Imagine waking up in the morning and struggling to pass stools. With clock ticking away, you are still stuck in the toilet with slow or no movement of stools, causing you frustration, pain and anger. While the load of work waiting for you at office to finish is making you nervous, the load of hardened stools stuck in your pelvis can be tormenting. The entire process can give you the feeling of sitting on a cactus bush, giving you emotional and physical distress.
Constipation is a digestive disorder where the bowel movements get restrained due to hard and dry stools. Factors such as age, lack of physical activity, irregular lifestyle, inadequate fluid intake etc., are the underlying causes for Constipation. Hard and dry stools, mostly in the form of pellets, three or lesser bowel movements per week and incomplete emptying of stools can be the most common symptoms to determine Constipation.
People suffering from Constipation experience severe abdominal pain, headaches, exhaustion, nervousness and tension. Chronic Constipation can lead to anal fissures, that can make you feel like a razor blade on the bottom.
Why Constipation is Most Common in Adults?
While all age groups experience Constipation, it is most common in adults. Numerous factors like age, irregular lifestyle, inadequate intake of fluids, lack of dietary fibre, high power medications, pregnancy, colon disorders and cancer can result in abnormal functioning of the digestive tract, leading to Constipation.
With lives getting busier, we spend little or no time to understand what our guts need. Consumption of junk food, replacing water and juices with colas and sugar drinks, snacking on biscuits and fried food, midnight dinners, staying up late, treating stress with caffeine and alcohol are the reasons why constipation is more prevalent in adults. However, the most surprising cause for constipation is making the most common mistake of putting off stools for a more convenient time. Procrastination does no good!
Different Ways To Get Rid of Constipation:
While most people prefer to take laxatives like Dulcolax to treat Constipation, its important to remember that over usage of laxatives can worsen the situation. They are to be taken only as a last resort if no other remedy works.
Natural laxatives are the best bet to treat constipation quickly minus the side effects. They are chemical free, safe and highly effective to keep the problem in check. Not only do they provide immediate relief from Constipation, but also permanently alleviate the situation.
Fiber’ is the keyword to treat Constipation. Low dietary fibre is the most common cause for Constipation. Fibre, both soluble and insoluble is essential for smooth movements of bowels and one may need at least 24-40 gms of fibre each day.
- Fruits contain soluble fibre that absorbs water to soften the stools and helps it pass through the intestine smoothly.
- Fruits such as Apples, Blackberries, Bananas, Kiwis, Guavas, Oranges, Plums, Pears and Figs are excellent sources of fibre.
- If you are looking for ways to impart more fibre into your diet, fruits are the best replacement for flour-based snacks.
Constipation is caused due to a dehydration in the colon, resulting in dry, hard stools. After the solid waste is created, it sticks to the walls of the colon due to lack of water and requires external force. Forceful pressure can lead to complications like fissures, hernia and even colon infections.
- The solution is to add more bulk to this solid waste for easy movement.
- Water adds fluid to the colon and helps it easier to pass, thereby relieving the person from constipation.
- It is recommended that a person consumes at least eight glasses of water per day to heal the colon.
3. Essential Oils:
Essential oils are extremely beneficial to sooth a constipated stomach. They are a treasure-trove of medicinal values due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and digestive properties.
- The best oils to help relieve constipation are Ginger Oil, Fennel Oil, Turmeric Oil, Lemon Oil, Sweet Basil Oil,
- Peppermint Oil, Orange Oil, Rosemary and Black Pepper Oils.
- These oils are full of natural goodness, chemical free and are proven to be highly effective in treating constipation.
- However, it is important to note that these oils must not be consumed in their pure form and must be used along with carrier oils for safe ingestion.
Seeds are super foods to treat constipation. They are high on nutritional value and are excellent sources of fibre.
- Seeds such as Chia, Flax, Sesame and Hemp are the most recommended treatments for constipation.
- The rich protein content and fibre in the seeds promotes a healthy digestive tract and add bulk to the stools to treat constipation.
- Seeds are the most convenient foods to consume and just a handful can create magic.
- They are versatile and can be incorporated into smoothies, soups, salads and even baked goods.
- One can also eat them straight or soak them in warm water for a while before gulping them down.
There is no better way to deal with constipation than Yoga. Yoga postures help in regulating bowel movements and aid in faster relief from constipation. They boost digestive circulation to help move the “pile” from the tract.
- Yoga practitioners recommend postures like Downward facing dog, Matysasana or the seated twist, Crescent
- Twist, Forward Bends, Wind-removing pose and Triangle pose to stimulate bowl movements and release gas from the stomach.
- Not only do they work on the stomach, but also untangle the body-mind connection by relieving stress.
- With long term practice, one can prevent constipation and make toilet time more pleasant.
As per Ayurveda, Constipation is caused due to Vata imbalance that can hamper movements. The main causes of this dosha are stress, dehydration, cold climate, fatigue etc.
- Ayurveda offers excellent relief from Constipation with the power of medicinal herbs that help flush out the colon and stimulate better digestion.
- These herbs when taken with hot water act as lubricants to pass the stools. Triphala, Psyllium, Flaxseeds,
- Dandelion Root are great for constipation and can consumed by boiling in water or in the form of capsules.
- However, some of these herbs might irritate a sensitive colon and one must consult an Ayurvedic physician before consumption.
Homeopathy is another proven and safe alternative to treat constipation. A number of remedies are available to treat dry and hard stools, bloating and heaviness of abdomen. Homeopathy remedies are not merely given based on the symptoms but also on the basis of the root cause of the disorder.
- Remedies such as Sulphur, Bryonia, NuxVomica, Sepia and Silica are most commonly prescribed to alleviate the problems caused by constipation.
- Not only do they work on the digestive tract, but also help the people come over issues like tension, cold hands,
- impatience and sluggishness caused due to constipation.
- Homeopathic medicines are free from chemicals and are the best natural remedies for a satisfactory stool.
A change in your current diet is the most vital step for fighting the constipation epidemic.
- One must say good bye to fast foods, colas, caffeine drinks, baked goods and fill up your plates with fibre rich food.
- When constipated, it is important to consume at least 30gm of fibre to push foods through the intestine.
- The top foods to drive constipation are legumes, vegetables like broccoli and spinach, Fruits like apples, kiwi,
- pears and berries, dried fruits, oatmeal, seeds like chia and flax, brown rice and millets.
- Not only are they rich in nutritional value but can also help you poop well.
10 Best Homemade Tips For Instant Relief From Constipation:
The following tips are simple and are easily available at home to treat yourself from constipation.
1. Warm Water:
Lack of water is the primary cause of Constipation. When the colon is dehydrated, the stools stick to the walls and can block the pelvis. This results in hard and dry stools that are extremely difficult and painful to pass. With plenty of water, the stools get softened and can easily pass through.
- Warm water is highly effective in treating constipation when compared to normal or cold water.
- Warm water when consumed first thing in the morning can break down the bulk accumulated in the intestines and increase their tightness for better movements.
- It is also recommended to add a few drops of lemon or honey in the warm water for faster relief.
2. Baking Soda:
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is one most effective natural remedies for constipation. Baking Soda is a gentle antacid that is used to heart burns and acidity. It is also an excellent solution to treat constipation by letting the gas out and get things moving in your digestive tract.
- Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in 1/4th cup of water and consume it quickly.
- Within seconds you will notice a movement inside that can soon result in an urge to pass stools.
- Baking Soda is the “go-to” remedy for Constipation and seldom fails. Next time you are constipated, quickly reach out this magic medicine.
3. Flax Seeds:
Flax Seeds are the best natural laxatives to treat constipation. They are the richest sources of fibre and contain a substance called mucilage. Mucilage is a sticky, gum like compound that can provide lubrication and a protective coating on the digestive tract. Whole flax seeds contain about 6 to 12 percent of mucilage, making them the most sought-after remedies for constipation.
- Flax seeds can be consumed directly or can be incorporated into salads and smoothies.
- The best and most effective way to maximize the potential of flax seeds is to grind the seeds with a little amount of water and consuming it immediately.
4. Lemon Water:
Lemon water is highly effective to increase the flow of our digestive system. The high acid content in the lemon juice can break down the hard substance and de clog your intestines. While water itself is a natural remedy for constipation, combining it with a few drops of lemon juice can increase its power trifold.
- It is recommended to consume warm lemon water on an empty stomach to loosen the hardened matter in the guts.
- This powerful concoction should be taken twice a day to quickly lighten the stomach and can also be taken regularly as a preventive measure against constipation.
Coffee, although a caffeine-based drink, can work as a stimulant for bowel movements. Drinking hot coffee can be a great and soothing way to free yourself of the burden.
- Coffee aids in the promotion of fast peristaltic movements or intestinal contractions, that are absolutely necessary to push the stools out of the body.
- While coffee lovers may rejoice reading this, its important to note that overdose of caffeine can cause dehydration and therefore constipation
- It is also believed that caffeinated coffee is better than DE-caffeinated version to cure constipation.
Constipated? Grab your favourite cuppa, but just don’t overdo it.
6. Molasses and Honey:
Honey is a mild laxative and is proven to be an effective remedy for constipation. Honey can be consumed by itself or combined with blackstrap molasses to increase its effectiveness. Honey and Molasses mixture can stimulate bowel movements and promote smooth stools.
- If honey is taken alone, it is recommended to combine it with a glass of warm water and be consumed on an empty stomach.
- Two tablespoons of Honey and Molasses mixture can be taken before going to bed for a pain-free morning
- Do note that this mixture is extremely high on calories and hence is not suggested for regular consumption.
7. Sesame Seeds:
Sesame seeds are amazing to treat constipation and aid in better digestion. Sesame seeds are rich in fibre and is an excellent natural laxative. These seeds come in a variety of colors like black, white and yellow. Black Sesame seeds are packed with intense flavour and are also rich in medicinal value.
- To consume sesame seeds, one can sprinkle them on salads or grind into a paste with some water.
- It is recommended to consume no more than half an ounce of sesame seeds as a part of treating constipation.
- Overeating them can cause serious colon issues and can do the exact opposite.
8. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is an elixir to treat constipation. It is the best laxative that is proven since ages to get rid of the painful condition. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that instantly fuel the intestine and get it to work.
- By stimulating the bowel movements and softening the stools, coconut oil works wonders for a constipated stomach.
- It is suggested to consume virgin coconut oil in a dosage of ½ table spoon early in the morning and ½ before
- dinner. An overdose of consumption can lead to loose stools and diarrhoea.
9. Prune Juice:
Prunes or dried plums are considered to be super foods. Prunes are a great way to ward off constipation. They are fiber-rich foods and can prevent constipation. Prune Juice is a filtered liquid that may not be abundant in fibre yet works wonderfully as a laxative. The secret ingredient? Sorbitol.
- Prune Juice is rich in sorbitol that attracts water into the intestine and stimulate bowel movements.
- They are a safe and effective way to treat constipation and offer relief from pelvic distress.
- It is recommended to consume 2 to 4 ounces of juice at a time in the beginning and increase the dosage as needed.
Contrary to the fact that dairy foods cause constipation, milk can actually provide fast relief from it. Warm milk can soothe a bloated stomach and stimulate good bowel movements.
- One glass of warm milk before bedtime can spare you from a stressful toilet time the next day.
- If you are suffering from severe or chronic constipation, adding a few drops of castor oil can do the trick.
- However, castor oil is a laxative and can make you frequently run to the bathroom. So, it’s important not to go overboard with the dosage.
- A glass of warm milk also helps in regulating the sleep clock and gets you ready for a fresh start.
As with any disorder, prevention of constipation is always better than a cure. The pain and agony one experiences with constipation is unimaginable. It can severely hamper a person’s life and the word ‘toilet’ can send shivers down the spine. With nature offering a number of remedies, trying them before you are prone to popping an over-the-counter pill is highly advised. Making simple lifestyle changes can easily drive away the constipation blues forever, making you always good to ‘go’.