Natural At-Home Laxatives and Colonic irrigation for Constipation
Constipation is a common health complaint with one in five people are affected in Australia. People have different bowel movements but you may be constipated when you have fewer than three bowel movements per week. Constipated people may experience:
- hard, dry, or lumpy feces or that look like small stones or marbles
- pain and discomfort when passing stools
- a loss of appetite
- Small streaks of bright red blood in the stools
You are at risk for constipation as you age with 33 out of every 100 adults over the age of 60 experiencing constipation symptoms. Having constipation can be painful, uncomfortable and can affect the quality of life negatively. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways you can do to relieve constipation in the comfort of your own home.
Natural laxatives are gentler compared to over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription laxatives. OTC laxatives work within a few hours or a few days to take full effect, they can help relieve symptoms. However, using them too often can disturb the balance of electrolytes in your body.
Using natural laxatives is the way to go if you aim to regulate your bowel movement. They are safe and inexpensive alternatives to OTC and prescription laxatives. Consider these natural laxatives you can find easily in your pantry:
Dehydration can be the culprit of your symptoms. The intestines cannot add enough water to stools when you are dehydrated. It can result in dry and lumpy stools. Keep a water bottle with you and drink enough water a day. Studies show that sparkling water is more effective than drinking tap water to relieve constipation. This also holds for those who have indigestion and dyspepsia. Slow down on drinking sugary and carbonated drinks as these can have a negative effect and worsen your symptoms.
Adding more fibre into your diet can help add bulk to stools and encourage regular movement. Increasing your fibre intake can improve stool frequency and soften stool for easy excretion. Chia seeds are high in fibre and help absorb water to form a gel, helping in the formation of softer stool. Whilst fibre can relieve constipation, several studies have discovered that increasing fibre consumption can worsen the symptoms while others report improvement of bowel movement. It can be because different types of fibre (soluble and insoluble) have varied effects on the body.
Pulses and legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, and nuts are high in fibre that encourages regular bowel movement. Consuming legumes can help increase the body’s production of a certain fatty acid (butyric acid) that acts as a natural laxative. This acid also helps in treating constipation by increasing the movement of the digestive tract. It also reduces the inflammation in the intestines that are associated with digestive issues.
Prunes are probably the most accessible and common natural laxatives available. This fruit is rich in fibre and contains a type of sugar alcohol that acts as a natural laxative. Prunes also encourage stool frequency.
Fermented foods including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut have good bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that help prevent chronic constipation and maintain the balance of the gut microbiome. People with constipation may have an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Increasing your intake of probiotic foods could help restore balance and prevent constipation.
This edible stalk has a compound called Sennoside that has powerful laxative properties. Sennoside minimises the levels of AQP3 that regulates the water content of feces. It increases the absorption of water to soften the stool and encourage easy bowel movement. Rhubarb is also loaded with fibre that promotes regularity.
Among the berries you can consume include blackberries, strawberries and raspberries to ease constipation. Berries are loaded with fibre and water that are known to encourage regularity. Additionally, kiwis are berries that have insoluble and soluble fibre. They have pectin, a polysaccharide starch, known to have a natural laxative effect. A study conducted by Taipei researchers discovered that eating two kiwis each day improves the number of bowel movements among constipated adults.
Pears, plums and apples:
These fruits contain various compounds that enhance digestion. Among these compounds include fibre, sorbitol, and fructose. They also contain high levels of water known to ease digestion and prevent constipation. Eat these fruits raw and with the skin intact to get the most benefits.
Wheat bran and whole grains:
Brans and whole grains are insoluble fibres that add bulk to stool. They help speed up the flow of stool through the intestines.
This cruciferous vegetable has a substance called sulforaphane that may protect the gut and ease digestion. Sulforaphane also calms inflammation in the body as it neutralizes toxins.
Colonic irrigation for constipation:
Besides consuming these foods that serve as natural laxatives, doing colonic irrigation regularly helps relieve and treat constipation. Colonic irrigation or colonic cleanse is a safe method that involves flushing the colon with gallons of water to remove the waste materials and toxins surrounding the colon. A small rectal nozzle is inserted gently into the rectum to cleanse the lower part of the intestine. This procedure is done by a certified hydrotherapist using FDA-approved equipment. The digestive system responds slowly when you are constipated. Stool and other waste materials stay longer in the digestive system, which increases your risk of developing health issues such as hemorrhoids. Regular colonic irrigation not just prevents and treats temporary constipation, it also offers tons of health benefits such as weight management, improved fertility, better mood, and mental clarity.
Everybody has a unique bowel movement schedule. However, if you are feeling the symptoms of constipation, consider consuming these natural laxatives for relief. Doing colonic cleanse also helps in relieving these symptoms and improving your overall health. At Colonic Care, we ensure our clients receive the most comfortable procedure using FDA-approved equipment. Contact us to learn more.