Having a bowel movement should be natural and simple. However, sometimes it can be very difficult when you are feeling backed up for different reasons. Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints. It can be a very uncomfortable feeling. It’s not necessary to move your bowels every day. However, when your bowel movement is too hard to pass easily and you are having infrequent movements, this can cause problems such as straining and pain. Constipation sometimes can be a symptom of a larger problem, most of the time it is not getting enough fiber or water in your diet.
What is the Cause of Constipation
Constipation can result from many causes such as insufficient intake of water and bulk in your diet, lack of exercise, chronic use of laxatives and enemas, etc. Interruptions in normal bowel routine, dieting, stress, travel or illness, can also cause constipation. Age also plays a big role as well.
Medications such as Antihistamines, decongestants, and others can make the stool much drier, which will make it more difficult to have bowel movements. Excessive use of laxatives can contribute to chronic constipation as well. Find out if you are taking medications which can be constipating. Let’s take a look at some of the home remedies to relieve this problem.
A well-balanced diet and bulk are needed to promote regular bowel movements. High fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cereals, and bread will provide needed bulk for elimination. A note of caution – fiber can cause bloating, cramping and gas if too much is added to your diet. To get the desired benefit, gradually increase each day.
Your breakfast can provide a great way to start the day off with getting your fiber. You should get immediate relief from adding this to your diet. Mix 1/2 cup of bran, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup prune juice. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons. Remember to drink a glass of water. This can keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Taking 2 tablespoons of flax each day may offer enough fiber to keep you regular. Have a smoothie for breakfast. Combine 1 cup of orange juice, one banana, 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and enjoy.
Drink lots of Fluids
Not getting enough water is a very common cause of constipation. Water helps to soften your stool so it can be passed easily through your intestines. It is very important to drink lots of water if you are adding fiber to your diet. Stools can absorb large amounts of water and will become hard and difficult to pass when they don’t get enough water to keep things moving along. Feces become hard and dry when fluid intake is poor and this will result in constipation. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day promotes normal bowel movements. If it is difficult to drink that amount, you can add warm fluids like soups and tea or juices. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine as these are diuretics that will actually remove fluid from your body.
Juices and other liquids may help to make bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes with the skin on, are helpful with constipation. Eat fresh strawberries to speed up the process.
Eating prunes and drinking the juice is a very effective home remedy for constipation. This will stimulate bowel action and help regularity. Prunes contain ingredients that help keep digestion on track. They are very high in fiber which helps keep the system active. Raisins also are very high in fiber and you can get the same benefits as prunes. For good results, mix 1/2 cup of applesauce, 4 t0 6 prunes, 1 tablespoon of bran and eat this just before you go to bed to encourage a bowel movement in the morning. Don’t forget to drink your water.
Exercise encourages good bowel function. Getting regular exercise will help your system to stay regular. About 20 t0 30 minutes walk every day is a good way to stay active. Any kind of physical activity such as walking, gardening, lifting weights, yoga, or even riding a bicycle will help the bowels to work more efficiently.
If you are feeling backed up and it is taking too long a time to clear your bowels, a gentle belly massage will help to move things along. Using massage oil, begin at your belly button and massage in little circles in a clockwise pattern. Continue to massage in bigger circles, until you are massaging along the edges of your entire abdomen.
Fast constipation relief: Take 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses before bed or eat 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day. Sprinkle it on your cereal or you can add it to your yogurt, stir it into water or you can even add it to your salad.
A word of caution about Laxatives: When you are constipated, you may be tempted to go for an over-the-counter laxative. Although this may be good for temporary use, be careful not to overuse them. You can become dependent on laxatives, your intestines can become insensitive and no longer work well. This will only create more problems to have a bowel movement. The more you use laxatives, the more your bowel depends on them.
Constipation may not be a life-threatening condition, but it tends to be the only thing you think about when you are suffering and in pain. You only have constipation when you have stools that are infrequent, dry and hard, or difficult to pass. If you have fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, it can be a problem also. Try to avoid this problem – set a bathroom routine to follow each day and remember to eat well and drink lots of fluids to keep your bowel active.
If you have any change in your usual bowel habits or if you notice blood in your stool, black, tarry-looking stool, cramping, unexplained weight loss, cramping stomach pain, pain in your rectum. See your doctor right away. I do hope this article helps. Feel free to leave a comment. Also, you can find more articles here