What is Constipation?
Constipation is the slower-than-normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract.
A normal digestive cycle takes six to 24 hours to pass, with a person having one to three bowel movements per day.
However, when the bowels are constipated, stool becomes slow, difficult or even impossible to pass which requires an urgent constipation treatment.
Almost everyone gets constipated at some time during his or her life. It affects approximately 2 percent of the population in the U.S. Women and the elderly are more commonly affected.
You are considered constipated and you need to have a constipation treatment if you have two or more of the following for at least three months:
- Two or fewer bowel movements in a week
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Hard stools
- Incomplete evacuation
What are constipation symptoms and causes ?
- Difficulty passing stool
- Back pain
The main cause of constipation is a low fiber, low electrolytes and low water diet. Stress, inactivity, certain medications, an imbalance in intestinal flora, thyroid problems and a magnesium deficiency
can also cause constipation. Also, liver stagnation is a major cause of constipation.
FOODS TO EAT
Add fiber slowly if you are not used to it. Include raw fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Some of the best include: psyllium, chia seeds and apples.
Green leafy vegetables
Kale, spinach, arugula, chard, parsley, cilantro and other leafy greens vegetables not only contain fiber, they are also a good source of magnesium, which can help improve constipation.
Prunes and figs
These fruits are high in fiber and tend to have a laxative effect.
Warm liquids, especially first thing in the morning, tend to stimulate digestion. Try some herbal tea or bone broth.
Fiber needs water to pass through the digestive system. Drink 8 to 16 ounces of water every two hours.
Foods that lubricate the colon
These foods may include okra, spinach, asparagus and banana.
FOODS TO AVOID
Trans fats slow down transit time through the intestine as do hydrogenated oils. Avoid canola, soybean, cottonseed and vegetable oils, and even some “natural” oils, such as safflower and sunflower, which can be partially hydrogenated.
Liquor is difficult on the digestive system and can make constipation worse since it is dehydrating.
Is also dehydrating and can worsen constipation.
Pasteurized dairy products
Many people are lactose intolerant and can become constipated from the overconsumption of dairy products.
Refined flour by nature does not contain any fiber and
therefore will not help with constipation.
How to treat constipation with remedies?
Psyllium (1 teaspoon, two times daily)
An insoluble fiber that helps the stools become bulky, allowing them to pass through the digestive system easier.
Chia and flaxseeds (2 to 3 tablespoons daily, with water)
Both of these seeds provide a significant amount of fiber. Also, flaxseed oil helps lubricate the colon.
Magnesium (250 mg, two to four times daily)
Improves gut motility. Add this supplement in slowly and cut back if it causes diarrhea.
Probiotics (at least 15 billion organisms)
Maintaining a healthy intestinal tract is critical for avoiding digestive problems.
Aloe vera juice (1/4 cup, two times daily)
Helps reduce inflammation and improve the frequency of bowel movements.
A traditional remedy is, upon waking, taking 1 to 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil or cod liver oil with 8 ounces of fresh pressed carrot juice.