Constipation can be a real strainâ thankfully, there are natural ways that you can relieve constipation.
Donât want to talk about itâ¦or even think about it? Too bad! Iâm here to give you a few truths about an alarmingly common conditionâand to tell you that you donât have to just live with it. There are some easy, natural steps to make sure you donât have to live with the pain and aggravation of this particular health problem.
So, I know if thereâs one thing thatâs not dominating the conversations around the dinner table, itâs your bowel movements. In fact, people donât seem to talk about them anywhere, which means tens of millions of people are silently suffering through chronic constipation.
Constipation Myths Exposed
Talking about constipation might be unnerving for you. Itâs personal, and for one reason or another you may draw the line when it comes to broaching the topicâeven with your doctor. Itâs estimated that constipation is responsible for roughly eight million visits to the doctor every year, and specialists believe thatâs just a fraction of the number of people who actually suffer from it.
This leads to a lot of discomfort and some serious misunderstanding about the consequences, causes, and treatments for constipation. And according to a new review in JAMA, some commonly held beliefs are wrong.
Constipation is defined by having three or fewer bowel movements per week, or bowel movements that are hard, dry, and difficult or painful to pass. The idea that youâre unhealthy if youâre not going once per day is untrue. What is true is that if youâre going regularly, but itâs a struggle, then youâre constipated.
And constipation doesnât mean that toxins are infiltrating your body by seeping through your intestines, nor does it cause high blood pressure, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, or skin disorders.
Constipation can be caused by a poor diet or nerves, or it can accompany certain medical conditions. It might be a symptom of a stricture, a tumor, Parkinsonâs disease, or multiple sclerosis, or caused by a metabolic condition like low levels of the thyroid hormone or low magnesium. It can also be a side effect of antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, or painkillers like oxycodone.
Natural Laxatives to Relieve Constipation
Okay, so what can you do about constipation? There is actually a lot you can do, and itâs all relatively simple:
- One of the first things to do is look at your diet. If you eat a lot of refined foods like white rice, white bread, and processed foods, your diet is probably very low in fiber. This makes it difficult to defecate. Unripe bananas, tea, cheese, and chocolate can also stymie the process. Try eating more foods that are high in fiber and nutrients, like beans, whole-grain cereals and breads, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
- Drinking plenty of water plays a big role, and drinking a glass of water before bed can help soften stool, while drinking one upon waking can help stimulate your bowel.
- Exercise is another way to get things moving; if youâre sedentary, including some more activity into your life can help. And so can coming up with a regular schedule for bowel movements.
- Drinking a coffee in the morning can regulate bowel movements, so thatâs something to think about, too.
As long as youâre going regularlyâwhich could mean every two daysâand itâs painless and easy, youâve got nothing to worry about. For those of you whoâve tried everything but continue to live in pain, itâs high time to talk to a doctor.
Source for Todayâs Article:
Wald, A., âConstipation Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment,â JAMA. 2016; 315(2): doi:10.1001/jama.2015.16994.