Anyone who has less than three bowel movements per week is said to have constipation. If this condition goes on for several months, it can be diagnosed as chronic constipation, and it would require a trained doctor to treat the ailment. Some of the common symptoms of constipation include hard stools, strained bowel movements, a general feeling of being blocked, inability to empty bowels, bloating, nausea, and constant abdominal ache.
Before looking into constipation treatment, it is important that you delve into the factors that may be behind the symptoms. Some common causes of constipation have been recognized as inactivity, stress, overuse of or dependence on laxatives, surgery, medications, low fiber diet, and the like. It is a fact that constipation is experienced by many people on various occasions during their lifetime. If such a condition only occurs occasionally, constipation treatment can include home remedies or over-the-counter medicines; however, if the disorder persists, it requires serious medical attention and regular constipation treatment to ease the symptoms. Here are some constipation treatment tips and remedies that could help alleviate the discomfort and gradually bring positive results.
Like most ailments, constipation can be controlled by regular exercise, short walks, basic stretches, and the like. Exercise can help patients with constipation feel relieved, lighter, and in a better position to handle constipation. People with constipation can begin walking for at least 20 minutes and gradually increase the time and pace.
Excess consumption of alcohol or caffeine can lead to dehydration which further aggravates constipation. Constipation treatment also includes having enough fluids at regular intervals throughout the day. Mostly, having ten glasses of water and some fresh juices are recommended to treat constipation. People with existing medical issues like heart failure or kidney problems must consult their doctors about the appropriate amount of fluids to be consumed.
Have enough fruits, veggies, and fibers
People who eat less or do not have a balanced, nutritious, fiber-rich meals are at a greater risk of getting constipation. Many doctors recommend daily consumption of fruits and fibrous vegetables in their diets. Apart from veggies, you can also incorporate bran cereals or bran muffins as a part of your breakfast or morning snack. People with low-fiber diets must compulsorily try to include a source of fiber in their diets.
Stick to a routine
Try to adapt to a routine and schedule a time for the bowel movements. Ensure that you are not in a rush and take your time during this period.
Try including processed or synthetic fibers in your diet
In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can include processed or synthetic fibers like Citrucel, Metamucil, Perdiem, etc., to your diet.
Give laxatives a try
Having laxatives before going to bed is a common constipation treatment that works for many patients. However, it is important that you talk to a doctor before trying a particular laxative. Osmotic laxatives hold fluids in the intestine and make it softer so that the stool becomes easier to pass. In case your doctor has recommended you take this type of laxative, it is essential that you drink enough water. Another type of laxative that most doctors could suggest may include a stimulant laxative that helps speed up the movement of stools from the intestines. It is important to follow the dosage and avoid using any form of laxative for more than two weeks to avoid any significant side effects.
Try herbal remedies
Since many over-the-counter drugs for constipation treatment have herbal ingredients, you can easily find herbal stimulants that can work like laxatives by drawing fluid to the colon. Some of the popular herbal remedies have been listed below.
Mainly used as an essential ingredient in pies, Rhubarb is an effective fruit that can be utilized for constipation treatment. When rhubarb is used for a short term, it can work as a useful laxative.
This is a natural fiber that can work as an efficient laxative and can create bulk stools. Chronic constipation can effectively be treated by this herb when taken in combination with other laxatives. The herb, however, must be had in moderation as it is known to cause certain allergies, nausea, and stomach ache.
- Cascara Sagrada
This is a bark extract from a species of a buckthorn tree that acts as an irritant to the colon and promotes bowel movements. This herb should only be used for a short while as its long-term use can cause electrolyte imbalance, abdominal pain, liver injury, and even liver failure.
This is the kind of herb that is used if you have occasional constipation. This herb helps in treating mild constipation and clearing bowel movements. Over use or long-term use of the same can lead to grave consequences including liver damage.
- Slippery Elm
This is one of the oldest herbs that has been used for constipation treatment for several thousand years. The herb is known to stimulate the nerve in the GI tract that helps produce mucus and helps relieve constipation.