Everyone has the urge to pass a bowel movement, but sometimes, things can get blocked up, making the urge to go unsuccessful. If you feel like you have to use the bathroom, but you can’t quite get things moving, you are constipated.
When you’re constipated, your bowel movement becomes difficult to pass, or they happen less frequently than they normally do. Almost every person will experience constipation at one point in their lives. While the frequency of passing bowel movements varies from person to person, if you have not passed on in three days or more, it can complicate the process. The stools become harder and they become even more difficult to pass. And when you do go, it can be intensely painful.
Constipation is characterized by a number of symptoms. These can include infrequent bowel movements, straining to use the bathroom, small or hard stools, feeling as if all of your stool was not evacuated, abdominal cramps, and even nausea.
This condition can be caused by a number of things, including medications, changes to your diet, dehydration, and serious conditions, pregnancy, resisting the urge to pass a bowel movement, and in serious cases, colon cancer.
If you are experiencing constipation, there’s no doubt that you want a quick remedy to ease your discomfort. Here are remedies that can help to get things going.
One of the best known natural remedies for constipation is dried plums or prunes. They are high in dietary fiber, so they can help break up a hard stool and push it through the intestines and out through the rectum. Prunes also contain sorbitol, a substance that pulls in and absorbs water. As a result, they can help hard stool absorb more fluid, literally lubricating them and making them easier to pass through your system. If you are constipated, eat several prunes a day until you pass a bowel movement.
2. Drink plenty of water
One of the primary causes of constipation is dehydration. In order for your digestive tract to function normally, it needs plenty of fluid.
When you are dehydrated, your digestive tract simply isn’t getting enough water, which means that your stools will become hard. When that happens, they become difficult to pass, and you become constipated.
In order to relieve constipation, up the amount of water that you drink. The more water you drink, the more fluid will be available for your digestive tract – and your stool.
3. Eat bananas
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, and potassium can help to regulate your digestive system. It helps your body absorb more fluids, which means that your stool will become more diluted and will break down more easily. Plus, bananas are soft, so they are easy to digest and easy to pass.
In other words, they won’t contribute to constipation. If you want to ease your constipation, eat at least three bananas a day and make sure you drink plenty of water, too.
4. Get more exercise
Studies have found that people who are inactive are more prone to constipation. Basically, when you aren’t active, your stool is less likely to pass through your system regularly, and you could literally become backed up.
When this happens, your stools will become hard, which will make them more difficult to pass, and could make you strain to push them out.
If you want to ease your constipation, increase your activity levels. You don’t have to do anything strenuous; walking, swimming, or riding a bike could help to get things flowing and ease your constipation.
5. Drink more coffee
Not only does coffee put a pep in your step, but it can also put the go in your stool. For many people, coffee, especially caffeinated coffee, increases the urge to have a bowel movement. The reason? –
Coffee actually stimulates the muscles in the digestive system, which increases peristalsis activity, and helps to move your stool through the digestive tract, through the colon, and out through the rectum. Plus, coffee could also contain a small amount of finer, which can also help to get things going.
So, try drinking some more coffee to ease your constipation.
6. Eat probiotic yogurt
Probiotics are touted for their ability to increase the health of your gut. That’s why eating probiotic yogurt can help to ease constipation and make it easier to pass a bowel movement. Individuals who suffer from chronic constipation usually have an impact on healthy bacteria in their gut.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria, so by their very nature, they can help you use the bathroom with greater ease. Plus, they can help to produce more lactic acid, as well as short-chain fatty acids, which can also improve movement in the gut, which will make it easier for your stool to pass.
7. Take probiotic supplements
If you don’t enjoy the taste of yogurt, you can swap it for a probiotic supplement. There are several types available over the counter at health and wellness stores.
Simply taking one supplement daily will replenish the good bacteria in your gut, helping to get your digestive tract going, and making it easier to pass your stool, thus relieving constipation.
In addition to taking a supplement, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and try eating other foods, such as prunes and bananas, to help get things going even faster.
8. Give low-FODMAP diet a try
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, you not only have the urge to go to the bathroom more often, but you can also have the urge to go less often. If that’s the case, a low-FODMAP diet may be able to provide you with the relief that you seek.
The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. The diet involves eliminated foods that contain these eliminates for a short period.
It can prove to be an effective way to ease your constipation.
9. Take a glucomannan supplement
A type of soluble fiber, glucomannan has been found to be an effective remedy for constipation.
In one research study, it was found that people who took glucomannan experienced almost immediate relief from their constipation.
This soluble fiber can help to regulate the digestive tract, making your bowel movements easier to pass. It does this by replenishing your gut with good bacteria that aid with digestion.
If you are suffering from constipation, try adding a glucomannan supplement to your diet.
10. Give magnesium citrate a try
Another common natural remedy for constipation is magnesium citrate. It’s a form of an osmotic laxative, which is available to purchase over the counter. By taking moderate amounts of magnesium citrate, you might find relief for your constipation.
It helps to regulate the digestive system and helps move processed food (stool) through the intestines and out of the body through the rectum. Many people have reported fast results for their constipation after taking a magnesium citrate supplement.