9 simple constipation tips and remedies for quick relief
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I really do sympathize with those that are suffering from this very uncomfortable problem. It reminds me of my numerous experiences with it during my years in the university.
Then, I was constantly on my way to the doctor’s office. They often advised that prevention with a good diet and healthy habits is best. They said it is the ultimate solution to solve this problem in the long run or even for the rest of my life.
However back then, altering my diet and lifestyle required some financial commitments that I could not afford to make. So, I had to learn of simple remedies that work through trial and error. That is what I will be sharing with you today.
When I was getting constipated regularly, I did not like using pharmaceutical drugs for relief such as laxative tablets because of their harmful effects on the intestines such as being too harsh on the digestive system, creating dependency on the drugs, decreasing or hindering the digestive system function and its effectiveness, etc.
Through my journey, I learned of natural laxatives that are safe for the gut. Read about them here
Some of the drugs I was given actually worsened my constipation when I used them over a period of time. I had to stop using them.
My experiences of constipation have taught me much about constipation which is why I am confident in the remedies I will be recommending in this post. It took me some time and quite some pain to identify them as I have tried dozens of remedies with the hope that they give me relief or cure me of it altogether. Some worked while others, not so much.
The remedies recommended are for Adult doses and are suitable for generally all healthy adults both male and female. most of them, you are probably available in your home. Let me begin with a brief explanation on constipation.
What is constipation?
Constipation can simply be defined as discomfort, difficulty, or inability of passing a bowel movement or stool that persists for several days or weeks.
How to diagnose constipation
Bowel movement frequency varies from person to person but on average, once a person has less than three (3) bowel movements in a week, then one can assume that he/she possibly has constipation.
How Constipation Happens
Constipation occurs when the stool or waste moves too slowly in the intestine hence, most of the water is absorbed or when the digestive system has difficulty in removing the waste from the rectum.
It can also be the intestine absorbing too much water from the waste that was formed in the intestines. This makes the stool to become hard and dry; making it difficult to pass through the anal passage.
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Constipation is known to make one feel bloated, uncomfortable, nauseous, have abdominal pain, headache, hard stools, painful stools, etc. These symptoms can make for a very uncomfortable life indeed.
For some, sitting properly and comfortably can even become impossible because of the hard stool in the rectum. You can read more about its causes, symptoms, etc. at Mayoclinic.
Why am i constantly constipated?
Constipation can be a constant companion for some due to lifestyle and dietary factors. But remember, when it starts to become a constant companion which occurs every week or month, it can lead to a more severe health problem which is hemorrhoids or piles as some call it.
Constipation is best prevented because it has the potential to keep occurring almost all the time unlike many other common ailments such as common colds, diarrhea, and fever.
Its duration can be for just a few days or it can last up to several weeks which is dangerous for our health.
Causes of constipation
Factors that allow for the development of constipation in the digestive system are:
- Poor hydration
- Poor diet and lifestyle e.g over consumption of junk foods, smoking, etc.
- Some drugs and medications e.g laxatives
- Constantly seating/sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of exercise
- Hormonal issues, e.g diabetes
- Some health conditions such as surgery, IBS, Pregnancy, etc.
- Old age
- Not going to the toilet when you need to etc.
Tips for being Constipation-Free
There are some dietary and lifestyle practices that you need to abide by if you want to kick this problem out of your life forever.
Once you start to feel constipated, look back on your dietary and lifestyle choices for the past week or so. Most of the time, you will see a pattern of poor diet and exercise as a factor for your condition. Then, try and do better immediately as explained below:
You might know that hemorrhoids (an advanced form of constipation) is a common health problem for drivers, tailors, those confined to a wheelchair, etc.
They are known to have it often because they are constantly seating in one place and don’t move or exercise much due to their profession or condition. Our bodies are meant to work which is why a lack of exercise can be a leading contributor to many health problems and diseases.
It is important that you engage in some form of exercise such as walking, jogging, working in the home (vigorous housework), going to the gym, home workouts, etc. You should choose which exercise is most suitable and convenient for you.
If you are already constipated, it is important that you try and do some vigorous exercises that will get you sweating and out of breath even if it is just brisk walking outside in your neighbourhood for about an hour.
This will increase blood flow to your abdomen and rectum and you will feel better and poop better. (God willing).
A good diet
Our diet as we know is very important in maintaining a healthy body. Often, poor diet is a factor in most of the diseases known in the world today.
Constipation can arise from the absence of a balanced diet where one tends to consume more of less nutritious foods that are not helping our body in its daily function such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This probably for the sake of convenience, cost factors, etc.
Especially today, we might be eating too much rice, potatoes, white bread, packed and processed foods, etc. that are known to have a poor nutrition profile. As we stated earlier, eating a proper balance of fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, whole grains and legumes is important for our health and in preventing constipation.
Some of us are probably tired of hearing about the importance of a balanced diet, fruits, and vegetables but that is because it cannot be understated so just bear with me for a little while. An example of foods for a good diet include:
- Grains and legumes:
- Wheat, Fonio, beans, millet, quinoa, guinea corn, corn, etc.
- Sugar cane, oranges, banana, pawpaw, watermelon, dates, apples with their peel, pineapple, grapes, pear, mango, guava, soursop, etc.
- Leafy green vegetables, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peas, pumpkin, avocados, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, etc.
- Coconut, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, etc.
Avoid the following in excess especially if you usually eat them almost daily and avoid them altogether when constipated. Instead, eat from the listed options above.
- Meats e.g beef, sausage, chicken, processed meats, etc.
- Processed foods e.g junk foods, packaged foods, white flour, etc.
- White rice
- Diary foods e.g milk, cheese, etc.
- White bread
- Caffeinated drinks e.g coffee, Nescafe, etc.
- Soda and other soft drinks and so on.
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Other tips for constipation
Other tips for constipation beyond food and exercise include:
- Squatting and not sitting for your bowel movement on the toilet when constipated. This is because the natural and best position for passing waste is squatting which straightens the passage of the waste. Sitting down actually curves the passage which makes it more difficult and requires more effort for the already hard stool to pass. Some are lucky to have squatting toilets and not sitting toilets. If you cannot squat on the toilet seat, then just lean back and raise your feet a little to straighten the rectum.
- Do not read phones, books, and other reading materials while on the toilet seat for it can distract you from your business.
- Know foods that constipate you by being vigilant and maybe keeping a food diary just in case you have some food intolerance that is causing your constipation.
- Go to the toilet once you feel the urge. Allowing the stool to stay longer in your body will make it harder and more difficult to pass with time
Home remedies for constipation
Here are the home remedies that I have used and those around me have also testified on their effectiveness for getting rid of constipation in a day or less. They include:
Yeah. I am sure you know this but I need to remind some of us.
Water is about 70% of the body and is necessary for almost all body functions, especially in the digestive system. As we mentioned earlier, the stools are hard because of the lack of water or the over absorption of water in the intestine.
This might be because the body is not well hydrated with enough fluids hence, the little water in the stool is absorbed back by the body.
Remember, the optimal amount of fluids required for proper hydration differs between people. Some need more water than others. You know your body better than me so just be sure that you are actually properly hydrated. This can prevent the drying of the stool when the water in the stool is absorbed into the body. Then, no more hard stools and no more constipation!
30 minutes constipation remedies
Pawpaw (also called papaya) is well known for its benefits for the stomach and the digestive system. The Papain enzyme of papaya is key to easing digestion and constipation in the digestive system. It is also used to soften meat in the food industry.
How to use:
You will need to eat a whole medium-sized papaya by yourself. Think of it as a meal or take as much as you can from the ripe pawpaw and it will loosen your stool and clean your stomach. You will find yourself on the toilet seat in no time.
Orange is found throughout the year thank God and is available in almost all countries. Orange is rich in water, vitamin C, pectin, and naringenin compounds which are very useful in removing blockages and act as laxatives. Oranges are used not just for constipation but for other digestive problems too.
This is usually my go-to remedy when I am feeling a little constipated because it works very well for me especially before the problem becomes advanced (a week old or more constipation).
How to use:
- Cut the oranges into 4 pieces each or as you will normally do
- Finish the entire plate of oranges in one seating (take your time. It can be a lot I know)
- You can also juice them by squeezing about 7-10 big oranges or 10-13 medium-sized oranges at a time and it will give you about 1-2 mug-sized cups of juice. Do not take more than 2 cups of juice at a time so that it does not cause diarrhea.
- Wait for it to work its magic
Those with stomach ulcers should be careful with this remedy. I will advise that they pick from other options on the list such as dates, papaya, etc. They are safer for you.
Castor fruits are actually poisonous and should not be eaten but their oil can be ingested just not in big quantities because it can also be dangerous for your health. This remedy is best used for chronic constipation or constipation that has lasted for weeks and you are at your wit’s end in pain and discomfort.
I need to properly caution you because it is a very powerful and potent oil. It kind of flushes everything in the stomach and digestive system and if not careful, it can lead to other health issues such as diarrhea and other digestive issues.
A big caution to pregnant women. You are not advised to take this oil for constipation but feel free to try from the other options mentioned here. As I said earlier, it flushes the digestive system and is also used to induce labour. This can be very dangerous for you and the baby so just stay safe by staying away from it.
How to use:
- Add a teaspoon of the castor oil in a small amount of water
- Repeat about 2 hours later if you are yet to visit the toilet
- Take not more than a tablespoon of the oil a day
- If using the capsules, then simply take as described on the product pack
- Wait for your bowel to soften and move along the tract.
- Try not to frequently use this remedy because it can have adverse reactions with frequent oral intake.
Where to get it:
As I said, castor oil tastes terrible which is why I recommend the NOW castor oil capsules for ingestion. You can it on Amazon. It is Non-GMO certified, contains 120 capsules, and costs only $11.
Other people recommend fish oil and coconut oil. Though I have not tried them, they are safe for oral use but I cannot vouch for their effectiveness. If you have tried them, do let me know of your experience in the comments below.
Related: Natural laxatives that are healthy and safe for the gut.
1 hour constipation remedy
Tamarind is a fruit easily found in the market and is a natural laxative that doesn’t harm the stomach. It is traditionally used as a food and for health issues such as constipation in African cultures because of its beneficial acids. It contains large amounts of tartaric acids, malic acids, and potassium.
How to use:
- Soak about 1 long bean of the tamarind (7-10 segments) in a cup of water for 40-60 minutes. If it is already soft, then just dissolve it in the water.
- Remove the seeds and sieve the tamarind juice
- Drink the juice but not on an empty stomach. After meals.
- Repeat this twice in a day
Note* Those with stomach ulcers and other illnesses that are not compatible with acids should probably avoid using this remedy and select others from the list.
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Fiber rich foods
It is well agreed in the health sector that fiber is key to preventing and treating constipation. This is because fiber absorbs water in itself during digestion and the water in the fiber does not get absorbed back into the body by the intestine. This prevents the stool from getting hard and dry in the first place.
If you are already constipated, eating fiber-rich foods soften the stools and make them easier to pass out of the body without much straining. Good sources of fiber include oat, fonio, quinoa, flaxseed, chia seed, whole wheat, barley, and beans.
How to use:
Prepare some oat, grain, or whichever fiber-rich food that you have chosen as a soup, porridge, or any meal by itself without the addition of other grains or foods. Make the meal without adding dairy sugar, oils, etc. make it as plain as possible. Eat this meal and just wait for your signal to go to the bathroom.
For the like of chia seed and flaxseed (ground flaxseed is easier to use),
- Add a tablespoon of the seeds to a cup of water.
- Allow it to soak for about 5-10 minutes.
- Take it after meals. Use it twice a day.
Note* Flaxseed may interfere with the absorption of the medicine into the body so take it at least 1 hour before/after taking any medication.
Dates are rich in fiber and contribute to the formation of stools in the digestive system. They are best eaten on an empty stomach though but if you have just eaten, then give at least 30 minutes-1 hour before eating the dates.
They can be bought in supermarkets, Arab shops, Asian shops, etc. I will advise that you buy the soft fresh dates and not the dried dates.
How to use:
Eat about 15-30 pieces of dates at a time preferably with at least one cup of warm water and wait for some time about 30 mins. It really helps loosen the stools in your rectum and there is no limit to the number of dates that you wish to eat.
Those with diabetes might want to stay away from dates because of its sugar content. .
My one-day Constipation cure Formula
I have perfected the art of being constipation-free in one day or should I say 12 hours to be more accurate. Here is how I do it:
- Taking the orange juice and/papaya remedy before breakfast depending on how severe my constipation is. If it is mild, I only use one of them and not both one after the other.
- Eating a simple fiber-rich breakfast such as an oatmeal
- Taking the dates or tamarind if the papaya and orange has not kicked in
- Taking Castor oil if after 4 from the time I began the regimen hours the orange/papaya/dates is not yet effective
Feel free to combine some of these remedies to be used together or one after the other such as drinking the orange juice then the dates or taking more than one remedy while spacing them for about 1-2 hours. I hope you get the picture. These remedies never fail to work for me. I hope the same for you too.
Remember that constipation has different stages of severity from mild to very extreme conditions that might require surgery. Be watchful if your constipation gets too painful to continue your daily activities, bloody stools, etc.
In that case, it is time to go and see the doctor to properly examine your condition and receive appropriate treatment.
In some cases of constipation, it’s not about diet or lifestyle such as pregnancy and other conditions. Then, it is important that you try and keep a good diet while using the appropriate remedy for relief while constipated. Just know that constipation might not stop completely due to your condition, but it will get better with the remedies.
I have tried and known people who testify of the effectiveness of the compiled remedies listed above. If one of them is not effective for you or not suitable, then pick another one. This might be because everybody’s system is different and constipation has levels of severity depending on some factors.
I believe using this list, you can get rid of constipation in most cases so far you couple the remedies with a proper diet and healthy habits.
By the way, if you would still like to know what you can do more for constipation relief, Check out this comprehensive list I put together of natural laxatives that are healthy and safe for the gut.
I hope you enjoyed your time here with me. Please rate this article down below and let me know in the comments section if there are other remedies that worked for you in the past that are not part of this list.
Until we meet again, bye for now.
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