Get Rid of Constipation with these effective home remedies:
Gradually, constipation has become a common problem in a sense that most of us almost think of it as routine. Nothing else but the modern day lifestyle is to be blamed to give rise to this condition. Some of the most common perpetrators would certainly be junk food consumption, alcohol abuse, smoking and overeating. Those affected by it usually feel bloated, uneasy with the inability to pass stool easily.
Constipation can be of different kinds. Occasional constipation, chronic constipation, travel-related or age-related constipation. Besides travel, age and pregnancy related constipation; the others can be triggered by any of the following factors:
• Not eating enough fibre (roughage) is a common cause. The average person in the UK eats about 12 g of fibre each day. But, 18 g per day is recommended by the British Nutrition Foundation. Fibre is the part of plant food that is not digested. It remains in your gut. It adds bulk to the stools (faeces) and helps your bowels to work well. Foods high in fibre include fruit, vegetables, cereals and wholemeal bread.
• Not drinking much may make constipation worse. Stools are usually soft and easily passed if you eat enough fibre and drink enough fluid. However, some people need more fibre and/or fluid than others in order to avoid constipation.
• Some special slimming diets are low in fibre and may cause constipation.
• Some medicines can cause constipation as a side-effect. Examples are painkillers (particularly those with codeine, such as co-codamol, or very strong painkillers, such as morphine), some antacids, some antidepressants (including amitriptyline) and iron tablets; however, there are many others. See the list of possible side-effects on the leaflet that comes with any medicine that you may be taking. Tell a doctor if you suspect a medicine is making you constipated. A change of medication may be possible.
• Various medical conditions can cause constipation. For example, an underactive thyroid gland, irritable bowel syndrome, some gut disorders and conditions that cause poor mobility, particularly in the elderly.
• Pregnancy. About 1 in 5 pregnant women will become constipated. It is due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy that slow down the gut movements. In later pregnancy, it can simply be due to the baby taking up a lot of room in the tummy and the bowels being pushed to one side.
• Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle could slower your metabolism. And this could hinder digestion which could cause constipation.
These problems sound painful enough and just so you don't have to experience them first-hand, we've got a bunch of home-remedies that'll put your system back on track in no time.
Eat foods that contain plenty of fibre
Fibre (roughage) is the part of plant food that is not digested. It stays in your gut and is passed in the stools (faeces). Fibre adds bulk and some softness to the stools. High-fibre foods include the following:
• Wholemeal or whole-wheat bread, biscuits and flour.
• Fruit and vegetables. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. One portion is: one large fruit such as an apple, pear, banana, orange, or a large slice of melon or pineapple; OR two smaller fruits such as plums, satsumas, etc; OR one cup of small fruits such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, etc; OR one tablespoon of dried fruit; OR a normal portion of any vegetable (about two tablespoons); OR one dessert bowl of salad.
• Wholegrain breakfast cereals. A simple thing like changing your regular breakfast cereal can make a big difference to the amount of fibre you eat each day.
• Brown rice, and wholemeal spaghetti and other wholemeal pasta.
Although the effects of a high-fibre diet may be seen in a few days, it may take as long as four weeks. You may find that if you eat more fibre (or take fibre supplements - see below), you may have some bloating and wind at first. This is often temporary. As your gut becomes used to extra fibre, the bloating or wind tends to settle over a few weeks. Therefore, if you are not used to a high-fibre diet, it is best to increase the amount of fibre gradually.
Have plenty to drink
Aim to drink at least two litres (about 8-10 cups) of fluid per day. You will pass much of the fluid as urine but some is passed out in the gut and softens the stools. Most sorts of drink will do but alcoholic drinks can lead to a lack of fluid in the body (dehydration) and may not be so good. As a start, try just drinking a glass of water 3-4 times a day in addition to what you normally drink.
Exercise regularly, if possible
Keeping your body active helps to keep your gut moving. It is well known that disabled people, and bed-bound people (even if just temporarily whilst admitted to hospital) are more likely to become constipated.
Ayurveda to the Rescue
Try having two or three Triphala tablets (you could also use the powdered form) with warm water before you sleep. Triphala is made with Harad also known as black myroblan and works as a fantastic laxative. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties which makes it a great form of treatment for diarrhea and other kinds of infections as well.
How to have it: Mix one spoon Triphala powder in warm water and drink it all in one go. Don't eat or drink anything after and let Triphala work its magic through the night. The mix tastes extremely bitter and in case you have difficulty gulping it down, add a spoon of honey to it.