Constipation occurs when bowel movements become either less frequent or more difficult.
While the normal length of time between bowl movements can range widely from person to person, going longer than 3 consecutive days without a bowel movement would be considered too long.
Possible Symptoms of Constipation,
According to Web MD and the Mayo Clinic you would considered constipated if you have 2 or more of the following symptoms for at least 3 months:
* 2 or fewer bowel movements in a week
* hard stools more than 25% of the time
* incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time
* experience a sense of blockage
* straining during a bowel movement more than 25% of the time.
Possible Causes of Constipation,
* Inadequate fiber in your diet
* Not enough water consumption
* Immobility or inadequate exercise or activity
* Consuming large amounts of dairy products
* Overuse of Laxatives
* Antacid medicines that contain aluminum or calcium
* Eating Disorders
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Certain medications such as antidepressants, strong pain killers or iron pills
* Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease
* Colon Cancer
Home Remedies for Constipation
While there are no instant home remedies for constipation, many of these remedies will work extremely quickly.
* Drink a Glass of Hot Water
Drinking a glass of hot water is known to stimulate bowel movements. This remedy works well in milder cases of constipation.
* Drink Hot Water with Lime
Another simple and easy home remedy is to squeeze a half a lime into a glass of hot water, add a teaspoon of salt and drink it down.
*Drink Water Kept in a Copper Vessel
“Copper water” or water drunk from a copper vessel can help replenish certain metals in your body that you might be lacking such as zinc or copper which greatly helps in keeping bowels cleaned. Fill the vessel with water and leave overnight then simply drink the next morning. This remedy has been known to have very good results.
* Drink Prune Juice
Another extremely effective remedy for constipation is drinking prune juice. Prune juice supplies simple sugars that help draw fluids to the intestines. For some people it can work as fast as 5 to 6 hours – for others maybe 24 hours. Approximately 5 teaspoons every other day is sufficient and if you are not particularly crazy about the taste, you can mix it with apple juice.
* Try Linseed of Flaxseed
A teaspoon of linseed (or flaxseed as it is also known) swallowed with water before each meal can be extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. Linseed can also be sprinkled onto salads or breakfast cereals (Note: Cancer patients should check with their doctor before embarking on a high fiber diet.)
* Drink Certain Teas
There are a few teas that can be found in health stores that can help relieve constipation as well. Constipation Relief Tea and Smooth Move Tea are just two of the brands available. If you are unable to get to a health store anytime soon however, Chamomile Tea, Fennel Tea or Licorice Tea are known to help relieve constipation and most of these can be found at your local food store
* Take a Walk
You might be amazed at how easily this simple solution can work for you. Physical activity has an invigorating effect on bowel movements while sedentary lifestyles can cause constipation. Simply drink a couple of glasses of water and go for a nice long walk to get things moving.
* Castor Oil
Castor oil is another great remedy for constipation – however, it is only a temporary one. Using this remedy too often can actually make constipation worse in the future. For emergency cases however, simply consume a spoonful of honey and castor oil.
* Eat Certain Fruits or Vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables can work remarkably well in relieving constipation quickly. Grapes are highly recommended, as well as prunes. So are apples and pears with their skins, berries, oranges spinach, figs, broccoli, peas, or carrots. (Beware of bananas however. In some cases it can help relieve constipation, but in other cases it can actually make it worse.)
* Drink Water
The more water the better. As mentioned up top – warm water works to help relieve immediate symptoms, but continuous drinking of water will help with the upcoming days ahead as well.
* Take Over The Counter Laxatives or Stool Softeners
While chances are you have been trying to avoid taking over the counter laxatives, if you find that any of the above remedies are not working, you might find that you have no choice.
Prolonged constipation will not only get more uncomfortable – but it can get more dangerous if your body is not properly eliminating itself of waste.
Over the counter laxatives and stool softeners usually take anywhere from 5 hours to 24 hours to begin working. It depends on the weight of the person and other factors. It is in rare cases that it works immediately so this is something to keep in mind.
Like castor oil – taking laxatives is only a temporary solution. Continuous use can make your body dependent on them therefore causing more constipation problems in the future. The best bet is to use it during emergencies only then switch to simple preventative measures in the future such as drinking more water, adding more fiber to your diet, yogurt, pro-biotics, etc.
When to See a Doctor for Constipation
If you experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, cramps or involuntarily weight loss, it is important to seek immediate medical treatment.
Be Sure to Visit Our Sister Sites
*While this site is dedicated to Home Remedies, there might be a rare occasion where you might need a little help from an outside source. The following are some other products or procedures that you can try if your situation is a little more severe and these home remedies aren’t quite doing the trick.