How to Cure Constipation Fast
Constipation is a common health problem that everybody will probably have to deal with at least once in their lives. It's defined as inconsistent bowel movements, though it means many different things to different people. Some of the most common symptoms of constipation include abdominal pain, bowel blockage, lower back pain, and nausea. These are all symptoms of other illnesses and diseases as well, so if you're experiencing any of these symptoms and aren't sure what is causing it, you may want to see a physician. Some people suffer from chronic constipation, while others may only be affected for a few days, never to deal with the problem again. It affects millions of people every single day, yet there are many different reasons why a person may be constipated. Sometimes it may just be the result of an unhealthy diet, but it can also be caused by chronic disorders like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), pregnancy, colon polyps, or serious diseases such as cancer. It can also come about after a person has used prescription medications such as painkillers (oxycodone, codeine etc.) and antidepressants (prozac, zoloft etc.). There's even many over-the-counter medications that can cause it as well, especially things like pepto bismol and antacids. If your constipation has recently appeared and it's not a recurring problem, then there probably isn't much to worry about and it may be best to just wait it out for a few days to see if conditions improve. But if your problems are chronic (long term constipation), and you've continually had to deal with constipated bowels or severe pain, then you should definitely visit a doctor and get yourself checked out. If you have been checked out already and diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chron's, or any other chronic disorders or diseases that are not life-threatening, or if you still have no bowel movement after establishing that it isn't something serious, then here some of the natural remedies and things you can do to find relief quickly.
A lack of fiber in the diet is definitely one of the most common causes of constipation. Sometimes, the only cure that is needed is to take a look at what you're eating and putting into your body, and adjust your diet. Fiber helps loosen up your stools, which makes it easier for them to pass through the colon and the rectum. Eating too much fiber can cause lots of gas and bloating, so you should probably regulate how much fiber you eat and try to keep it at healthy levels that won't aggravate your stomach or digestive system. Foods that include lots of soluble fiber in them are beans, bran cereal (such as Fiber One and Raisin Bran), fruits, vegetables (particularly dark green veggies like spinach and broccoli), whole grain foods (whole grain spaghetti, whole grain bread etc.), and nuts (such as peanuts). But when it comes to this list of foods, beans are definitely king as far as fiber goes. Just about every type of bean out there is very high in fiber. This also a reason why they have a reputation for causing gas.
Doctors say that most people should consume at least 8 glasses of water each day. Boosting your water intake is one of the best natural treatments for curing constipation because it helps loosen up stools and make them softer. In addition to checking your fiber intake, one of the first things you should do to relieve your constipation is to start drinking more water. This can make a huge difference as soon as you start drink lots of water, and you may be able to pass a bowel movement more easily the following day. The colon absorbs the water you drink and uses it to create stools (aka poop, feces, droppings, crap, etc.). This absorption process causes the stools to be more soft, similar to the effects fiber has. Without water, the stools will often be more hard and compacted, which can cause constipation in many cases and even irritate the inside lining of the bowels.
If you've ever wondered why old people drink a lot of prune juice, it's because many of them suffer from chronic or severe constipation. Prunes contain a natural sugar called sorbitol, and this particular ingredient is a natural laxative and a great remedy when it comes to curing constipation. But don't let the word "natural" fool you. Sorbitol is very powerful, and taking too much of it will easily cause diarrhea and stomach problems. It's safe for the most part, but you shouldn't consume more than a glass of prune juice a day. You may even want to start with a half a glass. It can take up to 12 hours for you to start to feel the effects from it, though many people will feel a bowel movement coming on within a few hours. Just be very careful with it if you have work the day you are drinking it or anything important to do. I was once constipated and drank 3 glasses of prune juice throughout a 6 hour period. I drank one glass, but didn't feel the effects a few hours later, so I drank another and then another. 8 hours afer the first glass, I was on the toilet with the worst diarrhea I've ever had in my life. I was stuck there for a further 5 or 6 hours. So don't overdo it when it comes to prune juice. If drinking juice isn't your thing, you can also buy a package of prunes from most stores and eat a few at a time. Sunsweet are the most popular brand that most grocery stores carry. But when it comes to how many you should eat, I wouldn't eat more than 2 or 3 in a single day. I've heard of people eating 5 to 7, but after my experience with drinking too much prune juice, I wouldn't risk it myself.
Before using stool softeners, you should try increasing your water intake for a day or two, or try a glass of prune juice each day. If these methods do not work, over-the-counter stool softeners may be useful. Usually, they come as tablets, pills, liquid, syrup, or gelcaps and you will only need to take a few. They will usually take effect within 24-72 hours. Some popular stool softener brands include Colace, Dulcolax, and Philipps. These products should only be taken for a short period of time, such as 1 week. Sometimes you will need to take them for a few days in a row before they will take effect, so it may be best to try 3 days in a row instead of 1. As with most health products, stool softeners can cause mild side effects in some people, such as nausea or stomach aches. But if you feel other more alerting side effects, such as sharp stomach pain, fever or problems with breathing, then you should definitely stop using them and see a doctor about it immediately.
Laxatives should really be a last resort when it comes to cures, and should only be resorted to after you've tried everything else. In fact, using laxatives too often can actually cause a person to become constipated, because your body gets used to needing them as a crutch to stimulate the colon and push fecal matter out. Your colon acts like a muscle, and it can actually lose it's strength if you make things too easy on it or work it too hard. It should stay regulated at a healthy pace, and laxatives can definitely screw up that pace. But for one-time use, they can sometimes be effective and may be needed. You can buy laxatives at any pharmacy or grocery store, or even online. Aside from different companies and brands that make laxatives, there are also a few different types. Most are meant to be taken orally, but suppositories are a type of laxatives that are placed in the rectum and result in a bowel movement when they work properly. My advice is if you do decide to use laxatives or bowel stimulants, try to use natural ones like milk of magnesia. But keep in mind, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's good for your bowels on a long-term basis.
Gravity seems to have a huge effect on how the organs of the body function. The colon and digestive system work best when a person is standing straight-up. Doctors tell people not to lie down in bed until at least 3 hours after eating. This is mostly for digestive reasons and to prevent acid reflux. Lying down doesn't effect the colon as much as the stomach if a person is eating healthy or has no current constipation problems. However, if you are dealing with constipation, and things are clogged-up in your colon, it will be much better for you if you stand-up as much as possible. Lying down in bed while constipated can put pressure on the colon and makes it more difficult for things to run smoothly in there.
Exercising may or may not help with your constipation, but since it can't hurt you, you might as well start exercising anyways for your health. Similar to posture, exercise has a direct effect on your digestive system. This is because exercise helps the stomach to digest foods food more easily, by speeding things up and increasing metabolism. It hasn't been proven that it can help with constipation, but it has been proven to be an an effective treatment for many other disorders of the stomach. So who knows, it may just be effective in your personal situation. Brisk walking or jogging are some of the best exercises a person can do to promote good digestive health.
Avoid Constipating Foods
When it comes to stopping constipation, one treatment that many may overlook is by cutting out foods in their diet that can cause it. While there's many foods out there that can help relieve it, there's also those who can bring it on. Some foods that may cause constipation are fatty foods, red meat, bananas, dairy products, junk food, and processed foods (frozen dinners, instantly made meals, etc.). In addition to these, it may be a good idea to steer clear of food that is enriched as well, such as white rice and white bread. These types of foods are processed and lose many of their nutrients and vitamins. So after processing, they are processed again and enriched, by having these same vitamins and nutrients added back into them artificially. This process makes these foods more difficult for the body to digest, and can easily cause problems for some people's colons.
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