Constipation refers to less than three times bowel movements per week. Adults should have bowel movements between three times per day to three times per week. The normal frequency of bowel movements in children is four times per day and in teenagers is two times per day. Abdominal pain, feeling uncomfortable, bloating are the symptoms of constipation. The complications, which arise from constipation, include anal fissure, hemorrhoids etc.
Constipation is a common problem. Around 20% of Americans suffer from severe constipation. The exact causes of chronic constipation are still unknown. Yet, we can guess that foods we eat or our lifestyle habits, medications or chronic diseases may be responsible for severe constipation.
- 1 How to get rid of severe constipation? – List of few natural remedies
What is the cause of Hard Stool?
Our digestive system breaks down all the foods we eat and the body absorbs all the nutrients and water. The food, which digestive system can’t break, becomes a stool or poo. After the formation of stool, the intestine muscles start to work pushing the stool through the colon. Then the stool comes out through the rectum. This natural process gets disrupted when the intestine muscles stop performing its duty. Naturally, this leads to irregular bowel movements, which results in the formation of hard and dry stool.
How to get rid of severe constipation? – List of few natural remedies
1. Drink Plenty of Water
If you don’t want to get constipated, keep hydrated your body regularly. Drink enough water to prevent severe constipation. You may drink some sparkling (carbonated) water, which would be more effective than tap water.
- Tips: Don’t drink plenty of carbonated water, which includes sugary soda, because it is a bad choice for your health and may worsen your condition.
2. Increase Fiber Intake
If you eat more fiber, it will increase consistency of bowel movements. A study has shown that 77% of people suffering from severe constipation benefitted from the fiber. On the other hand, few studies have shown that fiber intake may worsen the problem. Fiber can’t improve abdominal pain, bloating etc.
Dietary fibers are of two types- insoluble fibers and soluble fibers. Some studies have shown that insoluble fibers are not an effective treatment for constipation. Non-fermentable soluble fiber like psyllium is a good solution for a constipated person.
- Tips: A woman should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and a man should consume 38 grams of fiber per day. A mix of soluble and insoluble fiber is helpful for constipation.
3. Do Exercise
There is a controversy regarding the effect of exercise on constipation. Some studies state that exercise has no effect on the frequency of bowel movements. A recent study has shown that regular exercise reduces symptoms of severe constipation. Many people suffering from constipation have stated that exercise only reduces symptoms but fails to increase consistency and frequency of bowel movements. Actually, body movement stimulates the movement of your intestinal muscles.
- Tips: Morning walk definitely works well.
4. Take Caffeinated Coffee
Caffeinated coffee is 60% more effective than water and 23% more effective than decaffeinated coffee for people with constipation because it stimulates muscles of our digestive system. Soluble fibers, present in coffee, improve the balance of gut bacteria and prevent constipation.
5. Take Herbal- Laxative
Glycosides, present in herbal laxative senna, increase the frequency of your bowel movements by stimulating the nerves in your gut. Adults may take or use senna for short periods of time but they should seek advice from the doctors before using it.
- Tips: Pregnant women, breastfeeding mother and people with certain health conditions should avoid senna.
6. Take Probiotic Supplements
People with chronic bacteria have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut. Probiotic foods improve the balance of bacteria and prevent constipation. Probiotic foods contain short-chain fatty acids and lactic acid, which may improve gut movements. A study has shown that probiotic supplements increase stool consistency and improve the frequency of bowel movements. Yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are examples of probiotic-containing foods.
- Tips: You may take a probiotic supplement daily for 4 weeks to get the positive result.
Other Home Remedies for Severe Constipation:
To treat severe constipation, you may try other effective home remedies, which have been listed below.
- Try low – FOODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet
- Take a glucomannan supplement
- Try magnesium citrate
- Take prunes
- Avoid Dairy
You may choose an effective laxative after consulting with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend the following types of laxatives.
- Osmotic Laxative to soften your stool
- Stool softener to soften your stool
- Stimulant Laxative to stimulate nerves in your gut
- Fiber-based laxatives to increase water content of your stool
There are so many drugstore laxatives to get rid of severe constipation. But natural remedies, which have added health benefits and lower side effects, should be the first preference to a patient suffering from constipation. If you are suffering from constipation occasionally, a home remedy is a good solution. In case of severe constipation or if you notice blood in stool, you should consult your doctor.