Constipation is where your bowel movements are more difficult, painful or infrequent. The effects of constipation range from minor inconvenience to major discomfort and pain. Almost all of us will have suffered from some degree of constipation at one point in our lives or another.
In the UK, it’s thought that 1 in 7 adults suffers from constipation at any one time. Fortunately, though, there are natural means and ways of alleviating your constipation, and in today’s blog post, we’ll be talking about 5 of them.
What Causes Constipation?
We get constipated when our colons (the longest section of the large intestine) absorb too much water from our stools. This, in turn, dries out the stools which makes them more difficult to pass. If our intestines aren’t properly lubricated (another cause of constipation) then this means that waste food moves through the colon more slowly. The slower the waste moves through the colon, the more water it can absorb from the stool, again making it drier and harder to push out.
Why Natural Remedies?
The first question you might be asking is, “why opt for natural remedies as opposed to over-the-counter medications?”. There are many benefits to natural remedies, the first of them being price and availability.
Price and Availability
Whilst often effective, many pharmacy-bought constipation medicines are expensive and hard-to-find. Drinking more water, by comparison, or eating a few prunes, is an inexpensive (and in the case of water, free) and easy-to-source natural alternative. With the cost-of-living as steep as it is at the minute, any area you can save is to be recommended.
Helps With Healthier Living
Another benefit of natural remedies for constipation is that they often go hand-in-hand with a more healthy diet. Drinking more water per day can not only help with constipation, but also improves our energy levels and muscle functioning, too.
Similarly, eating more vegetables doesn’t just increase your dietary fibre, it also has myriad other benefits. These include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and better skin.
Generally speaking, the major drawback with natural remedies is that they’re not typically regulated in the same way that pharmaceutical medications are. So, if ever you’re in any doubt about taking a natural remedy, get in touch with your doctor first to confirm its validity as a remedy.
Types of Natural Remedies for Constipation
1. Prunes (or Prune Juice)
Prunes are amongst the most widely-recognised natural remedies for constipation. They have a laxative effect which loosens and lubricates the bowels, enabling stools to pass through more easily. They have the perfect blend of insoluble fibre and sorbitol, which is a naturally-occurring laxative.
Although an acquired taste, prunes have other health benefits, such as:
- High in vitamins A, K and B6;
- Reducing cholesterol levels within the body;
- Potentially helping mental acuity.
CBD is known to help regulate gastrointestinal (GI) “motility” which is the movement of food through the digestive system. CBD can have a laxative effect by relaxing the muscles in our body, and our bowels in particular. This enables our stools to pass through more easily, relieving the discomfort of constipation.
This is a natural and easy-to-implement way of tackling your constipation, and has the added advantage that CBD can be consumed in several different ways. These include: CBD oils, transdermal patches, edibles and gummies, and CBD cream. But CBD products won’t just help your bowels relax, they’ll help your mind relax, too! Its calming properties adding an additional benefit to merely that of constipation relief.
3. Drink More Water
Far from just being a good motto for life, drinking more water can help with feelings of constipation too. “How”, we hear you ask? Well, dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation, so keeping appropriately hydrated tackles that root cause head on. Drinking water is known to significantly aid with constipation. And as far as natural remedies go? Well, you can’t get much more natural than good, old H2O!
4. Stick to a Routine
It might sound odd that one of the best remedies for constipation doesn’t revolve around ingesting something; but establishing a consistent routine can have more of an impact on your constipation than you might think. Why? Our intestines have their own sort of biological clock that gets used to regular bowel movements at similar times.
So, if that routine is thrown out of whack, it can impact your bowel health, and constipation is one of the more common results. If you’re able, keep that element of routine in your life. Having a routine can help with our mental health, too, so it really is a win-win.
5. Eat Probiotic Foods (Like Yoghurt or Kimchi)
Constipation can be caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria. Eating a probiotic yoghurt can counter this by reintroducing healthy gut bacteria, and thus aiding your constipated bowels.
There you have it! Five easy, natural remedies to help you combat your constipation. This gastrointestinal problem is never fun. But by trying some of the tips we’ve recommended above, your gut should be fit and firing again in no time. To recap what we’ve covered:
- Constipation is a problem that affects our bowels, and makes it hard for sufferers to pass stools.
- It can occur due to a number of reasons, including dehydration, stress and a change of routines.
- It can be tackled using a variety of natural remedies, including CBD, drinking more water, and the introduction of probiotic foods into your diet.
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