If you are having problems defecating or if it becomes painful due to the hardness of your bowel movements, you are probably constipated. There are a number of natural remedies that can help you cope with this condition and it may be as simple as looking through your cupboards.
Foods rich in fiber can help considerably with constipation. Apples, apricots, beans, berries, broccoli, brown rice, nuts, pears, potatoes and plums are among the foods containing them.
The insoluble fibers found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables pass through the body nearly intact and can soften bowel movements. Wheat bran, whole grain bread and brown rice are good sources of these.
Soluble fibers, which are less durable, can be found in prunes, figs and ground flaxseed. These also stimulate bowel movements. Using a fiber supplement is a good choice to get consistent fiber in your diet.
Sources recommend consuming between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day.
There are also supplements available containing fiber. However, people are cautioned to drink sufficient fluids with fibers to avoid actually increasing constipation.
Biofeedback involves attaching monitors o different parts of your body so that you can observe your physical functions such as brain waves or heart rate. Biofeedback sessions involve sounds and visual cues that allow you to observe your functions and change your behaviors to adjust them. As an example, you can observe which muscles are tense and train yourself to relieve that tension based on cues from the feedback. It can among other things coordinate pelvic muscles to relieve constipation, which is useful for constipation stemming from pelvic floor dysfunction. About 70 percent of people with constipation showed improved symptoms after biofeedback and in one study it proved more effective than laxatives.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in the digestive system that help with digestion. They can sometimes be removed by antibiotic medicines intended to remove harmful bacteria. Yogurt containing live cultures can restore them when they are depleted, but probiotics are also available as a supplement. There is preliminary evidence that probiotic supplements can improve constipation.
Water and other fluids make bowel movements softer and easier to pass through your body. But alcohol and caffeinated drinks, while they can act as diuretics, can be dehydrating. Use caution in what fluids you consume.
There are certain herbs that can alleviate constipation. But caution is urged because due to potential side effects.
Aloe, which can serve as a stimulant, can cause cramping if not taken properly. Experts recommend starting with a less powerful herb such as senna.
Other herbs used for constipation include barley, buckthorn, cascara sagrada, flaxseed, ferugreek and rhubarb. For a great combination natural laxative, try DC Labs Normalax.
Magnesium is a mineral found in green leaved vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Studies have linked low magnesium with constipation, so constipation sufferers are urged to consider replenishing it through the right foods or supplements.
Olive oil, due to its texture, is considered ideal by some sources in relieving constipation. Not only does it help bowel movements pass through you, but it also stimulates digestion.
As always, if your condition does not improve in a few days, you should probably consult your family physician. You can get some advise on when to consult a doctor here.