Constipation has become one of the most common digestive issues right now. Almost every 3rd person is fighting with constipation.
In this article, we will be talking elaborately on how to get rid of constipation at the earliest.
Before going into details one must know that this is not a disease but a serious health issue. It is also not unusual. But, it can be avoided easily by having certain disciplines in life.
So without further ado, we should first know what constipation is all about.
What Is Constipation?
Medically, one can define constipation as irregular bowel movements i.e. less than three times a week. One suffering from constipation usually complains about hard and stiff stools, inconsistent stools, abdominal pain and others.
If you feel pain while excreting and have a sensation of incomplete bowel movement every time, you might be constipated.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Constipation
Try to bring a change in your diet. Avoid oily and greasy food as much as possible. If you can, do not eat out, rather cook something at home.
Have lots of fiber rich foods to induce your excretion.
- You should have 25-30mg of Fibres every day.
- Fiber-rich foods like nuts and almonds, oatmeal, bran cereals, beans, and others.
- Have green veggies and fresh fruits for more benefits.
Spice things up with whole wheat bread and flax seeds, sesame seeds, and others to have a smooth bowel movement.
Drink water as much as possible.
- A minimum of 3-4 liters of water is a must for avoiding/curing constipation.
- Fluids don’t mean fizzy drinks or energy drinks. So avoid that. Also, stop drinking alcohol.
- Instead of having fizzy drinks or carbonates ones, try coconut water or homemade lemonade.
The toxin will soften the stool and the release will be pain-free.
3. Ginger Or Mint Tea
Ginger and mint are known to improve digestion slowly.
- Ginger is at times referred to as a “warming” herb, as it retains the body warmth. This further leads to speeding up the slow digestion.
- Grate it into your tea just before straining.
- Mint or peppermint has methanol in it. Methanol has an anti-spasmodic effect. This makes the muscles of the digestive tract relax.
Many are unaware but caffeine can actually stimulate your colon.
- And this can lead to more visit to the loo.
- You will be able to excrete smoothly.
5. Healthy Oils
For lubricating your digestive system especially your intestines, you can try these.
- There are olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and even some nuts.
- They make your bowel movement smooth.
Try having a fiber-rich salad drizzled with healthy oils for better improvement.
6. Lemon Water
Lemons have a universal use. And here is no different.
- Because of its citric property, it can eliminate the waste easily.
- The toxins promote excretion. So the bowel movement runs fast and smooth.
One spoon goes a long way. It can help you excrete more smoothly.
- Having one spoon daily before bed has shown to have lessened constipation to a great extent.
- Add it to a glass of milk or juice to make it taste better.
Work out regularly.
- If not regularly, then at least a minimum of 4 times a week.
- The more you work out, you lessen the chances of suffering from constipation.
- Working out doesn’t call for heavy duty gym work out. You can merely go for brisk walking for half an hour.
- Not just that, even doing some yoga at home can make you less constipated and healthier.
9. Castor oil
For lubricating your stool before release, this method has been here for generations.
- Have a spoon or two in the morning on an empty stomach. And voila, within 8 hours you will have a nice bowel movement.
Triphala means three phal or fruits. It is an Ayurvedic treatment to cleanse your colon. Here the three fruits are Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Haritaki (ChebulicMyrobalan), and Bhibitaki (BelericMyrobalan).
- They act as a natural laxative making your stool easy to pass and hence is very good for constipated people.
It can be easily found at an Ayurveda store if you don’t have it already.
11. Sea Salt
People with high blood pressure should avoid this one.
Now for others,
- Boil a glass of water and add a spoon full of sea salt.
- Let it cool till it’s warm enough to sip like a tea.
- Have this as the first thing in the morning.
- Lay down on your back if you feel nauseated, but trust us, you will soon feel the urge to go to the loo.
12. Prunes And Raisins
Research shows the toxin present in them can induce smooth flow of bowels. So it can lead you to a constipation free life. They are rich in fiber, which is a must for consumption to avoid constipation.
It works wonders for your constipation.
- Have a bowl of yogurt after every other meal.
- Without sugar would be a better choice.
You will see that you are fairly regular when it comes to hitting the loo.
Surround yourself with seeds when you are fighting with constipation.
- Be it sesame seeds, flax seeds, fennel seeds they work beautifully if you want to get rid of constipation.
- Add them to your yogurt or salad to spice things up.
- Even in your meals whenever possible.
- Why stop there, have them as a mixture to improve your bowel movements.
One of the most special home remedy that is quick and easy.
All you need to do is
- Take one teaspoon of Isabgul in a glass of warm water
- Mix it up and drink it quick
- Repeat thrice a week.
Your bowel movements should be quick and easy too.
List Of Foods Causing Constipation
1. Foods Poor In Fibre
Avoid having foods that have less or no fiber. It makes you more constipated.
2. Red Meat
It is high in iron and thus leads to more constipation. It takes time to digest, so fair advice would be eating it rarely else none at all during constipation.
3. Dairy Products
Dairy products are usually rich in fat and poor in fiber. On top of those people who are lactose intolerant and has constipation might find this combination a danger call.
So avoid cheese, ice-creams, paneer and other dairy products to minimize your constipation.
4. Frozen Meals
Canned food or preserved food always leads to ill digestion and constipation, as they are poor in fiber content.
Moreover many find frozen meal boxes appealing to their busy schedule. But, these meals are so high in fat and low in fiber that it makes you constipated badly. It has high sodium content making you bloat also. You take more time to digest and far more time to excrete.
5. Chips And Cookies
More fat, less fiber. Has less nutritional value and tastier. So, avoid having them during constipation.
6. Raw Banana
Many might not know this, but an unripe banana is very rich in iron content making you constipated. It is believed that it can make your stool hard and stiff.
So do not have unripe bananas in your meals.
7. Fast Food
Junk foods or fried food are never a good alternative to eating healthy. They are very bad for your health, especially when you are down with constipation.
These foods are rich in oil and fats, and less in fibre and nutrition.So avoid eating out and cook a nice healthy meal at home.
Diet For Chronic Constipation
Your diet should have lots of fibres and should be less in fats.
- Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water.
- Or alternate it with a cup of ginger tea or dandelion tea.
- Have a small bowl of oatmeal mixed with a good amount of prunes and raisins later in your breakfast.
It has high fibre and what a way to spice things up with a high fibre cereal.
Here’s A Recipe
- Take 250ml of skim milk, 4-5 tbsp. of oatmeal, crushed dates, and almonds.
- Cook the milk and oatmeal for 5 minutes and serve hot.
- Sprinkle the crushed dates and almonds for taste.
- Try having fruits if required with their skins on.
- Try some strawberries and fruits for more benefits. Have some fruits also such as plums, pears, and others with skins on.
- 1 small oat bran muffin if you are too hungry.
- Add fiber rich food such as whole wheat bread, and cooked beans.
- Have half a cup of boiled vegetables.
- Bake a potato with the skin on and mashed it to go with your brown rice.
- Have some prunes and nuts, raisins on the go.
- You can also have an English muffin, made with whole wheat.
- Have some broccoli and salmon baked?
- Have mashed baked potatoes with the skin on to have more fun. Surround yourself with high fiber food for more benefits.
Here’s A Recipe For A Mixed Salad
- Take half a cucumber and carrot. Grate them.
- Chop half a tomato.
- Mix the ingredients.
- Add 2 tbsp. of pomegranate seeds.
- Also, add a dash of lemon juice.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper for taste.
- A spoon of molasses can benefit you a lot. Have it before hitting the bed.
Yoga Poses To Cure Constipation
Yoga eases out the post-digestion pain and smoothes out the bowel movement. It helps in recovering constipation also.
1. Matsyasana Twist
- Start by sitting on your yoga mat.
- Bend your left leg and left the foot on your right knee.
- Tuck in your right foot under your bum.
- Your right elbow should be over your left knee.
- Twist your body to look over your left shoulder.
- Change positions after few minutes.
- Repeat for 2-3 times.
This body twist, while you are sitting, is great for detoxification and stimulates good digestion.
2. Crescent Twist
- Start by putting your hands in a prayer position and twisting it on your bent leg.
- Then press your arm, on the outside of your bent leg.
- Change position after few minutes.
- Repeat for 2-3 times.
3. Wind Relieving Pose
- Lie on your back.
- Take both your legs together and hug them in your chest.
- Pull in your rectum.
- Breathe in and out for a while.
- Stretch one leg if you can.
- Release and repeat for 2-3 times.
Just like the name suggests, it can stimulate the flow of gas more properly.
4. Supine Twisting
- Recline on your back, and bring in your legs to your chest.
- Extend your left leg out.
- Keep your shoulders flat on your back. Bring in your right leg and bent in on your body across the left.
- Turn or look towards the right.
- Hold and change after a while.
- Repeat for 2-3 times.
This pose makes your blood flow more easily, clears your gut, and excrete the waste smoothly.
5. Child Pose
- Start by sitting on your bent knees.
- Spread them wide apart, wider than your hip.
- Your feet should be under your bum, toes touching it.
- Raise your hands above your head in a prayer position.
- Bent down with your hands and feet intact.
- You should be facing the mat, head down.
- Breathe in and out and hold for a while.
- Release and repeat for 2-3 times.
Constipation Whilst Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Constipation is a natural phenomenon during pregnancy and post pregnancy. The various causes of constipation during this time are usually the prenatal vitamins and hormonal changes.
One might face fierce abdominal pain post pregnancy. This and also the caesarean section, breastfeeding, dehydration leads to constipation.
Consult your physician for stool softening medicines. Avoid going for anything without proper diagnosis, as your child matters in this case. Whatever you intake, would come out for the baby via your breast milk. So always a doctor’s recommendation is a must.
When a baby is suffering from constipation, consult a pediatrician for better results.
Different Types Of Constipation
The types can be subdivided into two parts: Medical terminologically and Layman’s guide.
1. Obstructive Constipation
As the name suggests, this happens due to obstruction in the passageway. The stool is incapable of coming out easily due to a narrow or uneven path.
2. Atonic Constipation
The word atonic comes from the Greek word Atos meaning unaccented or without tension. Thus, it refers to the reduction of the muscle tension of the pelvic wall or colon. And this leads to Atonic Constipation.
3. Spastic Constipation
When stress triggers colonic spasm, this type of constipation occurs. This also happens due to unhealthy diet and certain medication. It is popularly known as Irregular-Bowel-Syndrome (IBS-C).
1. Low Transit Constipation
Here, the gut movement is decreased while the transit time is increased. Transit time is the time from the moment the food enters the mouth till it gets excreted out.
2. Normal Transit Constipation
This happens in spite of having regular bowel movements. People usually under stress or work pressure, face this problem. The excretion is not simple, hard, stiff stool toughens the job.
3. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Due to the discoordination of the muscles of the pelvic region, inappropriate anal contraction takes place. Even a failure of anal relaxation can lead to this.
4. Secondary Constipation
Metabolic disturbances often lead to constipation. Neurological problems like Parkinson’s disease or Hypothyroidism can also lead to constipation.
Before looking for signs, ask yourself if you are regular. Regular might mean different for different people. One might say 6-7 times a week is fairly regular, for some, it is a minimum of 9 times. Having bowel movement less than three times a week is never regular.
So if you have such less number of visits to the loo, you might want to know the other signs of constipation. And those signs are:
- Your stool is never easy to feel. It’s hard and stiff. You have a tough time excreting it.If you take over 15mins just to excrete a small portion, it can be a sign of constipation. Spending a long time in the loo is never a good sign.
- In spite of having a bowel movement you still feel incomplete or full. The colon is never empty to say and you feel the pressure. Yet, you are unable to release them properly.
- There always a constant factor of straining. You have to give enough pressure for small excretion. It feels too painful and sometimes hurts a lot.
- There is an urge to go and excrete. Yet, when you go you are unable to do so.
- There is a pain in the abdominal region and you feel uneasy due to excess gas release.
- You feel uneasy and full, although you did not have food for a long time.
What Causes Constipation?
When the stool remains in the colon for a long period of time, constipation occurs. It releases the moisture in it, making it more stiff and dry.
Here are a few causes of constipation.
1. Improper Diet
Lack of dietary fiber, inconsistent with drinking fluids, and consuming dry food leads to constipation.
Skipping meals or having too many carbonated drinks such as fizzy drinks or energy drink can also make you constipated.
Eating out is never a good idea if you want to avoid constipation. So avoid oily food, overdosage of caffeine and even alcohol.
Not drinking enough water can make you constipated. Always drink over 5-6 liters of water to avoid this.Also, avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol.
3. Inactive lifestyle
Working out or going for a long walk is always good for your health. What is not good for your health is being inactive and not doing anything. Any sort of physical activities can make you less constipated.
If you do not exercise, your metabolism slows down at an alarming rate. And this harms your bowel movement, making you more constipated.
When you under any sort of mental pressure be it for professional reasons or personal, you can be constipated.
When you are on medication such as painkillers or stress relief ones, they often lead to constipation.
Often, when you feel the urge to visit the loo, you avoid it for some reasons. So don’t do that, because this makes you more constipated. Rather go with the flow and excrete when nature calls.
Can Constipation Be Serious?
Constipation is usually not serious. But it can be fatal for elderly people and people having poor heart conditions. When you are constipated, you might have to hold your breath. Not just that when you exert more pressure for excretion, it lowers your BP and can cause a fatal cardiac attack.
Bowel perforation might occur due to over digestion.Some serious conditions of constipation are piles, a prolapsed rectum, and even some anal tears.
When To Consult A Doctor?
Constipation, when neglected over a long period of time, may become more harmful. It should never go to the ultimate stage wherein you have to visit an ER.
However, if your situation has worsened, do visit for proper treatment.
Here are the reasons why you might have to pay a visit to the doctor.
1. Unbearable Abdominal Pain
If you are facing severe abdominal pain for a while now and it is becoming worse day after day you might have to visit the doctor. If your constipation does not cure, it’s really urgent to visit your doctor now.
Prolonged constipation leads to vomiting number of times. What cannot be released comes out of the mouth due to pain and uneasiness. The faecal stays in your colon, but the undigested food comes out via your mouth.
3. Unable To Pass Gas
When you are heavily constipated, the passage is blocked by unreleased fecal matters. This stops any gas movement hence you are unable to do so. It further goes back in your body, making you feel uneasy and suffocated.
4. Severe Anal Pain
When for a prolonged time you don’t excrete, the anal starts paining due to extra pressure exerted. The bruises start to bleed and it becomes painful to hit the loo further.
Consult your doctor now.
At times you feel uneasy and suffocated for not clearing the waste properly. And if you are badly constipated, you will feel sick and weak. You might also feel unconscious in serious cases. So now would be the better time to consult your doctor, before anything happens.
Constipation has never been an easy topic for many people. They usually hush it up and brush it under the carpet. But before you do so, read the article and understand the seriousness of the issue.
Try to talk about it to your near ones, and consult a doctor when need be. Follow a proper diet plan and improve your lifestyle.