Constipation is a very common gastrointestinal complaint among adults. It is characterized by a difficulty in passing bowels due to hardening of stools in the intestine. Constipation occurs as a result of infrequent bowel movements and also due to several other factors like diet, lifestyle, and certain diseases. Most cases can be treated and relief attained almost completely, though some cases of constipation can be chronic and can lead to bowel obstruction that can be life threatening.
Types Of Constipation
There are two types of constipation identified in adults, namely idiopathic constipation and functional constipation. Idiopathic constipation does not respond well to standard treatment methods. However, functional constipation, the most common type of constipation, can be easily treated with the help of slight changes in your diet and lifestyle, and also with specific training sessions aimed at strengthening the pelvic muscles.
Causes Of Constipation in Adults
Constipation can be caused due to primary, secondary, and in some cases congenital reasons. The most common causes that lead to constipation are lack of regular bowel habits, inadequate intake of water and fiber, intake of certain medications, lack of exercise, thyroid hormone disorders, mechanical problems of the rectum or anus, certain medical conditions involving nerves and connective tissues etc.
Home Remedies For Constipation
Constipation can be easily and effectively treated at home with the help of home remedies. These remedies not only relieve you instantly, but also safeguard your health and prevent recurrence as well.
This heart healthy oil is one of the best remedies for constipation. Olive oil is a natural laxative and shields the gastrointestinal tract, triggering the secretion of bile, which aids in optimum digestion and excretion of waste material. Bile keeps the stools moist and also irritates the mucosa in the gut, thereby speeding up the movement of the stools.
One tablespoon of extra virgin and organic olive oil can be consumed in the morning before breakfast. For severe constipation, take one more tablespoon before lunchtime. Once the constipation is under control, you can keep taking one tablespoon of olive oil in the morning or incorporate olive oil in your daily diet.
Rich in omega three fatty acids, flax seeds are also high in dietary fiber and hence used for treating a number of gastrointestinal disorders including constipation. The fiber in flax seeds help in swelling the stools and this results in smoother and faster elimination of bowels, toxins, and cholesterol from the body.
Taking adequate amounts of water, i.e. at least eight glasses a day will help in the process of bowel swelling and reduce the discomfort and irritation associated with the passing of constipated stools. Take one tablespoon of organic flax seeds and grind them thoroughly. This can be taken on its own or added to your breakfast cereals or juices like orange juice every day.
Using honey for treating constipation has been in practice for centuries. Raw and organic honey is a natural moisturizing agent and humectant that it absorbs abundant amounts of water and makes the stools very soft. Adequate water content in stools stimulates the easy passage of fecal matter through the colon walls, without any pressure or friction. Take ten grams of honey an hour before breakfast. A tablespoon of honey can be taken thrice a day as well for relieving constipation. Honey can also be taken along with a glass of warm water or added to a glass of warm lemon juice to enjoy its benefits. Ensure that the honey that you use a raw and organically prepared to enjoy its undivided healing action.
Incorporating plenty of fiber in your diet will ensure that you do not suffer from constipation and other digestive disorders. Figs are a great addition to your diet as they contain high amounts of both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. The dietary fiber in figs adds bulk, softness, and weight to the stools, making it easy to slide down without friction and difficulty. It is also advisable to drink plenty of water along with this so that the effect is even more enhanced. Figs can be consumed raw along with its skin as the maximum fiber is found in the exterior covering. Another way to consume figs is to boil 7-8 figs in water for ten minutes and then drink the water before bedtime. This will help in easy passage of stools early in the morning.
One of the fruits that has never got its due respect when it comes to its healing and medicinal properties, guava is also an excellent laxative. Its laxative properties stem from the fact that Guava is rich in dietary fiber that adds bulk and softness to your stools. Due to its power in retaining water, consuming guava is also a way to ensure that your intestine and excretory system is cleansed thoroughly and hardening of stools is prevented as well. One guava can be taken after your meals. It is important to ensure that you chew the seeds of guava as well as they too have laxative effects. Guava should not be taken too much as it can have the opposite effect on your stomach.
Other Treatments For Constipation
Lime juice taken along with a glass of hot water and a pinch of salt, early in the morning is beneficial for treating constipation. Hot water kick starts the digestion process when taken early in the morning. A combination of hot water and lime juice helps in cleansing the colon walls off all the fecal matter that could have hardened and caused constipation.
A natural laxative that can even be safely consumed by pregnant women and children, prune juice contains abundant amount of sorbitol, which has a laxative effect on your excretory system. Prunes are also rich in iron, potassium, and soluble and insoluble fiber hence great and nutritious addition to your daily diet. The sorbitol draws water into the stools and makes it soft and smooth, aiding in optimum bowel movement. The amount of dietary fiber in prune juice is very little and hence it must be taken along with adequate water to aid in smooth transition of bowels. Soak the dried prunes in water so that they swell up and become plump and moist. After removing the pits, blend well and add enough water before taking. One or two cups daily is sufficient for treating constipation.