Constipation is a common complaint of the digestive system that involves passing fewer than 3 stools per week. Generally, there are different definitions of constipation for different people. For some individuals, passage of hard stools is constipation and for others, it may involve straining during defecation. It is very common condition and affects people of all age groups.
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem, which causes many expenses for the community with an estimated prevalence of 1% to 80%, worldwide, where the condition is characterized by a wide geographical variation.
In US alone, more than 2.5 million people visit doctor with the symptom of constipation. It is important to mention here that constipation itself is not a disease but an indication of some issues in the digestive process.
In herbal medicine, constipation is regarded as the mother of all ailments.
The sluggish movement of partially digested food from the colon causes it to absorb all the water making stools dry and unusually large in size. These dry and lumpy stools are hard to expel and cause a significant amount of discomfort and pain. Severe constipation may also cause rectal bleeding pr anal fissure due to excessive straining to pass hard impacted stools. It also plays havoc with the quality of life, disrupts normal routine and may lead to mental agitation and stress. It varies in severity and duration from person to person.
Regular use of junk foods, less intake of fiber, drinking less water, certain medicines, lack of exercise and specific chronic disease are the major culprits behind constipation. No medical testing is usually required in the majority of the cases except a few cases where a patient has some co-morbidity like diabetes and hypothyroid. Diet modifications are usually recommended to rectify this issue and laxatives are held as the last resort.
People feel reluctant to talk about constipation and usually don’t visit some physical till it gets severe.
However, it should not cause much worry as it can be cured easily at home by making some basic lifestyle changes regarding diet and exercise.
Here are the effective remedies to relieve constipation in a natural way:
1. Drink enough water and stay hydrated:
Drinking less water leads the body to a state of dehydration. It results in more absorption of water from the digested food as body tends to preserve maximum water. It makes feces hard and culminates in constipation. This is a common cause and rehydrating body relieves this kind of constipation. It is observed that sparkling water is somewhat superior to plain water in this regard so try to drink sparkling water to relieve constipation. It is recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water in a day. In addition to preventing and cure constipation, taking enough fluids helps to flush out gut toxins as well.
2. Take more fiber:
Studies have revealed that only 5% of the population is taking RDA (recommended dietary allowance) per day that is 35gm/day for women and 45gm/day for men. Lack of fiber is the most common cause behind constipation and its supplementation is the most effective way to treat and prevent it. The best way to get fiber in this recommended quantity is to go for the natural sources. The synthetic supplements may lack the important nutrient components that are present naturally in fruits and vegetables. Following is a variety of good sources to get the required fiber.
3. Exercise Regularly:
Regular physical activity improves blood circulation and exerts an overall healthy effect on the colon. Studies have shown mixed results regarding the role of exercise in constipation. Anyhow, a sedentary lifestyle causes visceral obesity and slowed bowel movements that can be fixed with regular exercise.
Fiber can also be taken as a supplement to maintain a healthy gut and protect it against a number of colon diseases. They are easily available, cost-effective, completely safe and easy to use.
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