Do you feel bloated, yet have trouble relieving yourself? You’ll need to know how to relieve constipation.

Bloat can be one of the most uncomfortable feelings a person can experience, but you can ease it with simple ingredients you can find in your kitchen. We’ll introduce you to them, and a few recipes, as well as a number of lifestyle changes that will help you achieve a relief.

What is constipation?

Constipation refers to irregular or hard-to-pass bowel movements. Patients often pass out dry or hard stool. The condition leaves people feeling that they have not relieved themselves completely. The side effects of constipation include hemorrhoids and anal fissure.

The Causes of Constipation

You probably know a few reasons for gut trouble. Others, however, are quite surprising. We introduce them to you.

1. Hypothyroidism

First of all is hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. It slows the body’s metabolism.

Not everyone with hypothyroidism experiences constipation. That said, it is a trigger for the condition.

2. Painkillers

Also, painkillers, especially narcotics, can cause stools to harden. This study details the various treatments used to prevent Opioid-Induced Bowel Dysfunction (OIBD). It discusses how potent opioids are.

3. Chocolate

A few studies reveal that chocolate can cause constipation. Others claim that our favorite sinful delight can remedy the problem. Research on several foods concludes that chocolate hardens stools.

4. Minerals

Minerals are another cause of constipation. They tighten the bowels when taken in excess. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is one of the symptoms of Hypercalcemia (too much calcium).

5. Overuse of laxatives

An overdose of laxatives can lead to dependence and hence, constipation. You cannot move your bowels without them. Do follow your doctor’s instructions when taking laxatives and other medication.

6. Dairy

Dairy, which is low in fiber and high in fat, can slow your digestion. According to this research, children prone to Chronic Functional Constipation (CFC) experienced the condition after drinking cow’s milk.

7. Antidepressants

The Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), present in many antidepressants, can cause constipation. Take a gentle stool softener if you experience this side effect.

8. Antacids

Antacids relieve heartburn but harden stools. Those that contain calcium or aluminum are especially guilty.

Avoid overstuffing at mealtimes instead of relying on medication. Also, you may refer to your doctor for another Antacid of a particular brand triggers constipation.

9. Blood Pressure/ Allergy Medication

Hard stools are a possible side effect of blood pressure or allergy medication. Diuretics remove urine and therefore lower blood pressure. That said, such medicines harden stool.

10.Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This condition has two forms, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Both can cause constipation, weight loss, and other health conditions. It is likely due to a blockage in the small intestine.

The Symptoms

The symptoms of poor bowel movements include:

  • Hardened, lumpy stool
  • Difficulty passing stool
  • Feeling the need for a bowel movement
  • A bloated abdomen
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy

How to Relieve Constipation with These Homemade Remedies

Ironically, quick-fix laxatives often worsen constipation. These home remedies may relieve your discomfort and are worth a try.

1. Oil

First of all, olive oil is more than healthy fat; it loosens bowels. The Omega-3 fatty acids in it rev up the digestive system and push food through the colon. They also encourage bile production and soothe the irritation in the colon.

Take a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach when you get up in the morning. Avoid drinking any liquid for about an hour. You should see results if you follow this regimen for two weeks.

2. Lemon

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which kicks the digestive system into gear. It also eliminates undigested food residue in the colon. Mixing lemon juice with water will revive a sleepy digestive tract.

Take the juice of one lemon and mix it with a cup of warm water. Drink it to loosen your stool. Studies prove that it improves gut health and reduces blood sugar.

3. Molasses

Backstrap molasses improve seasonal or chronic constipation. Molasses is pure sugarcane juice that is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium. Mix the teaspoon of blackstrap molasses with either water or a cup of tea to relieve your constipation woes.

4. Coffee

Many people need their morning coffee fixes. Coffee gives off a heavenly aroma and rouses you.

Caffeine stimulates the digestive system and allows you to function for the whole day. That said, don’t overdose on this beverage because it will become a diuretic and drain your body of water. The dehydration causes constipation.

In all, a cup or two of coffee is acceptable and will get food moving through your digestive tract.

5. Fiber

You will find this in natural foods like:

  • beans
  • apricots
  • broccoli
  • berries
  • nuts
  • fruits
  • and potatoes.

A healthy diet does wonders for your well-being. Our bodies process fruits and vegetables better than refined foods, and you can pass them out without difficulty. This systemic review proves that it increases bowel frequency.

Simply put, fiber is indigestible and behaves like a sponge. It draws water from the surroundings and softens stool. Like coffee, it can cause constipation when taken in excess, so always drink plenty of water.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera soothes burns and your tummy. It’s best to use the aloe vera gel that comes straight from the plant because it’s more concentrated than commercially produced aloe vera juice. Researchers have provided evidence that it has laxative effects.

To create this remedy, you’ll need two tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel or a cup of aloe vera juice. Combine either with pure fruit juice and drink the mixture in the morning, or as needed.

7. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile remedy and does its job well. It is bicarbonate and encourages food to move through your stomach. This pastry ingredient revitalizes your gut and neutralizes the acid within it.

To create this remedy, you will need a teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter of a cup of warm water. Combine the ingredients and down the mixture. It works best when gulped.

8. Epsom Salt

Also on this list is Epsom salt, an efficient home remedy for constipation. It contracts the bowel muscles and allows you to pass stool quickly. It works better than table salt because of its magnesium content.

This remedy requires two teaspoons of Epsom salt and a cup of water. Dissolve the Epsom in the water and drink it all. You should experience bowel movement within four hours. You may take another dose if your stools are still hard.

9. Prunes

Prunes, or dried plums, benefit constipation, according to this study. They contain phenolic compounds, which produce a laxative effect. Note that the juice has less fiber than the fruit.

10. Bananas

Ripe bananas work best to relieve constipation. According to the same study above, they have soluble fiber, tannins, and starch, all of which aid bowel movement.

11. Persimmon

Finally, persimmons, like bananas, have a high tannic acid content. The larger bananas have less tannin than smaller ones.

How to Relieve Constipation with Lifestyle Changes

You can prevent constipation with a few common-sense lifestyle changes. They don’t require much effort.

1. Change your routine

First of all, you can make positive changes to your day. Eat more high-fiber foods and gradually become less sedentary.

Furthermore, eat your meals at appropriate times each day. Drink water when you rise, and exercise. Park where you must walk for some distance, and take a stroll at lunchtime.

Get enough sleep and go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to do so. Schedule time during the day to move your bowels.

2. Change your eating habits

Also, pack a piece of fruit to eat as a snack at work. Substitute white with wholemeal bread, and eat more cereal. Eat brown instead of white rice.

3. Take fiber supplements

If necessary, take fiber supplements. These reduce bulky stool and lower your cholesterol.

In all, take these simple steps to relieve constipation. Changing your habits and eating well will ease your bowel movements.

Michelle Liew, B.A.

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