Would you agree that one of the most uncomfortable medical disorders is constipation? Although almost everyone has experienced it, that does not mean that constipation is a medical condition that can be simplified! If you are currently experiencing this disorder, try reading this article to find safe, comfortable, and natural tips to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by constipation. If not, keep reading this article to find out what preventative steps you can take!
Method 1 of 4: Relieve the Discomfort
Step 1. Do not limit the width of the abdomen
When you are constipated, don't wear clothes that are too tight so that your stomach doesn't hurt even more. Instead, wear loose-fitting clothing so that the abdomen does not receive extra pressure from the outside.
Trousers or skirts that are too tight can also limit the flexibility of the stomach so that it is at risk of triggering indigestion
Step 2. Make a laxative from honey
One natural remedy that is proven to be able to relieve constipation is a mixture of honey and water. In particular, the high sugar content in honey can act as an osmotic laxative which is able to bring more water into the intestines.
- Mix 2 tbsp. honey with 250 ml of warm water, then drink the mixture as soon as possible. For some people, the benefits will be felt in a very short time.
- If you want, honey can also be replaced with black molasses.
Step 3. Try using olive oil
Olive oil can also help make bowel movements more regular, you know! To apply this method, you only need to take 1 tbsp. olive oil with 250 ml of water. If you want, you can also mix the juice of a fresh lemon into the water.
- The use of olive oil can also be replaced with 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil.
- Mineral oil taken orally is also beneficial for relieving constipation. However, this method should not be used for too long because of the risk of slowing the absorption of various types of vitamins and nutrients in the body.
Step 4. Use a glycerol suppository
Glycerol suppositories can make bowel movements more regular in a very short time! In general, glycerol will lubricate the rectal walls and facilitate the expulsion process. Since glycerol suppositories are inserted through the anus, there are almost no harmful side effects for you after using them.
Ensure that glycerol suppositories are only used when absolutely necessary. Also follow the instructions for use listed on the packaging, and understand that the benefits of glycerol suppositories are only temporary
Step 5. Try taking herbs
Some types of herbs that can act as laxatives and can relieve constipation are senna, buckthorn, cascara, and aloe vera. Make sure you only use this type of herb to treat acute or non-routine constipation under the supervision of a doctor or herbalist.
- The milder herbs act as dirt compacting agents or mild stimulants. Some of these include flaxseed, senna, psyllium, and fenugreek.
- In fact, there are various types of herbal teas available in the market so you can choose according to your taste. Does it taste bad? Don't worry, you can always mix in a little lemon or honey for a delicious taste! Two types of herbal teas that you should try are Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move and Yogi Get Regular. Both can be purchased at various online herb stores.
- Senna, which can effectively relieve pain and discomfort from constipation, can also be taken in tablet or capsule form. Don't worry, the use of senna has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and the benefits can usually be felt within eight to 12 hours after consumption. Do not take senna if you have Crohn's syndrome or ulcerative colitis, and always follow the directions for use on the product packaging.
- Try consuming 1 tbsp. psyllium seeds with a 250 ml glass of water, twice a day. Start by consuming 1 tbsp. psyllium seeds first. If there are no signs of having a bowel movement within eight to 12 hours, go back to 1 tbsp. psyllium seeds with a glass of water. Do not try this method if you have asthma or are allergic to psyllium!
Method 2 of 4: Changing Your Diet
Step 1. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber is an essential food source for maintaining healthy and regular bowel movements. That's why, increasing fiber intake can help prevent constipation and relieve constipation that already occurs. Some food groups rich in fiber are:
- Fruits and berries. Instead, increase the consumption of fruits whose skin can be eaten, such as apples; plums; and grapes, mainly because the highest fiber content lies in the skin of the fruit.
- Vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables such as collards, mustard greens, beet greens, and Swiss chard are very high in fiber. In addition, other vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, artichokes, and string beans are also good sources of fiber for your digestive health.
- Nuts and legumes. Food sources included in this group are lentils, kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lima beans, and white beans. Black eye beans are also very rich in fiber so they are worth consuming. For some people, eating nuts and legumes can make their stomach gas. If a similar situation happens to you, it's best to avoid this fiber source when you are constipated. But in general, this food group is the best remedy to fight constipation!
- Whole wheat. Whole wheat is unprocessed wheat, so white flour is not included. Cereals like granola tend to have the highest fiber content. However, if you want to buy packaged cereal, first read the label on the package to find out the amount of fiber content in it.
- Nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sesame nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
Step 2. Eat plums
Try eating prunes and drinking their juice. In general, prunes are very high in fiber and contain sorbitol, a type of sugar that softens the texture of stools, which can help relieve constipation. Sorbitol is a mild colonic stimulant that can reduce stool transit time and prevent potential constipation.
- If you don't like the wrinkled texture of the plum or its unique taste, try consuming the juice. Supposedly, the benefits will be felt within a few hours. Therefore, do not consume it excessively so that your constipation does not develop into diarrhea.
- Every 100 grams of prunes contains 14.7 grams of sorbitol, while every 100 ml of plum juice contains about 6.1 grams of sorbitol. That's why, you need to consume at least two glasses of plum juice to get the same results.
Step 3. Take probiotics
In general, probiotics are live bacterial cultures that are able to create a conducive environment for your digestive system to stay healthy and function regularly. Probiotics are claimed to be able to improve the balance of microflora in the intestine, reduce the duration of food digestion, and speed up its excretion from your digestive system. As a result, consuming probiotics can help prevent constipation while making bowel movements more regular!
- Try consuming 250 ml of yogurt every day. Previously, check the yogurt packaging to make sure the product contains live bacteria or active cultures.
- Also consume foods that have gone through a fermentation process and contain good cultures, such as kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. All three also contain bacteria that are good for digestion and can relieve constipation.
- Drink as much water as possible. One of the hallmarks of constipation is the production of hard, dry stools. The more water you drink, the easier it will be to excrete! Although experts do not have specific rules regarding the amount of water that should be consumed, the general recommendation is to consume eight glasses of water, each 250 ml in volume, every day.
- When constipated, drink at least ten glasses of water, each 250 ml in volume, every day. Use this as a basic guide, then adjust the amount to suit your needs.
Method 3 of 4: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Walk more often
Many people tend to spend their time in front of the computer or desk. As a result, their physical activity was very low. When constipation strikes, always take time every hour to walk or do light exercise, to encourage bowel movements.
- Start by walking slowly, then gradually increase the speed until you reach your maximum walking tempo without running. Walk at a fast pace for five minutes, then slow down for the next five minutes. Ideally, you should walk for a full 10 minutes every hour.
- If your time is really limited, try increasing your walking tempo. However, don't go too fast in the first place! Instead, start walking at a slow pace for 30 seconds, then increase the pace every ten steps. Even if discomfort strikes, don't despair!
Step 2. Take as much time as possible to defecate
Many people tend to not take enough time to have a bowel movement. In fact, your intestines need time to relax in order to pass stool more easily. Therefore, try to bring your favorite book or magazine into the bathroom, and go to the bathroom at a time with minimal distractions.
If possible, try to have a bowel movement at the same time each day to get your system in order
Step 3. Change the way you sit
If you want, try changing the way you sit on the toilet. For example, support your legs with a chair, and make sure your knees are bent and as close to your chest as possible. This position can increase the pressure in the intestines and make it easier to pass stool afterwards.
Relax as much as you can, and let your gut do its job
Step 4. Do yoga
Some yoga poses can help make bowel movements more regular, as well as a more comfortable body position to encourage the urge to defecate, especially because these poses can increase the internal pressure of the intestines and make it easier for the intestines to pass waste.
- Baddha Konasana: In a sitting position, bend your knees and bring your feet together until your heels touch each other. Then, grasp the big toe with your hand. Then, drop your feet to the floor while maintaining this position, then bend forward until your forehead touches the floor. Hold this position for a count of five to ten.
- Pavanamuktasana: In a lying position, straighten your legs. Then, bend one knee in front of your chest, and hug it with your hands. Hold this position for a count of five to ten while continuing to move your toes. Repeat the same process on your other leg.
- Uttanasana: In a standing position, bend down without bending your knees. Then, straighten your arms down until they touch the mat or grip the backs of your feet. Hold this position for a count of five to ten.
Method 4 of 4: Understanding Constipation
Step 1. Understand the causes of constipation
Constipation, or difficulty having a comfortable bowel movement, often occurs in people whose daily fiber and water needs are not met. In addition, constipation can also be caused by a lack of exercise frequency and/or a side effect of certain medications.
It's important to realize that constipation may be a symptom of a more serious illness. Generally, natural remedies can be used to treat constipation caused by the wrong diet, dehydration, or side effects of medication. If the use of natural remedies does not show significant results, immediately consult a doctor to get the right diagnosis
Step 2. Understand that there is no standard for normal bowel frequency
In other words, defecation is not something that can be predicted! The only markers of abnormal bowel movements are medical disorders such as constipation or diarrhea. In fact, most people will feel relieved if they have regular bowel movements, at least once a day. However, there are also people who defecate two to three times per day, or even once every two days, and the frequency is quite normal for them.
- In general, the frequency of bowel movements that are considered normal is four to eight times a week. The key to making it more regular is to improve your diet and comfort level.
- Generally, people who defecate frequently are those who eat a lot of fiber intake, and are often vegetarians or vegans. Conversely, people who rarely defecate generally eat meat more often and consume less water.
Step 3. Check with a doctor
If all the methods listed do not work to relieve constipation within two to three days, see a doctor immediately. Be careful, long-term constipation may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
- Are you pregnant, nursing, or caring for a constipated child? See a doctor before applying any of the methods listed in this article!
- Consult your doctor before applying any of the methods listed in this article, especially if you have a specific medical condition or are taking certain medications. Remember, some foods and herbs can interact negatively with specific medications!
- Combine several methods. For example, increase your fiber intake while walking more often, drinking senna tea, and/or practicing some yoga positions.
- While on the toilet, try to stay relaxed so that your bowels can do their job with the help of gravity.
- Avoid laxatives that also act as stimulants (containing phenolphthalein or docusate), including popular laxatives such as Ex-Lax Extra Gentle, Dialose Plus, Docucal-P, Doxandan Softgel Laxative Plus Stool Softener, Prulet, Medilax, Phenolax, and Chocolaxed. These products have the risk of irritating the colon and triggering dependence, so they should not be consumed too often.
- Do not take any medication in excess. Surely you don't want to turn constipation into diarrhea, do you?
- In fact, it is not easy to predict the effectiveness of each method and the duration of its application. Therefore, at least make sure you always have time to go to the toilet if absolutely necessary.