Natural Ways to Beat Constipations
You have Constipation when your bowel movements are less frequent and your stools are difficult to pass. It is when you have less than three bowel movements a week. This happens because your colon absorbs too much water from waste (stool/poop), which dries out the stool making it hard in consistency and difficult to push out of your body. But one fact is certain: the longer you wait before you “let it go,” the more difficult it will be for your stool/poop to pass.
Constipation is actually one of the most common and frequent gastrointestinal problems of anyone anywhere. At least 2.5 million people see their doctor each year because of this.
How to tell if you have constipation:
- Your stools are dry and hard.
- You have fewer than three bowel movements a week.
- You feel bloated.
- Your bowel movement is painful and stools are difficult to pass.
- You have a feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowels.
Constipation can be caused by many factors, like poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, and more. Your age isn’t much of a factor when it comes to constipation, but mothers and people in old age may have a greater probability than others.
Common causes of constipation:
- Old age. People at old age tend to be less active, have a slower metabolism, and less muscle contraction strength along their digestive tract compared to when they were still young.
- Pregnancy and giving birth. Pregnant women and those who just gave birth have higher chances of constipation because of the changes in hormones. In addition, while the baby is inside the womb it squishes the intestines, slowing down the passage of stool.
- Lack of fiber. Not eating enough food that’s high in fiber can lead to irregular bowel movements, loose stools and can also cause stomach pain.
- Taking certain medications. There are some medications that can cause constipation. Medications that cause constipation include pain relievers like opiates, morphine, and codeine to name a few.
- Medical and health conditions. Neurological diseases of the brain and spinal cord and digestive disorders can also cause constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). hypothyroidism, diabetes, uremia, hypercalcemia, and diverticular disease to name a few.
- Severe or long-term stress can cause constipation and stomach pain.
- Lack of water or dehydration. Dehydration can cause or worsen constipation. Lack of water is actually the most common cause of constipation. If you’re not getting enough water your stool may look dry or like small lumps. So, drink as many as eight 8-ounce servings each day.
- Lack of exercise. The abdominal wall muscles and the diaphragm play an important role in the process of defecation. If your muscles are weak, they won’t be able to do their job. Exercise stimulates the nervous system and helps the muscles and nerves in the gut to work better resulting in better digestion.
- Eating large amounts of milk or cheese. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, can cause constipation especially when eaten in large quantities.
- Change of routine or activity like traveling, eating schedule, or going to bed at different times.
- Not going to the bathroom when needed or resisting the urge to have move bowel
Your diet can also affect your body and cause constipation. Our body responds differently to different foods, so if there is a certain food or foods that causes you to have constipation it would be best for you to avoid eating it or at least lessen it.
Here are 7 types of food that can cause constipation:
- Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause constipation since you would likely lose a lot of fluids through your urine resulting in dehydration.
- Milk and dairy products. Milk and dairy products like butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream are one of the most common causes of constipation.
- Processed grains. Processed grains and products made from them, such as white rice, white bread, and white pasta, have lower fiber content compared to whole grains. This makes it more possible to cause constipation.
- Food containing Gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. There are some who experience constipation when they eat food that contains gluten. If food containing gluten is causing constipation, make sure to talk to your doctor to check and rule out celiac disease before removing gluten from your diet.
- Fried food. Frequently eating large portions of fried foods can increase the risk of constipation. This is because fried foods tend to be high in fat and low in fiber resulting in slow digestion. Instead of fried food, you can choose fruits and vegetables instead.
- Salty food and fast food. Most fast food contains lots of salt, causing lower water content of the stool, drying it up and making it harder to push through the body. Avoid eating large amounts of salty food and fast food.
- Red meat. Red meat can cause and worsen constipation since it contains only a little amount of fiber. And unlike other types of meat, such as poultry and fish, red meat contains higher amounts of fat which take long to digest resulting in constipation.
Constipation is a symptom and not a disease.
If you are having a hard time with your constipation, in a hurry to leave, or you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, there are a few ways you can speed things up and relieve yourself. The best part is that these ways that I’m gonna share with you are all-natural and doctor-recommended methods.
- Colon Hydrotherapy – otherwise known as Colonic Irrigation is a safe and effective way to immediately alleviate constipation – have a chat to your local colon hydrotherapist today to see if colonics can help you.
- Water enemas – if you don’t have access to colonics – at home water enemas are the next best thing.
- Drink lots of water. When your body is poorly hydrated, it will compensate by withdrawing water from the colon resulting in hard stools. Drink lots of extra water every day.
- Warm beverages like hot coffee or tea, especially in the morning, can help to get things moving. The heat from the hot drink can stimulate bowel movements.
- Add high-fiber foods to your diet. Food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and others are great for your tummy. Eat fewer high-fat foods, like meat, eggs, and cheese. You can also add a fiber-rich supplement to your diet.
- Eat prunes and/or bran cereal to improve digestion.
- Make a food diary and take note of the foods that constipate you so you can avoid it next time.
- Exercise regularly. Lack of exercise is one of the main reasons why older people often experience constipation. Small or short exercises can help improve your health and your digestive system, resulting in lesser possibilities of constipation. Even a 10-15 minutes daily exercise can give you great benefits. You can do aerobic exercise: running, jogging, swimming, dancing, or you can also do yoga.
- Avoid reading, using your phone, or doing other stuff while trying to move your bowels.
- Try squatting over the toilet when you need to go. According to Peyton Berookim, MD, director of the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California in Los Angeles. Squatting modifies the anatomy by relaxing the muscles in that area while also elevating the part of your colon that makes for easier emptying of the bowel. “The closer you are to a full squat, the easier it will be to poop,”
- Give yourself a belly rub. Applying moderate pressure and massaging your abdomen in a clockwise direction can help you move your bowels, says Dr. Berookim. Colonic massage has been shown to improve constipation, he says This can be performed by applying moderate pressure along with the horseshoe shape of the colon in your right lower quadrant. Then continue moving up to the rib cage, across the stomach, and underneath the ribs to your left lower quadrant, which is the point where stool is emptied.
- This is the most important tip. Go when you have to go and don’t wait. Waiting or not going when you need to will only worsen your constipation, so don’t wait.
Most of the time mild constipation can be handled on your own and will pass after a few hours or a day or two, but if the pain goes beyond what you can handle check with a doctor as soon as possible. Call your healthcare provider if:
- Check with your doctor if you don’t usually experience constipation.
- Check with your doctor if there is blood in your stool.
- Check with your doctor if you experience pain while moving bowels.
- Check with your doctor if you are unintentionally losing weight.
- Check with your doctor if your constipation has lasted more than three weeks.
Talk honestly with your doctor and tell him exactly how you feel. Tell the professional healthcare provider if there is anything unusual you feel about your bowel movements, and if there are any questions or concerns you may have. Pooping is not something to be ashamed of, we all do it, and we all should do it. Constipation may be a temporary situation, a long-term problem, or a sign of a more serious condition. Just always be safe and see your doctor, when you feel necessary.