Foods and Natural Remedies That Help Relieve Constipation
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Foods and Natural Remedies That Help Relieve Constipation

Natural foods and remedies to relieve constipation

Constipation is no laughing matter.  Besides making us feel bloated and uncomfortable, severe to constipation can lead to bowel obstruction while straining in the bathroom can cause painful hemorrhoids.  At the same time, frequent use of laxatives may cause dependency.  Therefore, when possible, making dietary changes and partaking in regular exercise should be considered to not only prevent constipation but help alleviate it should it become a problem.

Constipation is usually caused when the colon absorbs too much water from the foods we eat, resulting in feces which become dry, hard and difficult to pass.  Causes of constipation may be related to poor diet or dietary changes, lack of exercise, medication, illness, anatomical disorders or hormones (including hypothyroidism).  People taking iron supplements, including for anemia, often experience problems with constipation.  Sometimes constipation is its own disorder whereas in other cases it might be a side effect of another problem.  Fortunately, there are often natural treatments and remedies which can alleviate constipation caused by many of these issues.

Regarding diet, foods rich in fiber are a good, natural way to relieve constipation or prevent it from ever occurring.  You can even try fiber supplements, many of which will work as a laxative if you take them in larger doses, or a good fiber cereal.  Whole grain breads can be added to this category as well.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, including salads, are also excellent foods which not only help prevent constipation but will usually help relieve it when taken in larger quantities.  Baked beans, chick peas and lentils often work rather well in both preventing and relieving constipation.  You may also wish to consider foods or supplements which are high in magnesium, which will usually prevent and help treat constipation (and are found in many beans, seeds and vegetables, such as the ones I listed above). Magnesium is essential to our overall health.  It aids in the synthesis of protein, and it assists in the functioning of certain enzymes in the body. It also plays a vital role in our metabolism function, yet a recent study by the USDA showed that adult women only receive about 74% of the recommended daily allowance of this (compared to 94% of adult men).

Some other quick cures:  An old home remedy simply involves mixing 1/4 teaspoon Epsom salt to 1/2 glass water and drink.  Prunes or prune juice does well.  One remedy that I haven't tried which I have been told works wonders is to mix 1/2 cup olive oil to 1/2 cup orange juice and drink.  If the constipation is severe, you may wish to try an enema for a more thorough and immediate bowel movement (usually within 10-15 minutes).  Many people insist upon organic coffee enemas, either made at home or done at a facility which specializes in colon irrigation.  I have not personally tried this method but know people who feel that it is an excellent method for maintaining overall colon health or for constipation relief.  There are many methods and recipes for this available on the Internet should you decide to try this at home.  I simply tend to use pure distilled water in a store-bought enema applicator which has been emptied and cleaned between uses should I decide to use an enema.

Besides these natural foods and supplements, often drinking large amounts of water is useful in preventing and treating constipation.  It is important to stay thoroughly hydrated when experiencing the effects of constipation, no matter what treatment you decide to use.

What I have noticed when I'm having bouts of constipation is that I have been more sedentary and am needing exercise.  Not only does exercise help prevent constipation, I have also noticed that it helps relieve constipation should I already be having those symptoms.    Something as simple as a 30 minute walk after dinner will prevent constipation in most people. I find if I can manage a long, brisk walk when experiencing constipation will usually help me have a bowel movement within 30 minutes to an hour.

The important thing to remember is that if you are having regular problems with constipation or constipation which is not relieved by these or other treatments, it is necessary to see your doctor immediately as there may be a more serious medical issue which requires immediate medical attention.  I once had a friend who ended up in the emergency room after he had been complaining of constant constipation which was not relieved with laxatives.  It turned out he had a major obstruction which required surgery.  People with diverticulitis often experience frequent or prolonged constipation.

I hope you find this information useful.

Thank you.

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Comments (1)

just plain old coffee usually did it for me.