Have you ever been curious about how to relieve constipation naturally?
If this is an embarrassing topic for you, don’t worry according to the National Institution of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), around 16 percent of US adults have experienced at least some symptoms of this uncomfortable digestive issue.
While constipation in and of itself is rarely serious, it’s important to know that it can both lead to and indicate more serious health problems.
If you’re looking to get your digestion back in balance, read on.
Symptoms of Constipation
The symptoms of constipation can range from slight discomfort to downright painful. Here are some of the more common ones:
- Having less than three bowel movements in a week
- Lumpy stools
- Bloating and gas
- An inability to empty your bowels completely
If constipation is ongoing, or if you notice a notable change in our regular bowel habits, it’s important that you contact a professional and get this diagnosed.
Causes of Constipation
In order to treat constipation effectively, we first need to know why it happens.
Certain sectors of the population are more prone to constipation, including:
- Senior adults
- People with a low-fiber diet
- Pregnant women
- People with mental health conditions
- People who take certain types of prescription drugs
Reading this list gives you a little bit of an idea of what can cause constipation — for instance a poor diet, or hormonal fluctuations.
And once you understand the cause, you can then work towards figuring out how to relieve constipation.
Constipation can also occur with celiac disease, inflammatory disorders, diabetes, brain, and spinal cord problems, obstructions, inflammation, diverticulitis and so on. (NIDDK)
It can be caused by intestinal blockages, nerve problems, a narrow colon, and even cancer.
How to Relieve Constipation: Supplements and Other Remedies
On your drugstore shelf, you can find a few simple solutions for occasional constipation, including fiber supplements and stool softeners.
Probiotics can also help to rebalance the bacterial flora if gut dysbiosis is determined to be the cause of the problem. People with IBS can often benefit from this type of treatment.
Holistic therapies like acupuncture can be extremely effective when it comes to diagnosing and treating common health problems from digestion to allergies.
Acupuncture follows the principles of Chinese medicine which incorporates the flow of Qi (energy through the body, and where it is stagnant.)
Holistic therapies tend to consider the entire body, rather than just slapping a “band-aid” style fix on a problem that’s bound to recur.
Consulting a natural health care practitioner can be an excellent way to gain a better understanding of your overall health and bring your body back into balance.
How to Relieve Constipation: Change Your Diet
One of the simplest ways to relieve constipation is to eat more fiber.
Foods which contain a lot of fiber include:
- Unprocessed whole-grain breads and cereals
- Beans and peas
- Most vegetables
- Fruits like berries, melon, and oranges
- Nuts and seeds
Another easy way to help prevent constipation is to drink more water!
One cause of constipation is an inability to produce stomach acid to break down stomach contents properly. When there is not enough stomach acid, digestion is slowed and less efficient, leading to less absorption of nutrients from food.
This can put a strain on all parts of your delicate digestive system.
If you eat meat every day, you may want to also consider cutting down. Our bodies aren’t designed to process large amounts of animal protein, and when we do eat too much meat, peristalsis slows.
A reasonable serving of meat is usually about the size of the palm of your hand.
Of course, processed foods can also lead to a myriad of health problems. Choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods (organic where possible) is always going to help you feel better and more in the balance!
Reducing or eliminating refined sugars is a good place to work from. You may want to try an elimination diet, slowly re-introducing certain foods to discover what is the culprit.
Consult a Healthcare Professional
If you need help with day-to-day health problems like headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems, schedule a consultation to start feeling better today!
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