Learning how to treat constipation is an immensely important step in ensuring you improve your gut health and your quality of life with it.
Say goodbye to bloating, cramps and discomfort easily and naturally, with at-home remedies that can aid your digestion and put an end to that horrible feeling of a blockage once and for all.
Many conditions or symptoms can be healed or at least treated through natural lifestyle changes, from something as simple as diet and rest to natural supplements and much more. We at Body Health Guide are committed to helping you find your balance. Today’s demon to tackle: constipation.
Are You Experiencing Constipation?
Constipation is described as a lack of bowel movements more than twice or three times a week. Small, difficult-to-pass stools, as well as abdominal discomfort, are all symptoms.
Don’t jump to the conclusion that you are experiencing constipation the moment one day passes without a visit to the bathroom, however. Many people believe they should pass stool daily, but the truth is that the average number varies widely depending on personal factors, spanning from numerous times per day to three times per week.
Keep in mind: If you are experiencing chronic constipation, get in contact with a doctor, as it can be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition.
You’ve most likely experienced constipation at least once in your life. However, it is more prevalent in women, and it does have a tendency to increase in frequency when you surpass the age of 65. In the United States, constipation affects people of all ages and demographics. Constipation impacts about 16 out of every 100 people, and about 33 out of every 100 individuals aged 60 and up.
Learning how to treat constipation caused by medicine or any other factor can be a life-changer, and the good news is that there are ways to get immediate constipation relief at home, which we’ll soon discuss in our guide.
Symptomatology for Constipation
Natural remedies rely heavily on treating symptoms one at a time. What are the symptoms you should be on the lookout for when experiencing constipation?
Take a moment to assess if you are experiencing any of the following:
1. Passing Hard Stool
One of the most commonly known symptoms, and definitely a hard one to miss because it brings a considerable amount of discomfort during your bathroom visits.
2. Less Than 3 Weekly Stools
We’ve already established that the number of stools per week varies from person to person, depending on a lot of variables, from their digestion to their diet and lifestyle. However, the number shouldn’t drop lower than 3 times a week; if it does, it may be time to search for how to get rid of constipation fast.
3. Feeling a Blockage
There isn’t much explaining that can go with this one. You want to go, but it feels like the gates are closed. If this is a constant occurrence, then it may be time to look into chronic constipation treatment.
4. Feeling Bloated
Not only are your visits to the bathroom sparse and frustrating, but now you’re beginning to feel like there is an inflated balloon in your abdominal area? Just another reason why constipation is an extremely uncomfortable condition, and one to get rid of as soon as possible.
Constipation with stomach pain is very prevalent. Gas buildup in the belly or the urge for a bowel movement are the most common causes. While mild to severe abdominal pain that appears alongside constipation isn’t normally a cause for concern, it’s definitely a cause of inconvenience.
6. Going to the Bathroom Feels Like a Strain
This goes hand in hand with a couple of the other symptoms. You feel blocked, and bloated, and when you do pass stool, it’s hard, dry, and lumpy. Not exactly a pleasurable bathroom experience, so naturally it begins feeling like a strain.
7. The Feeling That Your Bowels are Never Fully Empty
Well, because they aren’t. While your body isn’t appropriately passing waste, it is aware that it should be, and you are forced to live with the uncomfortable feeling that your bowels don’t empty properly.
8. Lower Appetite
When someone is constipated, they usually feel full and bloated, so they aren’t hungry. The psychological factor also comes in here. You know you should have gone to the bathroom, and you haven’t yet: will eating another meal make things better, or worse? Don’t neglect your need for food, especially as a fiber-filled diet can be your answer to how to get rid of severe constipation.
Constipation Can Have Many Causes: What Are Yours?
Think you are one of few people experiencing constipation? Think again!. In the United States alone, constipation is among the most common gastrointestinal problems. Constipation causes at least 2.5 million people to visit their doctor each year.
As we’ve established before, constipation occurs when your colon retains too much water from the stool, causing the waste to dry out and become hard to eliminate.
To back up a little, absorption of nutrients happens as food passes through the digestive tract. The partly digested food passes through the small intestine and into the large intestine, generally known as the colon. The colon collects water from the waste, resulting in a solid substance known as stool. Food may travel at a very slow pace through the digestive tract if you have constipation. This allows the colon to contain water from the stool for an excessive amount of time. It gets dry, firm, and difficult to eliminate.
There are 3 major categories of causes of constipation:
1. An Unhealthy Lifestyle
There are multiple parts of your lifestyle that can influence the health of your GI tract and therefore your number of visits to the bathroom, from water consumption to diet, exercise, and sleep. Each of these plays a major role in your digestive functioning, and therefore making some lifestyle changes can help you learn how to relieve constipation pain. Let’s elaborate on a few!
2. A Diet Without Fiber
Constipation is most commonly caused by a diet that is low in fiber and high in fats. Fiber’s bulk and soft consistency aid to avoid stiff, hard-to-eliminate waste. What is fiber? The component of vegetables, fruits, and grains that the system cannot process. Remember, when searching for chronic constipation treatment, that the natural fiber in many of the processed foods we consume has been eliminated.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
Constipation can occur if you do not exercise or if you spend too much time sitting. It can be an issue for persons who are confined to their beds or who are unable to move much due to a medical condition. According to Atif Iqbal, sitting for lengthy stretches of time coils up your colon, making it difficult for waste to pass through and creating constipation.
Want immediate constipation relief at home? First and foremost, start moving around!
4. Lack of Hydration
Dehydration can also have an impact on your digestive tract, namely on the colon, its last portion. Per day, your gut absorbs as much as a liter of liquid, which aids in the movement of stool through your colon. Stool solidifies in the absence of this fluid, resulting in constipation.
Based on what quantity of fluid the rest of your body requires, fluid travels in and out of your colon. When you’re dehydrated, your body takes fluid from your colon and puts it somewhere else. This indicates that there isn’t enough moisture in your poo to soften it.
2. Side Effects of Medication
There are adverse effects of all drugs. Constipation is listed by a surprising number of meds. The most prevalent culprits include antidepressants, antianxiety meds, heartburn medicines, and blood pressure medications.
Even vitamins that contain a lot of calcium and iron might cause constipation since they slow down digestion.
Painkillers, even if they are prescription (like Oxycontin) or over-the-counter (like ibuprofen), are also to blame for quite numerous cases of constipation. These drugs aim to make your pain levels decrease, but in doing so they bind to the receptors in your digestive system and blunt it.
If you are taking any of these, you’ll definitely be interested in learning how to treat constipation caused by medication!
3. Multiple Health Conditions
Whether it’s a stomach bug or something much more serious like colon cancer, many illnesses can cause constipation, in some cases, extremely severe. This category of causes is mainly one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you know you suffer from any of these diseases and are experiencing symptoms of chronic constipation, get in contact with your doctor and discuss how to get rid of severe constipation.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you suffer from IBS, most likely having stomach aches, feeling bloated and gassy, and having irregular toilet-going-patters is something that you are more than used to. If you have IBS-C, you may find that your symptoms flare up and then your bowel movements function normally. Diarrhea or watery stool are common side effects.
Many people who suffer from this illness also experience its side effects on the digestive system, in this case, constipation. Diabetes is considered to damage nerves in the colon, which can cause sluggish stool movement.
This is a condition where your gland, namely your thyroid, is producing hormones in deficit. As a result, it impacts many functions of the body which rely on those hormones, and the GI tract does not get away from this unscathed. As its function is delayed, waste passing becomes more difficult, and it leads to constipation.
4. Neurological Illnesses
Mostly, it’s people with Parkinson’s, neuromuscular diseases, multiple sclerosis, and those who have sustained injuries to the spine that experience constipation as a side effect.
People with these diseases may struggle to relax the muscles in their pelvic floor, making it difficult to push stool out. Alternatively, their colons may function more slowly, resulting in fewer bowel motions.
It relates to health, but it’s of course not a “condition” per se, however, we have to talk about it when it comes to causes of constipation, as many pregnant women are probably currently wondering how to get rid of constipation fast.
Constipation affects about 2 out of every 5 pregnant women. It’s usually a bigger issue in the first trimester. Your body produces more of the hormone progesterone, which works as a muscle relaxant when you’re expecting. As a result, the normal activity of your bowels is slowed, and waste moves more slowly through your system.
There is a new discovery in the realm of constipation relief: maqui berries! Read more about this fruit that can do wonders for your gut health here.
5 Easy Steps to Naturally Treat Constipation
We’ve established the symptoms and causes of constipation, now it’s time to get to what really interests you the most: how to get rid of constipation fast.
We’ve made a list of 5 steps that you can take in order to learn how to treat constipation!
1. Start Exercising Regularly
The first thing to know when learning how to get rid of severe constipation is that exercise aids in the maintenance of a healthy, regular digestive system. Abdominal muscles that are strong can help you digest food more efficiently.
Constipation symptoms may be alleviated by getting some activity every day. Regular exercise, such as a daily stroll, yoga, or swimming, might be beneficial to the digestive system as it also aids with stress management, which can help with gastrointestinal health.
Make exercise a regular component of your regimen to help prevent and treat constipation. Aim for 150 minutes of aerobics each week at the very least. This is the same as 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. Set a lesser aim, to begin with, if that seems too much for you.
2. Focus on Hydration
Whether you want to learn how to treat constipation caused by medication or something else entirely, most persons with constipation may benefit from drinking plenty of fluids, such as water.
Bowel movements become softer and simpler to pass when you drink more fluids. The majority of healthy individuals may achieve their hydration requirements by following standard drinking habits, such as consuming a drink with every meal. Another sure way of balancing your hydration levels is to listen to your body and follow your thirst.
If you’re not a huge water drinker, don’t worry: fluids aren’t only obtained from water. Tea, juice, fruits and veggies, recipes made with fluids, and other meals and beverages all contribute to your daily consumption. Don’t replace all of that daily water intake with diet sodas, however – try to still make water the star of the show.
3. Include High-Fiber Foods In Your Diet
It is critical to include enough fiber in your diet if you are looking for immediate constipation relief at home. There are two forms of fiber: soluble fiber absorbs water and keeps your stool soft; insoluble fiber adds volume to your stool and helps it travel through your digestive system more quickly.
Consume fiber-rich easy-to-digest foods, such as bananas, prunes, or berries, to help relieve moderate constipation. Include lots of high-fiber items in your diet, such as veggies, berries, and whole grains, to avoid future difficulties. A psyllium fiber supplement taken daily may also be beneficial.
Bloating and gas can be avoided by gradually raising the quantity of fiber in your diet. Also, make sure you drink enough water because fiber might have the opposite effect and cause constipation if you don’t. For chronic constipation treatment, and just to generally promote health, adults should consume 22 to 34 grams of fiber per day, depending on their age and gender.
4. Consider Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are found in the gastrointestinal tract naturally. Repressing the growth of potentially hazardous bacteria, increasing immunological function, strengthening the protective barrier of the digestive system, and assisting in the production of vitamin K are some of the ways they are thought to enhance health. Probiotic probiotics may also help with constipation, according to preliminary research.
Probiotics are frequently used to help with IBS symptoms, such as constipation. Dietary supplementation with probiotics for 60 days improved bowel periodicity and stool composition in 150 persons with IBS.
Probiotics have also been shown to help children with constipation in several trials. For example, taking probiotics for 3–12 weeks enhanced stool regularity in kids with constipation.
Probiotics may help to avoid constipation during pregnancy, according to some studies. Taking probiotics containing a combination of bacteria types enhanced bowel movement frequency and decreased constipation indicators like straining, stomach cramps, and the feeling of inadequate elimination in another research of 20 women.
It comes as no surprise that probiotics may be the answer to “how to treat constipation caused by medication” as well. Various studies showed their efficiency in chemotherapy patients, for example.
5. Manage Stress Levels
If you want to find out how to relieve constipation pain, know that stress can disrupt your stomach and make your muscles tight. This may aggravate your constipation. During situations of pressure, your brain is on high alert, so you’re more conscious of stomach discomfort.
Anything that generates long-term stress can have a negative impact on your mood and well-being, and therefore your overall health. Experts also believe that serotonin, a hormone produced by your body, influences the function of your intestines as well as your temperament.
Constipated or not, mental health should be a top priority for you always. Working out and making sure you are active consistently is a great way to improve mental well-being. Some other ways include meditation, mindfulness, and basically any other activity that can help your mind disconnect and relax for a while.
If you are noticing that you struggle severely with stress and general negative affect, reach out to a professional and consider therapy or any other course of action recommended by them.
You can also learn about constipation in infants here!
It’s Time to Heal Your Digestion Once And For All!
Being constipated is uncomfortable, painful, and a sign that your gut health is suffering. Don’t just sit around and wait for the bloating and cramps to go away by themselves – take action and learn how to treat constipation naturally and effectively!