Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements are infrequent or hard to pass. One can also think of constipation as an irregularity in the frequency of eliminating solid waste from the body. It should, however, be noted that the frequency of bowel movement differs from person to person, and there is no "normal" frequency as such.
Some people have a bowel movement once every five days, while others only once every two weeks.
In general, though, if you have not had a bowel movement for three days, this is considered constipation. The human digestive system eliminates waste through the actions known as excretion and defecation. When waste material is not eliminated after being ingested and digested, an individual becomes constipated. Constipation may result in abdominal discomfort, bloating, cramps.
Constipation has many causes, some of which are not well known. It is usually attributed to an insufficient intake of dietary fiber and fluids as well as a lack of physical activity. Other common causes include irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy or childbirth, certain medications including painkillers and antidepressants as well as the use of sedatives. It may also result from gastrointestinal conditions such as anal fissures or tumors in the digestive tract. In rare cases, it may be caused by a blockage in the intestines that prevents the passage of waste material.
In most cases, constipation is a common condition, usually temporary and only requiring the sufferer to take dietary steps to get rid of it. In some instances, however, constipation could result from other conditions such as hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome, which may require medical attention. In rare cases, chronic constipation can lead to intestinal obstruction or even a herniation called a prolapsed intestine that cannot be easily reversed without surgery.
The symptoms of constipation vary depending on its severity. Often people experience an uncomfortable bloated feeling in the abdomen and minor cramps in the abdominal muscles. Other symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headache, or dark stained stool when defecating (due to the presence of undigested waste material).
Below are some common and homemade treatments for constipation that you may want to try out.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies for constipation relief and has been used for ages. It contains acetic acid, which increases stomach acidity resulting in the breakdown of food consumed. If you have a problem passing hard stool for days, take a spoonful of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water before every meal to facilitate bowel movements. You could also add a tablespoon of organic honey to make it more palatable.
Psyllium Seeds Powder
Psyllium Seeds Powder is another effective home remedy for treating constipation naturally. They are rich sources of fiber and help increase stool bulk, induce bowel movement and relieve abdominal pain associated with piles or hemorrhoids. Take a glass of water and add one tablespoon psyllium seeds powder to it. Let this mixture stand overnight at room temperature. In the morning, drink the mixture on an empty stomach for three consecutive days to naturally relieve constipation.
Banana is a high-fiber food that helps in relieving constipation by increasing bowel movement. It contains pectin fiber which softens hard stools and stimulates peristaltic movement of intestines, thereby facilitating the elimination of waste materials from the body. Eat one or two ripe bananas daily until you get relief from constipation symptoms naturally.
Figs are another natural remedy for treating constipation as they contain large amounts of fiber. They are rich in sorbitol which stimulates bowel movement and helps to soften hard stool, making it easy for you to pass stool without causing any pain or discomfort. You can have dried figs or fresh figs to get rid of constipation naturally.
Castor oil is one of the most effective home remedies for constipation relief. It contains Ricinoleic acid that acts like a laxative by stimulating the large intestine muscles and increasing peristalsis, thereby forcing waste material out of your body. This is an excellent remedy for treating constipation when it results from stress, lack of activity, or emotional problems. Take half a spoonful of castor oil before bedtime and lie down on your left side. Make sure you sleep at least for two hours after taking the oil and then get up and go to the bathroom. Follow this remedy for three to four nights consecutively, and you will be surprised how quickly your body responds by speeding up regular bowel movements.
Carrot juice is a rich source of fiber and Vitamin A, which helps in easy laxation. Drink a glassful of fresh carrot juice every morning on an empty stomach to relieve constipation naturally. You can also add a little lemon juice to it if you have a sensitive stomach because carrots may cause flatulence or bloating when taken in excess. Consuming carrot juice regularly over a long time can also help prevent constipation because of its laxative properties.
If you are suffering from chronic or occasional constipation, take a few drops of fresh ginger juice mixed in a glass of lukewarm water and honey before going to bed. This is one of the most effective home remedies for treating constipation naturally. Make sure you don't add too much ginger juice as it may upset your stomach and cause diarrhea.
Fennel seeds contain anethole which has strong spasmodic effects on smooth muscles lining the walls of intestines resulting in increased peristalsis and bowel movements. They also stimulate the secretion of digestive juices such as bile and enzymes, thereby improving digestion and preventing constipation effectively. Chew a teaspoon of fennel seeds after your meals, and you will feel that you need to go to the bathroom much less often.
Any of the above remedies are easy to implement, and they have astounding results when it comes to getting healthy bowel movements back and eliminating constipation. Try them out today!