Being constipated is probably one of the worse symptoms one can be cursed with – to carry the weight of stubborn faeces in your colon, to want to “go” but not being able to, and the annoying painful forcing…….uggg, constipation is certainly frustrating. Chances are, at some point in your life you have endured these annoying symptoms – statistics show that approximately 30 percent of children and adults suffer from reoccurring bouts of constipation.
There is no one single cause of irregular bowel movements, in fact, constipation can arise from many different factors – low fiber diet, autoimmune disorders, stress and inadequate nutrition are among the top causes. Of course the only way to remedy the symptoms of constipation is to tackle the main cause, however, standard medicine tends to over-focus on the symptom instead of seeking out the cause.
Chronic constipation is usually treated with laxatives until the symptoms are gone. While laxatives are effective at softening the stools and stimulating bowel movements, it shouldn’t be used as a treatment. When taken in excess, synthetic laxatives can actually harm the health – certain laxatives can cause an imbalance of electrolytes, fluid loss, lethargy, muscle weakness, malnutrition and dependency. The only way to treat constipation is to focus on the cause of it, below are 12 natural ways to treat symptoms of constipation.
12 Natural Ways to Treat Constipation:
- Adopt a high fiber diet: Include an abundance of high fiber foods into your daily diet – foods such as apples, beans, prunes, brown rice, flaxseed, barley quinoa, pears, grapes and sweet potatoes are great options.
- Stay hydrated: If you suffer from reoccurring constipation, you should make an effort to consume at least ten 8oz glasses of pure water a day. The constant intake of water will stimulate the digestion process and provide a continual detox.
- Eat your sprouts: Sprouting your beans and nuts will bring them to life, which creates beneficial enzymes and minerals that stimulate easy digestion.
- Lemons and limes: Drink 2 glasses of warm lemon or lime water a day (upon rising and before bedtime) the alkaline properties of the lemons/limes will jump-start the digestive process while gently cleansing the colon.
- Chew your food: Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing – when you swallow big chunks of food, you slow down the digestive process which can cause a back-up.
- Probiotics: Probiotics maintain the bacterial balance in the gut and assists the process of digestion. Increase your intake of probiotics by including more yogurt, kefer and ferments into your diet.
- Continual detox: Continually cleanse your system with gentle detoxing – drinking green juices at least 5 days a week, deliberate sweating, regularly consuming coconut oil, raw honey and green tea are great ways to detox.
- Ditch the un-foods: Over processed foods are hell on the digestive system, make an effort to consume at least 70 percent of natural foods everyday.
- Aloe Juice: Natural Aloe Vera juice is one of the best natural laxatives we have at our disposal. Add a teaspoon or two to your green juices if your symptoms are chronic.
- Manage your stress: Stress can be very upsetting to your health – while you my not be able to escape your stresses, you can find ways to manage it. Determine the cause of your negativity and find ways to shoo it away.
- Squat: You may be subconsciously slouching when you are trying to “go”, the slouching can make the process more difficult. Try “going” in a squatting position where your back is straight and your legs are slightly elevated – you can rest your feet on a stool for assistance.
- No late night snacking: Make an effort to not eat anything after 8pm. Your metabolism slows down drastically at night, so if you eat after hours, the food will sit in your gut and decompose before it gets a chance to digest.
It may take a few weeks to see any major changes in your bowels once you begin the suggestions above, however if your symptoms do not improve, seek the aid of your doctor.