Constipation is a pain in the you-know-what, but laxatives aren’t much fun, either. They can cause unpleasant side effects like cramping and gas, and they can cause your bowel to become laxative-dependent if used too much. Laxatives should always be a last resort. Here are some more natural remedies to try when you’re trying to cure constipation.
Your brain isn’t the only thing that coffee stimulates. Your intestines also get jolted into action when you down a cup of joe in the morning, which may be part of the reason so many people tend to visit the porcelain throne after breakfast.
2) Abdominal Massage
Gently massaging your abdomen is another way to help things move along. It’s important to massage in the usual direction of movement in the large intestine: Start above your right leg, travel up past your belly button, move across in a straight line to the other side, and then descend toward your left leg. Repeat for a few minutes using gentle pressure.
3) Poop Paste
There are some recipes available on the internet to cure constipation. The exact ingredients vary, but even something as simple as prune juice, applesauce, and bran cereal can work. Combine to create a paste-like texture, and consume a small amount (about a medicine cup full) each morning for a fiber-dense dosage.
4) Soluble or Insoluble Dietary Fiber
Many people are unaware that not all fiber is created equal. Soluble fiber absorbs water to create bulk and stimulates intestinal movement, whereas insoluble fiber acts as roughage to help move things along. Research the type of fiber in the foods you typically eat. If you find that you’ve been eating foods that contain mostly soluble fiber, try consuming more foods that provide insoluble fiber (and vice versa) to cure constipation.
5) Warm Water
Like coffee, warm fluids cause stimulation of the large intestine. Downing a glass or two of heated water (or some other liquid) ideal for a constipated colon. Taking in sufficient liquids softens intestinal contents, too, making them slide through the body more quickly and effortlessly.
Sometimes the abdominal area slows down because the rest of the body isn’t moving enough. Even gentle exercise helps get blood pumping and muscles moving, which helps with proper elimination. Since a sedentary lifestyle may be causing or contributing to your irregularity, try increasing your activity level to help reduce or eliminate the problem.
Although it’s easy to turn to pills to solve our problems, there are often natural solutions that are healthier and equally effective. Use the tips above as a guide in your fight against constipation, and take laxatives only when necessary.