7 Natural, DIY Ways to Get Constipation Relief at Home Today
6 minute read
Most people have constipation at least once in their lives. It’s a very common condition that doesn’t have age or gender preferences. Sometimes constipation is a pretty innocuous situation and takes care of itself in a day or two.
Unfortunately, for some people, constipation is a serious condition and can cause significant pain and even interrupt regular life activities.
If you have constipation, the following tips can help you get the relief you need.
7 Ways to Relieve Constipation
While these are standard, natural ways to relieve constipation, they are no substitute for the advice of a professional. If these tips don’t work, connect with your healthcare provider to see what they recommend. In some situations, constipation can signal a more serious health concern.
A lot of constipation is due to dehydration. There are a number of different ways you can become dehydrated. When it does happen, your intestine may draw water from stool, making it dry, hard, and difficult to move.
Since water and fluids play such a big role in your bowels, drinking a lot of water may be all you need to restore the proper balance and get things going. Remember that drinking enough fluids each and every day is key to good health, not just when you’re constipated.
Fiber is often touted as the key to healthy bowels. It’s a bulking agent and adds thickness to stool without adding density, making it easier to move through the intestines.
You’ve probably seen commercials that hype the fiber content of cereals. And this can be an option, but cereals tend to be dry, causing the absorption of too much fluid from the intestines.
The better route is to try to eat more whole foods with fiber like fruits, chia and flax seeds and leafy green vegetables.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that comes from fruits, corn, or seaweed, and it’s used as an artificial sweetener.
Sorbitol acts as an osmotic agent, which means it draws water into the stool to soften it. Prunes are famed for their laxative powers, and it’s because they contain sorbitol.
But prunes aren’t the only foods with natural sorbitol. Try eating apples, apricots, pears, cherries, peaches or dates to relieve constipation.
One thing to note is that sorbitol digests so slowly that it can feed bacteria and create gas and cramping for some people. One way to improve overall digestion is by using a high-quality digestive enzymes supplement.
4. Healthy Fats
Not all fats are created equally, which means it’s important to distinguish when eating to promote healthy bowels. Bad fats can make the problem worse, but good ones prompt the gallbladder to release bile. Bile stimulates intestinal motility, which means it gets things moving—which is exactly what you want.
For healthy fats, try salmon, mackerel, avocado, coconut products, and some seeds and nuts.
5. Aloe Vera
The anthraquinone in aloe vera has been used as a laxative for thousands of years and is a common ingredient in over-the-counter laxatives today.
Not only will aloe vera start your colon working again, it also gives your body the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes it needs for healthy function.
6. Vitamin C
This immunity booster also helps with digestion. Excess vitamin C that isn’t absorbed turns into an osmotic in the intestines, pulling water into the stool and softening it.
| Related: 6 Easy Yoga Poses for Natural Constipation Relief |
The body only needs around 40mg of vitamin C a day to hit its saturation point, so anything after that is excess. Around 1000mg two times a day is recommended for constipation relief, and that’s kind of hard to get from food alone so a supplement is key.
Magnesium is another osmotic, and it is also a very common mineral deficiency in adults. So, adding magnesium might be what your body needs to stay regular.
| Related: 10 Signs & Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency |
Magnesium is found in dark, leafy green vegetables but consuming enough through food alone can be challenging. While there are a lot of options for adding magnesium through food, a supplement is the easiest way to go.
The Bottom Line
Constipation will likely hit you at some point in your life. If you find yourself feeling bound and blocked, the above tips can help you get things moving again. Try one or several to get yourself back on track and then continue with healthy eating and drinking habits to stay regular.
In addition to these tips, adding a probiotic to your daily regimen can help keep your gut healthy from top to bottom. You can use a supplement to do this or add kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or kimchi to your diet.
If you have irregular bouts of constipation, figuring out which of the above you’re regularly lacking can help you knock out constipation. If you have chronic constipation, a visit to your doctor is probably the best way to see what the cause is.