Constipation is one of the most common problems people face all over the world. It could be because of the food they eat, their lifestyle choices, diseases that they might be suffering from or due to some medications they might be taking. That said there are many cases where the cause of chronic constipation remains unknown.
Whatever be the cause, it is possible to avoid constipation if you follow certain simple tips. Here are a few that you can try in the comfort of your own home:
Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is the key to avoid constipation. If tap water does not provide relief you can try drinking sparkling or carbonated water to rehydrate your body.
Increase your Fiber Intake
The more fiber you consume the easier it becomes to pass your bowels. You would need to choose a right combination of both insoluble and soluble fibers if you wish to avoid constipation. If you are looking at fiber supplements it would be beneficial to take psyllium which is a non-fermentable soluble fiber.
Exercise as much as possible
Although exercise may not control the problem of constipation completely, it does help in reducing the symptoms associated with constipation. Going for regular walks helps in most cases.
Drink caffeinated coffee
Coffee has the power to stimulate the muscles of your digestive system. It is said to be 60% more effective than drinking plain water when it comes to stimulating your gut. There are small amounts of soluble fibers in coffee that improve the balance of gut bacteria and thus help in preventing constipation.
Include probiotic foods or supplements in your diet
It is the imbalance of the gut bacteria that causes chronic constipation and probiotic foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can improve this balance in an easier and faster way. They produce lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids, which make it easier to pass stools. They also improve stool consistency and increase frequencies of bowel movements. You can also think of taking probiotic supplements daily for about 4 weeks or so.
Try some over-the-counter or prescription laxatives
Your doctor might prescribe you an effective laxative to help control your constipation, without giving in to any side effects. Depending on your condition, you may be advised to take a bulking agent, a stool softener, a stimulant laxative, or an Osmotic laxative. However, you will have to take them as per your doctor’s instructions.
Prunes are excellent home remedies for constipation. With the natural laxative sorbitol in them, prunes can be more effective than going on a fiber diet. Just consume about 7 medium sized prunes twice a day for relief from constipation. Prunes may however not be recommended if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
Avoid dairy products
Sometimes dairy intolerance can also cause constipation. Try removing dairy products from your diet for a short while and see if it works. If it does you can replace them with other food items that are rich in calcium.
Constipation is not something that you can leave untreated. It can cause a lot of discomfort and pain and might even lead to rectal bleeding. If none of the above remedies help in curing your constipation you may want to consult a doctor.