Constipation is a common problem that occurs at all ages. It is characterized by having infrequent bowel movements, with straining to go and producing only small or hard stools. Constipation is often accompanied by lower abdominal discomfort and pain. Being constipated can definitely affect your overall mood and ability to function at your best. The good news is that there are many different constipation remedies ranging from prescription drugs to over-the-counter medications to natural home remedies.
What Causes Constipation?
Several different factors can contribute to constipation. It might be a medication that you are taking, a certain food that you are eating, general poor bowel habits, changes in your daily routine, hormonal changes, or increased stress. Sometimes a more serious problem affecting proper colon function can be to blame. It can be difficult to figure out what is causing your constipation but is certainly worth exploring the options to see what will work best for you. Often times a simple diet change to include foods that are rich in fiber can work wonders. Fruit, vegetables, and even fiber-rich cereals can help.
Natural Constipation Remedies
There are many inexpensive and easy home constipation remedies that might do the trick to end your constipation. Vitamin C and magnesium are two important nutrients that can loosen stools. Incidentally, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath can help to regulate bowels as the magnesium sulfate formulation can stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and get things moving again. Eating plenty of fiber which is found naturally in fresh fruit and vegetables is a great natural way to help stimulate your bowl movements. Apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries are loaded with fiber and are excellent constipation remedies. If you prefer vegetables then broccoli, beets, and carrots are an excellent fiber-rich choice. Cereals like All-Bran can also be a great addition to your daily routine and will give you a healthy dose of natural fiber.
Also, never underestimate the power of regular exercise to keep your bowel movements regular.
Over The Counter Constipation Remedies
There are many over the counter constipation remedies available at your local pharmacy. Milk of Magnesia, Miralax, Benefiber, and Metamucil can help help to relieve constipation problems. It is important to take these types of oral laxatives with care because they can lead to nutrition depletion and dehydration. Also, some medications can be negatively affected by repeated laxative intake. Also consult with your doctor or pharmacist before starting on an oral laxative.
Tips To Avoid Constipation
An important part of managing constipation is trying to avoid getting constipated in the first place. Dietary choices play an important role in regularity. Increase your liquid intake and consider drinking juices like apple, pear or prune. Watch out for dairy as it is often linked to constipation. If tolerated, soy milk can also loosen stools. Remember that water is the most important drink you can have for a healthy body and this goes for warding off constipation too. Overall, try to focus on choosing nutrient-dense, high fiber foods with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains over refined starches.
What If Nothing Works?
Talk with your doctor if you feel your constipation is not responding to any constipation remedies you are using. Your doctor can complete a medical evaluation to determine what may be causing your constipation and develop a treatment plan to help support regular bowel movements. Your doctor may recommend a prescription medication for your constipation, or suggest you try a laxative or enema to improve your situation. For more serious constipation problems where the stool is impacted, surgery may be recommended. Manage your constipation head on because getting the relief you need will help you get on with your life and feel like yourself again.