Natural Remedies for Constipation

Constipation is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. At any given time, it is estimated that it affects approximately 2 percent of the population in the U.S., and women and the elderly are the most commonly afflicted. It is almost never serious, and relief is typical within a day or two. Constipation is usually caused by a disorder of bowel function rather than a structural problem. Stress, overuse of laxatives, hypothyroidism, neurological conditions, some medicines, eating disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and colon cancer are all potentially serious causes of constipation that are rarer than the common causes.

How can I prevent constipation?

  • Maintain adequate water intake.
  • Maintain adequate fiber intake and eat a balanced diet with lots of vegetables and limit low-fiber foods.
  • Do your best to maintain a regular routine and diet with plenty of exercise.
  • Don’t hold it in if you need to go.

What are the symptoms of constipation?

  • Experiencing a longer stretch of time between bowel movements than usual.
  • High strain during a bowel movement more than 25 percent of the time.
  • Hard stools more than 25 percent of the time.
  • Incomplete evacuation more than 25 percent of the time.
  • Two or fewer bowel movements per week.
  • Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain.
  • Vomiting.

How do I get rid of constipation?

  • Most of the time, fiber supplements are safe and mostly natural products that help stools soften so regularity can be maintained.
  • Occasional use of a laxative is okay, but regular use can create dependency. Bulk-forming laxatives like Metamucil, FiberCon and Citrucel are easier on the stomach and are unlike other laxatives in that they simply make the stool bigger and softer, so they’re typically safe to take on a fairly regular basis.
  • Sometimes, simply drinking several 8 ounce glasses of warm water is great at removing stuck feces.
  • Drink prune juice or coffee, though both work in different ways. Coffee is a diuretic, which stimulates the bowel movement, while prune juice is high in fiber and sorbitol (a stool-loosening sugar that naturally helps relieve constipation).
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