What to do if you are constipated
The treatment for constipation depends on its duration and severity. In most cases, constipation can be self-treated by making small, conservative changes in your diet and lifestyle. If your constipation is not relieved in this way, you may need to see a doctor who will prescribe the best therapy for your condition.
Treatments for constipation fall into the following approaches: behavioural, medical and alternative. Behavioural therapies include diet, exercise, and bowel habits. Medical therapies refer to laxatives , enemas , suppositories and other treatments. Alternative therapies cover a vast range and include massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathic and ayurvedic remedies.
If you are suffering from constipation, you need to treat the cause and cleanse your system. After taking steps to detoxify the body by removing accumulated fecal matter and sludge, most people feel lighter and find that their mood as well as their level of energy improves.
The key to preventing and treating constipation is eating enough high-fiber foods and drinking enough fluids. Together, these work to make your stools softer and bulkier, making it easier to move through your intestines.
Dietary fiber (fibre) is one of the main tools in the prevention and treatment of constipation. Fibre absorbs water and makes stools easier to eliminate.You can add fiber to your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables, beans and grains every day. The goal should be to have 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables every day. This will provide enough roughage to help your digestive system function smoothly. Make sure to add fiber to your diet gradually, to avoid gas and bloating and to allow your body to get used to it. At the same time, limit your intake of foods with little or no fiber, such as meat, cheese and ice cream. It is also important to drink additional liquids to enable the fiber to work properly. Fiber doesn't work immediately; allow some time to see a change in your bowel movements. If you cannot get enough fiber by consuming fruits and vegetables, you could add fiber supplements.
Fruits help to cleanse the colon, and prevent constipation. They should be eaten every day and even between meals. The fruits should be fully ripe. Fruits that can help in treating constipation include peaches, pears, apples, raspberries, tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, berries, bael fruit, avocados, blueberries, plums, persimmons, papayas, lemons, grapes, guavas, oranges and cherries.
Dry fruits such as prunes, figs, dates and apricots are effective natural aids to ease constipation.
Vegetables - Asparagus, carrots, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, squash, green pepper, potatoes with skin, snow peas, tomatoes and onions all provide the necessary roughage to help avoid and cure constipation.
Beans - Kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, chick peas, lima beans, black-eyed beans, soybeans are the most popular choices for dealing with digestive blockages.
Grains - Barley, oatmeal, oat bran, wheat bran, grainy breads such as whole wheat or rye, wheat germ, hot whole-grain cereal (oatmeal), cold whole grain cereal, bran cereal (Bran Flakes, Total), whole wheat bagels, bread, brown rice, 7-grain bread, whole wheat pasta, whole grain pita, whole grain muffins are all helpful sources of fibre, which could help the digestive system get back on track.
Because dehydration can lead to constipation, it is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Drinks containing caffeine or alcohol should be avoided when you feel thirsty. The following liquids are recommended: water, fruit juices, vegetable juices, and clear soups.
Water is one of the best natural remedies for constipation. Normal digestion demands a certain amount of water. When the body becomes dehydrated, it causes the stools to harden and constipation develops. While trying to overcome your constipation, make sure your drink about 6-10 glasses of water a day. Drink water not only when you are thirsty, but also throughout the day. Drink water before meals, before, during and after exercise and during hot weather. Keep water overnight in a copper vessel and drink it first thing in the morning. All these steps could help to eliminate the dehydration, which is the root cause of your constipation.
Fruit juices can have a natural laxative effect on the bowels. The following juices may be helpful: boysenberry, cherry and orange.
Vegetable juices can also speed up your digestive system naturally. Raw spinach, for example, has the organic material necessary to cleanse and revitalize the intestinal tract. One of the most effective home remedies for constipation consists of 100 ml of raw spinach juice, mixed with an equal amount of water, drunk twice daily. Lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water, and a bit of honey, if desired, drunk in the morning, is considered another effective cure for constipation. If you suffer from chronic constipation, you could incorporate this last step into your morning routine.
A warm glass of milk, drunk before going to bed is a well-known home remedy for constipation.
Exercise is important for overall health. In addition, regular exercise may help your digestive system to remain healthier. Go outside, get some fresh air and tone up your muscles. You could play outdoor games, swim, walk, jog, run, cycle or row. Although the connection between exercise and constipation is not clear, people who are bedridden, sedentary or immobile tend to suffer from constipation more often than people who are active.
As far as possible, maintain regular bowel habits. Allow time to visit the bathroom in an unhurried way. Read a book or magazine if it helps you relax.In addition, whenever you feel the urge to defecate through the day, find the nearest toilet. As far as possible, never ignore the urge to empty your bowels.