Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. While most of the causes are benign, it can sometimes be a warning sign for more malevolent diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, colon cancer, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. In the US, people spend more than $250 million on constipation medications a year.
Methods of treating constipation depend on the underlying cause and the duration that it has been present. But there are ways you can relieve yourself of constipation at home. It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you’re suffering from other side effects, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can.
We at Bright Side put together a list of foods that you can add to your diet and a few other ways you can say goodbye to constipation.
Constipation occurs due to dehydration in the colon. Keeping the body properly hydrated means that less water gets withdrawn from the colon. This keeps your stool soft and allows it to pass easier. It is advisable to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day for the body’s metabolism to work smoothly.
Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, can ease digestive problems.
Blackstrap molasses is produced by boiling sugar syrup 3 times. This process causes it to contain a significant amount of vitamins and minerals (particularly magnesium) that help relieve constipation. One tbsp of blackstrap molasses before going to bed should help ease your constipation.
If you are suffering from constipation, sprinkle some sesame seeds over your salad, yogurt, or smoothie. One tbsp of sesame seeds contains about 1.1 g of fiber which aids in constipation relief. Another good choice can be pumpkin seeds. 1 oz of pumpkin seeds (about 85 seeds) contains a whopping 5 g of fiber.
It’s a matter of timing. While unripe bananas can cause constipation, ripe bananas can help relieve constipation. So if you suffer from constipation, eat ripe bananas, but if you have frequent bowel activity, eat unripe bananas.
Eating prunes (dried plums) can alleviate constipation. Prunes are a rich source of insoluble fiber, as well as of sorbitol, which is a natural laxative. Children who don’t like the taste of prunes can eat prune juice ice pops or sip prune juice mixed with another juice to hide the taste.
The Conception Vessel 6 (CV 6) is located 3 finger widths under your belly button. To stimulate your bowels, use your fingers to firmly press on this area for 30 seconds. While you are stimulating, keep your eyes closed and breath normally.
Lemon, orange, rosemary, sweet basil, fennel, and peppermint are the best aromas to beat constipation.
A regular walking plan lasting even 10 to 15 minutes a day can significantly increase the effectiveness of the digestive system.
Have you tried any of these methods? What else do you do if you are suffering from constipation? Let us know in the comments section below.
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side