Bloating, gas, painful cramps, and that indescribable heaviness-the symptoms of constipation make this very common condition uncommonly difficult to endure. Still, short of reaching for a laxative, there’s nothing you can do but wait, right? Wrong! These tried and true natural methods for overcoming constipation will clear up the backlog and leave you feeling light and relieved in no time.
1. Just Add Water
Often, constipation and hard, dry, painful-to-pass stools are the result of a severe shortage of water in your body. To increase regularity and reduce pain, make sure you’re drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. Additionally, make sure that you eliminate dehydrating drinks like coffee and black tea that act as diuretics, siphoning off your body’s water supply.
2. Fibre is Your Friend
Boosting your intake of fibre rich foods can improve the frequency and consistency of your movements. Fibre makes its way to your colon and mops up excess water, bulking up the stool and helping the evacuation process. Fruits, particularly prunes, pears and kiwis, are a fantastic, bowel movement-boosting source of insoluble fibre. Other great sources of dietary fibre include vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans but remember to increase your water intake as you add more fibre into your diet to keep things running smoothly.
3. Cut Out the Common Culprits
While certain foods seem to trigger constipation in some and not others, there are foods that generally lead to misbehaving bowels. In large amounts, chocolate, certain dairy products like milk and cheese, as well as starchy, unripe bananas are some of the most frequently complained of bowel-blockers. Removing these items from your meals could help to improve regularity.
4. Steer Clear of Stress
Sufferers often report that constipation follows an increase in tension and stress. Chronic stress is linked with decreased blood flow to the gut, as well as decreased gastrointestinal motility so finding ways to alleviate anxiety could be the key to unlocking painless, frequent bowel movements. Practice deep breathing exercises, remove yourself from tension –inducing situations or simply take a calming five minute break. Replenish the beneficial gut flora that stress often wipes out with pro-biotic rich, live yoghurt, to make a lasting difference.
5. Stretch and Stride
Nothing relieves backed up bowels like physical exercise. Whether you go for organ massaging deep-stretching exercise or prefer a long, brisk walk, getting moving will definitely get things moving. Exercise can improve intestinal motility and jumping jacks, leg lifts or even just the simple act of standing up can lend reluctant bowels the gravity they need to kick start a movement.
You don’t have to spend another day waiting for constipation to pass. Use these medication-free methods to get proactive about regulating bowel movements and find the quick, natural relief you need.