It would be surprising to know that not everyone has the same bowel movement and not necessarily you should have a daily bowel movement.
The normal frequency of bowel movements can vary from person to person, from 3 times a day to 3 times a week, and most people have a regular habit. Passing hard stools less than 3 times a week is probably a constipated person.
Did you know?
As per the recent survey done in 2018, 22% of Indian adults suffer from constipation. It was also observed that constipation now is just not an elderly problem, but occurs among middle-aged and young aged population too.
Constipation is defined as passing hard, dry stools for not more than three bowel movements a week. Or in simple words, any decrease in the frequency or consistency that’s out of your regular norm can be a sign of constipation.
Other symptoms include loss of appetite, bloating, stomach ache, irritability, nausea, cramping in a lower abdomen, headache, mouth ulcer and bad breath.
Eating foods with too little fiber, not drinking enough fluids, emotional stress, lack of exercise, over-eating and consuming junk food, and insufficient sleep, having a sedentary lifestyle, and repeatedly ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom can contribute to constipation. Although constipation affect all age groups, but mostly the women and elder age people experience constipation. It also tends to occur during pregnancy, after childbirth or surgery. Some medicines, such as certain painkillers and iron supplements, may cause or aggravate the problem. Occasionally, constipation is caused by an underlying illness.
Thus it is very important to follow the home remedies to relieve constipation naturally.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Milk and Butter (Ghee): For constipation during pregnancy, a cup of hot milk with a teaspoon of ghee added is effective.
- Mix a teaspoon of butter in a glass of hot milk.
- Intake this mixture at least twice a day.
Lemon (Nimboo): The ample amount of acids present in lemon helps clear the excretory system.
- Squeeze half a lemon into a glass and add half a teaspoon of salt.
- Drinking this mixture in the early morning cures constipation.
Honey: Take 1 tablespoon honey every morning, or add it to tea. Honey soothes the bowel and can be added to food or drinks to relieve constipation.
Apple: Eat a raw apple about an hour after a meal. Apples are very cleansing, and will encourage bowel movements. Pineapple juice, pears, guava, gapes are also effective.
Banana: Eat ripe yellow bananas between meals, not with the meals. Bananas helps provide constipation relief and regulate bowel movement.
Figs (Anjeer): For constipation in children, give 3 figs soaked in warm water. Figs are great source of fiber and helps make stool softer.
Prunes(Aloo Bukhara): Eat a handful of dried prunes or drink some prune juice everyday an hour after meals. In addition to adding fiber, prunes have a mild laxative effect.
Aegle marmelos (Bael Fruit): Bael fruit is considered the simplest of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines.
- Consume sixty grams of the fruit before dinner in its original form every night.
- Its regular use for 2 or 3 months throws out even the previous accumulated dejection.
Psyllium (Isabgol): Take 1 tsp psyllium husk twice daily. Psyllium husks act as a bulk laxative for relieving constipation. To reduce gastrointestinal side effects, start with a small dose and gradually increase the amount. Be sure to increase your water intake with any fiber product or it could make symptoms worse.
Flaxseeds (Alsi): Flaxseed helps to ease constipation. Flaxseeds are highly concentrated in fiber and contain essential fatty acids which promote smooth bowel movements.
- Mix a teaspoon of flaxseed in a glass of stewed water.
- Drink this solution early in the morning once you wake up. or
- Sprinkle two teaspoon of ground flaxseeds over any meal.
Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera juice or aloe latex can be used as a stimulant laxative, but it should not be confused with aloe Vera gel which is used for wound healing or sunburn. Aloe Vera should be used for occasional relief.
Senna: It’s been used for thousands of years as a natural laxative. Senna is a stimulant laxative that helps the digestive tract to contract. Often drunk as a tea, senna can be very effective and work within several hours after consumption.
Enemas: If constipation needs to be more immediately relieved, an enema may be more useful than a laxative. Enemas are often composed of a saline solution that is inserted into the rectum. The liquid from the enema flushes stool from the bowels. Although enemas are safe and easy to use, there are warnings about over-using this method.
Do’s for Constipation
- Eat more fiber rich foods. Include fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole-grain cereals and whole grain breads which are high in fiber. It help soften waste material and help it pass more quickly through your colon. This reduces pressure inside your digestive tract. Add fiber to your diet gradually to avoid gas and bloating.
- Increase the intake of fluids preferably water. Drink eight to ten glasses of pure water daily. Drinking inadequate amount of fluids is one of the biggest contributors to constipation.
- Exercise regularly for 20-30 minutes, such as walking, biking or swimming, which help to stimulate intestinal function.
- Take a good probiotic such as yogurt, kefir to help promote a healthy flora of intestine that can assist gentle bowel movements.
- Develop regular bowel habits. Set aside time after breakfast to visit the toilet.
- Try an elimination diet to help you to identify what may be triggering your body and causing your colon to contract.
- Go to bathroom when urge; don’t wait. Allow adequate time for bowel movements. The longer you wait, the more water is absorbed from stool and the stool becomes much harder.
Don’ts for Constipation
- Don’t skip breakfast. Having a hot drink with breakfast helps to stimulate bowel.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol intake, which can worsen symptoms of constipation by causing dehydration.
- Avoid fried foods, sugar, refined white flour and other processed foods that contribute to constipation.
- Skip foods and drinks that cause gas, such as cabbage, broccoli, and fizzy drinks, until the constipation is gone.
- Avoid hurried meals and meals at odd times.
- Avoid medications that cause constipation. Consult doctor to help you in this regard.
- Avoid the regular use of over-the-counter laxatives.
When to See a Doctor
- Constipation has not cleared up after 7 days.
- Having recurrent bouts of constipation.
- Intense abdominal pain.
- Blood in your stool.
- Constipation that alternates with diarrhea.
- Severe pain in the anus during bowel movement.
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