Health Tips » Constipation
What is constipation? What causes constipation? What are its symptoms? What are home remedies for constipation?
Find the complete answer for your question below with ways to relieve constipation naturally.
Constipation is not a disease, it is a symptom. Constipation is a condition of the digestive system. You are suffering from constipation if you are having less bowel movements than usual, it takes long time for passing the stools, and the stools are hard.
Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer. Constipation is known as having less than three bowel movements a week. Chronic constipation causes more than normal straining to have a bowel movement. Treatment for chronic constipation depends on the underlying cause.
In most cases, constipation occurs because the colon (Large Intestine) has absorbed much water from the food that is present in the colon. If food in the digestive tract moves slowly, more water from food will get absorbed by the colon, which results in dry and hard feces and Defecation (emptying the bowels) can be very painful, and in some serious cases there may be symptoms of bowel obstruction. You should seek urgent medical care if there are other symptoms with constipation like vomiting, rectal (anal) bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps.
1. Medication: some medicines like Antacids, and medicines which contains calcium or aluminum or diuretics (ex. blood pressure medicines or calcium supplements) may cause constipation.
2. Diet: Eating food which contains less fiber rich leads to constipation. And not consuming foods like green vegetables, fruits rich in fiber (ex. oranges, and whole grains). Also, eating more high fat meats, prepared foods, some dairy products and eggs, or sweets high in sugar may cause constipation.
3. Excess use of laxatives and enema: Continuous use of laxatives and enema make the bowel to become dependent on them and affects the bowel movements.
4. Lack of exercise: Less physical activity (sedentary lifestyle) or bedridden due to prolonged illness or surgery may cause constipation.
5. Holding back for long time: Ignoring an urge for too long to have a bowel movement can cause constipation.
6. Some Medical conditions: Some disorder like diabetes and blockage in the intestines, stroke, and hormonal imbalance like hypothyroid can lead to constipation. Another medical condition which is related to constipation is called IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). IBS is a digestive tract disorder which have symptoms like diarrhea soon after eating food, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Some other temporary causes of constipation are stress, routine disturbance, and pregnancy. Constipation during pregnancy is faced most often by many however which will be relieved after delivery. Travelling long distance may also affect your bowel movements.
1. Lemon juice: Add one lemon juice to one glass of lukewarm water and add a spoon of honey and pinch of salt in it. Drink it early in the morning or evening. It works as natural laxative and stimulates the Gastro intestinal system and helps relieving constipation.
2. Fennel seeds: These are commonly called as “soaf” in Hindi and are available easily. You can take half cup of fennel seeds dry roast them and then grind them, store this mixture in airtight container and use one tablespoon regularly with one glass of lukewarm water early in the morning. Fennel seeds help in proper digestion, constipation, bloating of abdomen.
3. Fresh or dried figs: Figs are rich source of fibrin which is important for good bowel movement. You can have fresh fig with skin if it is available. Dried figs are also equally healthy and help in relieving constipation. You can make paste of almond and figs by taking 2 to 3 almonds and figs, soak them in water for one hour and then remove skin of almond and then grind and make paste of almonds and figs. Take this paste with one tablespoon of honey at night.
4. Castor oil: It is one of the natural laxative and it stimulates the small and large intestine which can relieve occasional constipation. Take one tablespoon of oil directly on empty stomach but it has raw taste so you can take it mixing it with fruit juice. And you can see results in just few hours but you cannot use it for longer period as it has side effects. So don’t use it on regular basis.
5. Grapes: it is rich in fibrin which is insoluble and helps in good bowel movement. Drink fresh grape juice or eat grape fruits. If fresh grapes are unavailable, eat raisins soaked in water for a day or two. Eat the soaked raisins along with water on an empty stomach in the morning.
1. Drink water: Drink at least 3 liters of water in a day. Dehydration is the leading cause of constipation and by consuming more fluids there will be very less chance of getting hard stools.
2. Warm Water: Start your day by drinking warm water in the morning.
3. Vegetables: Include all the green vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet especially food rich in fiber which helps good bowel movement.
4. Avoid Laxatives: You should avoid using laxatives or enema on regular basis else body will get habitual to them leading to inactivity of bowel movement.
5. Avoid excess intake of caffeine it may lead to dehydration and hard stools.
6. Check on the dairy products some people may have problem with dairy products
7. Do not wait for too long after you have urge to go bathroom.
8. Avoid eating food which is dry.
9. Try and consume fresh fruit juice at least once a day.
10. Avoid eating leftover food or one day old prepared food as it may affect your GUT and leads to indigestion or constipation.
See your physician as early as possible if you have following situations: