Constipation is a serious health disorder affecting the whole body, especially in the case of chronic abdominal pain. In the long run, it is devastating to human health as metabolic waste and toxins begin to be re-absorbed from the intestinal mass of the rectum, causing poisoning.
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass and the stool is often hard and dry.
Other symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, and feeling as if one has not completely passed the bowel movement.
The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is between three per day and three per week. Babies often have three to four bowel movements per day while young children typically have two to three per day.
Complications from constipation may include hemorrhoids, anal fissure or fecal impaction.
Constipation can be associated with many other illnesses, but it can also be just one transient symptom.
Common Causes of Constipation
The most common causes of constipation are:
- excessive stress,
- irregular eating,
- a diet low in fiber,
- low fluid intake,
- lack of movement,
- changes in age,
- lack of magnesium,
- uncontrolled use of laxatives.
Constipation May Cause:
Constipation May Cause:
- Fatigue, impaired ability to work
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Sleep disorders
- Mental disorders (irritability, depression)
- Gasses and stomach aches
- Decreased appetite
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Weakening of the immune system
- Shortness of breath and chills
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Continuous constipation over a period of time results in varicose veins called hemorrhoids, which will worsen in case of weight lifting, prolonged sitting or standing, obesity, pregnancy and childbirth, and constipation.
Constipation – Bristol Stool Scale
Which Form of Stool Indicates the Problem and Which Form The Normal Digestion
The Bristol stool scale is a diagnostic medical tool designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven categories. It is used in both clinical and experimental fields.
On a scale, it is good to identify which types of stools indicate normal digestive function and which indicate constipation or diarrhea.
- 1 and 2 refer to constipation.
- 3 and 4 are ideal stools.
- 5 refers to the development of diarrhea and lack of fiber.
- 6 and 7 refer to diarrhea.
According to studies:
- Type 1 and type 2 secretions are more common in women,
- Types 5 and 6 are more common in men.
Constipation, when untreated, can worsen into a serious disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome, ie motility disorders in the digestive system, meaning that the bowel movement either slows down (constipation occurs) or accelerates (diarrhea occurs), which can alternate continuously.
Chronic irritable bowel syndrome can turn into chronic inflammation of the bowel, such as colitis and Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, bowel weakness, anal diseases (anal fissure, hemorrhoids, abscesses) and others.
Constipation – Natural Home Remedies for Constipation
1. Stress & feelings
The psychological causes of constipation are based on fears, such as being stuck in something, clinging to something, not daring to let go and moving on with life.
In most cases, constipation is the fear of living a life or the fear of getting hurt.
These are feelings like – insult, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. Constipation can also be a sign of stinginess or a fear to kindly give and take. There is no faith in abundance consciousness.
Strengthening your nervous system requires a lot of regular rest and just allowing yourself to be inactive. In addition, think about what you hold on to, why and try to let go. Getting rid of the old always comes in the place of something better.
Psychologically, for constipation, cleaning is always an excellent treatment – throwing away old stuff and practicing to let go. After cleanup, you will always feel at ease.
2. Food choices & nutrition
A healthy diet will prevent any constipation.
Fibers – eat more soluble fibers
Eat more fiber, especially soluble, non-fermentable fiber, because some studies have found that increasing the wrong type of fiber intake can actually make the problem worse.
There are many different dietary fibers, but in general, they fall into two categories:
- Insoluble fibers: Found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. They add bulk to your stools and are thought to help them pass more quickly and easily through your digestive system.
- Soluble fibers: Found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and peas, as well as some fruits and vegetables. They absorb water and form a gel-like paste, which softens your stools and improves the consistency.
Remember – insoluble fiber can make the problem worse in some people with a functional bowel problem, such as IBS or chronic idiopathic constipation.
Eat probiotic foods or take probiotic supplements
People who have chronic constipation have been shown to have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut.
However, probiotic foods or food supplements could help improve this balance and prevent constipation.
Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, traditional buttermilk, natto and some kind of cheese.
Eat prebiotic foods
Foods that contain prebiotic fibers can improve your digestive health because they feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This can often help relieve constipation.
Foods that are high in prebiotic fiber include onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks, honey, oatmeal, dandelion greens, chicori root, Jerusalem artichoke, barley, apples, konjac root, cocoa, burdock root, flaxseeds, yacon root, jicama root, whet bran, seaweed and bananas.
In addition to fiber, prunes contain the natural laxative sorbitol. This is a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect. So, prunes can be a very useful home remedy for constipation.
The effective dose is thought to be around 50 grams (about 7 medium-sized prunes) twice a day.
However, you may want to avoid prunes if you have IBS, as sugar alcohols are known FODMAPs.
Foods to avoid
Avoid sweet drinks, sweets, refined flour pastries like breads, cakes, pasta, which are often accompanied by yeast Candida Albicans. Eat less strong protein – meat, eggs, curd. Avoid cocoa, strong tea and black coffee. Exclude the menu you are suspecting of food intolerance.
For example, if you suspect dairy intolerance, exclude all dairy products from the menu for 3 weeks. If by this time the constipation does not disappear, the problem is milk intolerance and try the next food such as gluten, meat, etc.
NB! Usually these are the foods that you have a strong craving for.
Good food choices in case of constipation:
- Fresh fruits such as apple, pear, kiwi, pineapple
- Green leafy vegetables
- Raw sauerkraut
- Brown rice
- Dried fruits (for example soaked dried black plums)
- Raw pumpkin
- Pine seeds
- Especially boiled beets, beet juice
- Raw or stewed cabbage
- Whole wheat porridge
- Bread, oats and wheat bran
NB! Eating a well washed but unpeeled kiwi in the evening can also help.
Poor diet in case of constipation:
- Refined cereal products, wheat products (containing gluten)
All these foods have a water-binding effect, contributing to constipation.
3. Fluid intake – drink more water
Drink enough or about 1.5-2.5 liters fluid per day (depending on your weight) of which at least ⅓ is pure water. Herbal teas, homemade juices, lemon water are included as liquids. Drinking 2 glasses of warm lemon (ginger) water in the morning can be very helpful. Fluid does not include coffee, green, black, white tea, soups and whole juices.
Lack of fluid in the body makes stool hard and makes bowel movements difficult. Hard lumpy stools can scratch the intestinal walls, making the sore ache and pulling the intestinal walls to the blood.
You can try to drink coffee, especially caffeinated coffee. Because coffee can help relieve constipation by stimulating the muscles in the gut. It may also contain small amounts of soluble fiber.
4. Chew food thoroughly
Solid food must be liquid after chewing so that it flows down the throat itself.
5. Physical activity – exercise more
Increase physical activity. Exercise always accelerates the body’s metabolism. Exercise also stimulates intestinal peristalsis (wavy movement of muscles that carries food through the digestive tract).
A quick walk in the open air for at least an hour a day is essential for the body’s metabolism and intestinal motility to get started.
6. Supplements that help with constipation
- Magnesium – helps the muscles and nervous system to relax. NB! To get rid of your constipation quickly, take a double dose with plenty of water.
- Calcium – participates in muscle contraction.
- Potassium – stimulates intestinal peristalsis.
- Vitamin B1 – plays an important role in normal digestion.
- Vitamin B4 (Choline) – purifies the digestive tract.
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – stimulates intestinal peristalsis, thus relieving constipation.
- B-Complex – supports the work of the nerves, brain, heart and digestive system.
- Vitamin C – has a mild laxative effect.
- Vitamin D – is involved in the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- E Vitamin– supports the healing of mucous membranes.
Other dietary supplements
- Probiotics e. lactic acid bacteria – promote intestinal health and normal mobility. Constipation refers to the imbalance of the microflora. NB! In case of constipation, it is ALWAYS recommended to carry out a course of lactic acid bacteria to restore the culture of good bacteria in the intestine. Normal gut microflora is essential to help the gut heal faster and to have healthy food well digested.
- Fiber – activates intestinal peristalsis, accelerates the passage of food and induces a faster feeling of full stomach. In addition, fiber cleanses the intestinal walls by binding and eliminating toxins, residues, and excess cholesterol. Consuming the right amount of fiber daily will keep your digestive system working.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – support digestion, additionally Omega 3 reduces inflammation.
7. Medicinal plants for constipation
For mild constipation – Plants containing digestive bitter substances indirectly affect peristalsis and bowel emptying by reprogramming. Try:
For medium constipation– Try Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) or Triphala, both of these colon tonics are safer, more gentle and therefore more suitable for long-term use than stronger stimulant laxatives.
In acute conditions – In acute conditions, a strong stimulant laxative may be required for a short period. The leaves and pods of Alexandria senna, Cascara sagrada, rhubarb root, sea buckthorn bark and aloe vera juice are quite effective. They should be used in conjunction with the soothing anti-flatulence herbs (cumin) to reduce the irritation and convulsions. They should not be used in the long term.
8. Recipes for Constipation:
Psyllum seeds and shells stimulate digestion: They contain, in addition to ballast substances, active substances that bind more fluid and thereby soften the stool.
- Buckthorn bark + senna leaves. Drink 3x daily. Do not use for a long period of time, in some cases not longer than 1-2 days, as it may lead to an even lazier bowel.
- Dandelion roots + yarrow + nettle + shepherd’s purse. Drink 3-5x daily.
Flax seeds: You can either add ground flax seeds to food or soak them (mucus is formed). To make mucus, take 2 tablespoons of flax seed and soak it in the evening with water, in the morning use with seeds for food.
Figs: Soak in water, drink liquid. The drink must be warm.
Red beet: Use both ways, raw and make juice.
Add to food:
- Caraway seeds
Apple: Eat 5-6 apples a day, 2 weeks in a row.
Compiled & edited by Maria-Helena Loik
Pictures: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com