Constipation isn’t a new problem, but it has become far more prevalent with today’s diet. It affects about 20 percent of the population and while diet plays a big role, so doe lifestyle. The definition for constipation is less than three bowel movements a week and the symptoms include bloating, pain passing hard stools and long unfruitful trips to the bathroom. There are natural remedies for constipation that can help most people and are normally quite effective. .
What you eat makes a huge difference.
Eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables can decrease the potential for constipation. That’s because these foods contain fiber. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and both help get things moving, but insoluble may offer less help, and in some people, no help at all. Insoluble fiber is the fiber found in whole grains, bran and vegetables. It adds bulk and helps the waste travel through your system more quickly. Soluble fiber is in seeds, beans, peas, some fresh fruit and vegetables and oat bran. It helps absorb water to soften the stool and make it easier to go.
Get moving to get things moving in your colon.
While there are mixed reviews in studies as to the effect of exercise on constipation, but for centuries, it was one of the cures recommended. Studies found that exercise can help reduce the symptoms of constipation such as bloating and pain, even if it doesn’t increase frequency. Riding a bike, walking or other mild exercise is thought to work the muscles and massage the colon, helping to eliminate gas that builds up, too.
Drinking more water is a definite plus if you’re trying to beat the bloat of constipation.
It probably won’t surprise you to find that dehydration adds to the potential of constipation and many people who suffer from chronic constipation are frequently mildly dehydrated. The solution is easy, drink more water. One study found that carbonated—sparkling—water worked faster than tap water to get things moving again. It works better even for people with IBS or idiopathic constipation. Don’t mistake that for soft drinks. Those actually make you more constipated.
- If you find you have to use the bathroom right after your morning coffee, it won’t surprise you to find out that caffeinated is a good treatment for constipation.
- When you think of cures for constipation, prunes usually come to mind first. Prunes not only provide fiber, they also contain sorbitol, which acts like a laxative. Avoid this cure if you have IBS, since it’s a sugar alcohol.
- Eating both prebiotic and probiotic foods can help you get your digestion healthier. The prebiotic foods not only help feed the healthy bacteria, they also provide more fiber. Probiotic foods help balance the bacteria in the gut.
- Whether it’s eating healthier foods, drinking more water, getting plenty of exercise or adding pre and probiotics to your diet, even if they don’t provide a cure for your constipation, you’ll be helping your body get healthier.