Category: 

How can I Relieve Constipation?

If you suffer from frequent constipation, or just occasional bouts of it, knowing how to relieve the problem is invaluable. Significant stomach discomfort can occur with this condition, and bowel movements may be painful, hard, and difficult to pass. There are many methods to relieve constipation, including taking laxatives or increasing water, fiber, and exercise.

When constipation is frequent, you’ll want to look for permanent and generally non-medical based methods for relieving it. For occasional constipation, there are a variety of laxatives available, but people may become dependent on them. Most medical professionals recommend trying more healthful, home based methods of relief first.

First, increase the amount of water that you drink. If you’re not drinking enough water, you’ll have more difficulty with bowel movements. Aim for eight to ten glasses of water a day (about 2 quarts or 1.89 liters).

Second, increase your intake of fiber. While you can take fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk, eating more foods containing dietary fiber will help provide a healthy balance for your body, and will usually relieve constipation. Fiber rich foods like whole grains, beans, and most fruit and vegetables should be an everyday part of your diet. If you can’t get adequate fiber through diet, consider taking supplements.

Ad

Third, increase your activity. Even a 20 or 30 minute walk daily helps the bowels move more quickly. Couch potato behavior, conversely, is associated with higher incidences of constipation.

There are some instances when you’ll need to resort to quicker methods. If you’ve had surgery recently and are taking pain medication, especially medicines like codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone, the steps above may not be enough to relieve constipation. You should check with a medical professional first for his or her recommendations. Quick relief from constipation may change how well your body digests and responds to pain medication.

The standard methods for quick relief include using laxatives to help get the bowels stimulated, and then using fiber supplements daily. Some experts recommend that you begin fiber supplementation prior to a planned surgery and definitely recommend it afterwards. It can still take a few days when you take psyllium husk or other fiber supplements to get your body moving regularly again. When constipation has become extremely uncomfortable, using a laxative may help to clear the bowels first.

A standard method to relieve constipation in the past was to use an enema, but this is not recommended by many medical professionals now. Check with your healthcare provider first if you want to try this method. If your constipation is chronic and does not benefit from the above methods, you should also see a medical professional, since some conditions do require prescription laxatives or other treatments to end constipation.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

anon301952
Post 7

I'm currently suffering from week long cramps/constipation with only slight bowel movements a day. Usually, when I get this bad, I use laxatives and fiber pills in addition to enemas/dulcolax(suppository) if it's really awful. Well, I used some laxatives a few days back and had bowel emptying diarrhea but I'm still suffering the cramps and small bowel movements.

Other things that have helped me in the past are calcium supplements, caffeine and alcohol. It may seem strange, but a good few cups of coffee will usually activate my bowels and keep them pumping. Calcium is supposed to be vital for digestion and many laxative supplements contain it as a main ingredient. Alcohol is a mixed bag because while it will usually relieve constipation for me, it also seems to cause it several days after being drunk. I'm off to try some coffee fixes. Wish me luck.

nobreather
Post 4

Most foods available in western supermarkets/restaurants do not have nearly enough fiber to help you reach the recommended amounts. You need to consciously and judiciously attempt to eat lots fiber-rich foods to help relieve constipation.

msltul
Post 3

The best remedy is the best prevention. Take Benefiber. What is Benefiber? The new version, since perhaps early 2007 has been made from wheat dextrin. Believe me. This stuff works. It does it without causing cramps.

The way I take it is in my coffee in the morning. I usually use 2 or 3 heaping tea spoons in a cup of coffee - and I drink 1 or 2 cups nearly everyday. The recommended dosage is not to exceed 2 teaspoons, 3 times per day (6 teaspoons). You should experience initial feelings of relief within 48 hours. I would bet my last dollar that you will be very happy that you visited this website and read this information.

elsewhen
Post 2

i know of a special granola bar and a fiber-rich cereal that each include over 50% of the recommended daily amount of fiber in a single serving.

i have found that the recommended daily allowance (rda) of fiber is actually a bit low for me, and i usually try to get to 150% of that amount. note that it might be dangerous to eat too much fiber, so you probably shouldn't go overboard with this though. since most people eat far too little fiber, too much fiber is rarely an issue.

sputnik
Post 1

Those who do not eat sufficient amounts of fruit, vegetable, foods with natural fiber, and do not exercise enough, might experience bouts with constipation. And that is actually the remedy for this problem. There are though some specific foods that have more of a laxative effect that one can try.

Strawberry has a mild laxative effect, and is helpful especially when meats and fats are consumed in larger quantities.

Dark green vegetable helps many people.

Honey has also laxative effect.

Plantain helps with more persistent constipation. Coarsely grind about a tablespoon of plantain seeds and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Wait for about half an hour, and drink before you go to sleep. For obvious reasons this concoction is not recommended for people with diverticulitis.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email