It’s a problem you don’t want to discuss even with your best friend, husband, or doctor but it affects most people at some point in their lives. For whatever reason, some people seem to be more prone to constipation than others although lifestyle and dietary habits appear to play an important role. While there are medications that can be used to treat constipation, it’s far healthier to stop constipation naturally. If you’re looking for a natural treatment for constipation, here are some ways to help restore normal bowel movements without the use of drugs:
Natural treatment for constipation
Increase fiber intake
This is one of the healthiest and most effective ways to stop or prevent constipation. With the highly refined, low fiber diet most Americans eat, it’s hardly surprising that constipation is such an ongoing problem.
Simple changes such as replacing your regular cereal with a high fiber bran cereal and adding two extra servings of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet can be effective in improving bowel function. Try sprinkling a few teaspoons of flaxseed on your morning cereal for an extra dose of fiber.
Other simple changes include buying whole grain bread and substituting brown rice for the refined white rice.
By making these easy alterations to your diet, you’ll promote long term colon health as opposed to using a medication which will only temporarily fix the problem.
Exercise is another effective way to stop constipation naturally. Sustained movement helps to speed the passage of food through the intestinal tract which causes less water to be reabsorbed. This results in softer stools and more frequent bowel movements.
Exercise may also stimulate intestinal contractions which can help propel waste material through the colon.
The good news is it doesn’t take vigorous exercise to improve symptoms of constipation. A twenty minute walk may be all you need to experience healthier bowel movements.
Increase fluid intake
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2003 showed that drinking inadequate levels of fluid, particularly in the elderly, can result in symptoms of constipation. If constipation is an ongoing problem for you, try to consume eight glasses of water per day on a regular basis to stop constipation naturally.
A study conducted in the Nutritional Journal in 2007 showed that probiotic supplements can help to relieve the symptoms of constipation. It’s thought that the friendly bacteria that make up probiotics may help to increase the motility of the colon by making it more acidic.
If you don’t want to take supplements, you can get colon friendly bacteria from eating yogurt containing probiotics.
A word of warning
One word of warning, constipation can sometimes be a sign of more serious health problems such as colon cancer. If you experience chronic symptoms of constipation or experience abdominal pain, blood in your stool, or a change in bowel habits, be sure to see your doctor.
The next time you’re ready to reach for a laxative to relieve your constipation, consider how much healthier it would be to stop it. Then try a natural treatment for constipation instead. It could be the beginnings of a healthier lifestyle for your colon.