Let’s begin by saying that constipation is a symptom not a disease and it has several causes. There is no single definition for constipation because its meaning varies from person to person. Constipation by and large means infrequent bowel movements. People could face difficulty while defecating due to hard stools.
The feeling of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement can also be termed as constipation by some people. There could be different causes to each of these types of constipation and therefore the treatment should be done accordingly. However the two primary causes that have been determined so far are obstructed defecation and colonic slow transit.
Constipation is not life threatening, but if the problem is left untreated it could lead to complications. For example there could be serious medical illness associated with acute constipation like tumors of the colon and if left untreated the condition of the patient could turn fatal. At that stage surgery is the only option.
Therefore our common sense should remind us of the old saying “prevention is better than cure”. There are a large variety of natural cures and they are some of the best treatments for constipation, and they include dietary intake, laxatives, biofeedback, acupressure etc. Let’s discuss each one of them to get more detailed information of these remedies.
Beneficial Remedies For Constipation
A diet low in fiber could play a vital role in causing constipation. The insoluble nature of fiber enables it to remain almost unchanged while it passes through the body. This gives stools volume and a soft texture thus making it easier to pass. Foods that are rich in insoluble fiber are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. People suffering from constipation should include more of whole grain breads, brown rice and wheat bran in their regular diet.
The mixture of soluble fiber and water forms a gel like substance in the intestine. Prunes and figs can be consumed regularly in breakfast and also taken as a snack to enhance the process. There is another option that can be tried to attain the same results. Just sprinkle one teaspoon of ground flaxseed over your meal. Last but not the least fiber supplements, the most popular one being psyllium husk supplements can also be taken.
For people suffering from constipation fluid intake should be very high. Minimum 8 – 10 glasses of water should be consumed on a daily basis because water helps to keep the intestine in good working condition all the time. There is no alternative to drinking water in empty stomach early in the morning especially if the water is kept overnight in a copper vessel. Mix lemon juice in water and add a pinch of salt to it. This is the most simplest of home remedies for constipation and can act as a cure for any type of constipation.
There are several herbal laxatives which are also called stimulant laxatives and they include herbs like – cascara sagrada, rhubarb, aloe, senna and buckthorn. Some of the herbs like senna act as painkillers as they give instant relief to people suffering from constipation. However they should take care not to make themselves habituated to this practice as sooner or later the bowel loses its natural ability to move on its own. Among fruits grapes have laxative properties.
Dry grapes can be soaked overnight and taken in an empty stomach early in the morning. This natural remedy helps to check chronic constipation. Fruits such as papaya and guava also help to keep constipation at bay. Having papaya early in the morning in empty stomach can prove to be very helpful in this case. Fruit salads made of papaya and guava can be consumed at anytime of the day. They provide roughage which is very essential for healthy bowel movements.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition in which the pelvic floor muscles do not function properly. Biofeedback is a therapy that provides relief in such a situation. Several conditions are responsible for its occurrence and they are obesity, enlarged prostrate or after childbirth. Biofeedback therapy enables the muscles used to empty the bowels work in sync with each other. About 70% of people have responded positively to this practice and once in use it is said to be much more effective than laxatives.
Acupressure is a holistic form of treatment that uses the pressure of fingers to definite acupuncture points in the body. Large intestine 4 is the specific acupuncture point that has been suggested by acupuncturists for constipation. The acupuncture point should be at the highest part of the muscle that is held between the thumb and index finger.
The process is to hold the thumb or the middle finger at an angle of ninety degrees to the skin and very slowly applying increasing pressure. The finger should be held in that position for three minutes. However the patient should not feel uncomfortable or experience pain while this practice is being carried on.
Magnesium is important for our muscles to function normally and that includes intestinal muscles as well. Thus food less in magnesium content can largely contribute to constipation. Magnesium can be found in abundance in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. For example consumption of spinach in raw or cooked form can make bowel movements easier and digestive tracks can function properly.
Certain herbal remedies have also proved to be very effective for constipation. One that tops the list is ripe bael fruit that works as an effective laxative. The juice of bael fruit is extracted and it is mixed with water and a bit of sugar. Make sure to consume this juice for at least two to three months.
This enables the waste matter in the intestines to break up and eventually gets flushed out easily. Another result oriented laxative used for the treatment of constipation is cassia. For this purpose the pulp of the ripe fruit of the cassia tree is used. Castor is another such remedy that has no side effects. People suffering from constipation must drink a warm glass of milk with castor oil before going to bed every night.
Other Natural Tips
It has been proved that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of constipation. That is why people above the age of sixty five are more prone to constipation. Therefore the best solution is to engage in regular physical activity. People with constipation can go for regular morning walks after consuming two or three glasses of water. One of the most important tips for constipation is not to delay when the urge to have a bowel movement strikes. This can lead to absorption of more water from the stool which ultimately results in harder bowel movement.
Hence one can safely say that people with constipation has nothing much to worry about. Following a routine lifestyle that includes the natural remedies mentioned above will help them to lead an easy going life and stay fit and fine forever.