowels are also pushed when the uterus grows, causing constipation during pregnancy. Given below are some natural constipation relief methods.
- Eating fiber rich food is essential, as it makes the intestines to work harder and absorbs liquids. This ensures that the feces remain soft, and helps in eliminating waste from the body. You can eat foods such as vegetables, whole wheat bread, breakfast cereal, prune and prune juice, and fruits like apples, oranges and pear that are rich in fiber.
- Pregnant women must consume a lot of fluids to eliminate the possibility of constipation in early pregnancy.
- There are also a few mild pregnancy exercises that help in stimulating the bowel that leads to improvement in digestion. You can go for a short walk for about 20 to 30 minutes as it will help in digestion and also aid in enhancing the general fitness and well-being of the body.
How to Relieve Constipation in Infants
Infants having constipation experience immense pain while passing stools and usually end up crying. Here are a few methods for treating constipation in infants and children
- Constipation in infants can be caused due to an allergic reaction to baby food. So you must check the formula and buy baby food that suits your baby.
- Ensure that your child drinks sufficient water as lack of fluids in the body can cause constipation in infants.
- If your baby is suffering from constipation, massage the baby's belly with coconut oil or baby lotion to provide relief from the pain caused due to constipation.
- If your baby has chronic constipation, consult a pediatrician who may give a baby-sized enema or a special laxative to stimulate bowel movement.
Constipation is a temporary disorder and is not serious. The answer to cure constipation is to understand its causes, prevention and treatment that will help most people get relief from this disorder. Take care!