Constipation: Symptoms, Causes, Remedies

Constipation: Symptoms, Causes, & Natural Remedies For Instant Relief

Constipation is not exactly the most pleasant thing to talk about, even among the closest of friends. However, the fact still remains that everybody experiences it every once in a while, making it even more important to find out as much as you can about it.

Constipation can be a very painful experience. But once you know what to do about it, you can alleviate the pain faster and get back to your normal routine in no time.

What is Constipation?

Constipation is the condition where a person’s bowel movement becomes less frequent and more difficult. Here are some common symptoms of constipation:

  • There is difficulty in bowel movement around 25% of the time.
  • Stool is harder than normal around 25% of the time.
  • All stool does not completely come out 25% of the time.
  • Only two bowel movements within a week (or less).

Just imagine going an entire week with less bowel movement than you are used to. Worse, each time you have to go would mean having to struggle just to make everything come out. This is the kind of inconvenience that severe constipation brings.

What Causes Constipation?

A lot of factors can cause constipation:

  • Too little water consumed
  • Too little fiber in your diet
  • Regular routine and diet is disrupted (during travel or through sickness)
  • Too little mobility or activity
  • Too much dairy products
  • Too much stress
  • Trying to stop bowel movement
  • Using laxatives too often
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Different neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease
  • Taking in antacids that contain aluminum or calcium
  • Strong pain medicines like antidepressants, iron pills, or narcotics
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eating disorders
  • Colon cancer
  • Pregnancy

With each different cause of constipation also comes a different level of difficulty and pain. These causes are carefully considered before treatment as there are different approaches used depending on the cause.

How Is Constipation Diagnosed?

Most of the time, there is no need to go through extensive testing to figure out whether you are constipated or not. Once you experience difficulty in your bowel movement for 2 straight weeks or more, then it’s time to consult an expert and visit your doctor and see what might be causing it.

Some of the common tests done to find out how to relieve constipation fast are:

  • Blood tests – to see if hormonal imbalance is suspected
  • Barium studies – to see if anything is blocking your colon
  • Colonoscopy – to see if anything is blocking your colon

Once these tests are done, it is easier to figure out how to relieve your constipation fast. These two problems are often found to be the root causes of constipation:

  • Colonic Inertia – The colon retains stool because of poor contraction.
  • Obstructed Defecation – Excessive strain is needed just to expel stool from the rectum.

It is not too common for doctors to find more serious causes for constipation. However, once it has been discovered through testing that you have more serious problems like colon cancer, make sure you work on getting help right away.

What Can Be Done To Relieve Constipation?

There are a number of ways to get constipation relief. Here are a few ways on how to relieve constipation:

  • Water Can Relieve ConstipationDrink an additional two to four glasses of water on top of what is normally recommended.
  • Drink warm instead of cold liquids, especially at the start of the day.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.
  • Eat prunes and bran cereal to soften your stool and make it easier to release it.
  • Use mild laxatives like Milk of Magnesia or Peri-Colace. Make sure that you limit your intake of laxatives however, as this could also make matters worse.

What Are Some Natural Ways To Relieve Constipation?

Of course, it is always best to go the natural route in trying to provide immediate constipation relief. Natural constipation relief ensures that the process of getting rid of your condition has very little impact on your body’s natural processes.

Here are a few of the common home remedies for constipation:

  • Olive Oil – Aside from the fact that olive oil is a tasty part of different cuisines, it also proves to be a natural laxative. A tablespoon of olive oil in the morning should help you stimulate your digestive system and help your stool move more efficiently through your colon. You can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your daily dose of olive oil in case you want to add a little more flavor.
  • natural remedies for constipationLemon – Fresh lemons do more than just appeal to your nostrils. Lemons prove to be one of the most effective natural remedies for constipation and could flush out not only the toxins in your system, but some of the excess material that has started to build up along the walls of your colon as well.
  • Molasses – Molasses are a product of boiling sugar a few times. It has rich magnesium content, which helps alleviate the symptoms of constipation. You can start out with one teaspoon. Add it to tea or warm water in case the taste is too overpowering. You can start increasing the amount of intake in case a teaspoon does not seem to work for your purpose.
  • Coffee – Although too much coffee can also cause constipation, a cup or two can help you stimulate your digestive system. Don’t go over 2 cups though, as this would then have the opposite effect and make your constipation worse.

You can try out these natural home remedies if you want to get rid of constipation fast. However, make sure you consult a doctor in case you feel that they are not working, or if you think there is something more to what you’re feeling than just a mere digestion problem.

How Do You Avoid Constipation?

As with any other condition, prevention is still better than cure. To maintain a healthy bowel movement, make sure you integrate these into your regular routine:

  • Increase your fluid intake as this allows the colon to let the stool pass more easily.
  • Make sure your diet includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole-grain bread or cereals.
  • Avoid too much caffeine from coffee or soda as these can have a dehydrating effect on your system.
  • Avoid dairy products especially if you experience constipation more often than usual.
  • Make it a point to add a few minutes of exercise to your daily routine.
  • Do not delay your bowel. Relieve yourself the moment you feel the need to do so.

Constipation can be easily relieved, especially if you take the necessary steps the moment you see the symptoms. Take note of the things that can help you prevent the condition from happening to avoid the inconvenience it can cause.

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