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July 24, 2021
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6 Tips to relieve constipation & improve bowel movements

People tend to go through constipation due to their lifestyle choice, dietary choices, sometimes as a result of medication side effects or if they have any particular medical condition. Most of the time the chronic constipation is unidentified and this is known as chronic idiopathic constipation.

The characteristics of constipation and irregular bowel movements are:

  • Lesser than three bowels in a week
  • If the stool passed is lumpy, hard or dry
  • If it becomes difficult and painful to pass stool
  • There is a constant feeling that the stool has not entirely passed

Constipation tends to have an adverse effect on your quality of life – both physical and mental health can be negatively impacted. There are a certain tips that you can follow to relieve yourself of constipation such as:

Have fibrous foods

This can be a regular food choice adoption or even provide instant relief. You get fibre in the form of Isabgol that can be had with lukewarm water for instant bowel relief. If your regular diet includes food high in fibre, around 25 grams a day, it can prevent constipation and also help to cure it. The part of the plant that cannot be digested is called fibre and it ends up adding bulk and softness to the stool

Stay well hydrated

Being dehydrated causes constipation and affects the bowel movement. To kick start things either lukewarm water or sparkling water can give relief. Sparkling water is carbonated water and gives more relief than regular water. However, do not go for carbonated sugary drinks as those can worsen the situation. Ideally you should drink water regularly and remain well hydrated to keep your digestive system healthy.

Use Castor oil

This is a natural laxative that helps us to get rid of constipation. This remedy is age old and has been followed for years by generations before us. Castor oil is easily available in the form of a tablet at any chemist or online medical store such as Healthskool pharmacy. The reason castor oil has successfully treated chronic constipation is because of the presence of ricinoleic acid which is a fatty acid that binds the intestinal wall muscle cells causing them to contract and allowing stool to pass smoothly.

Baking Soda

If you are looking at instant bowel relief this age-old remedy is your solution. Sometimes air bubbles get trapped causing bloating and gas further causing discomfort – baking soda pops out these trapped air bubbles bringing relief to the gut. It reduces the acidic environment created in the stomach allowing waste by products to pass through. This helps clear out the digestive system.

Consuming probiotic foods or eating probiotic supplements

Probiotics are believed to cure constipation in a span of 14 days according to a review done in 2019. You can either switch to a diet that includes probiotics or consume probiotic supplements – Men’s probiotic supplements or women’s probiotic dietary supplements, or any other supplement you deem fit. Probiotics are basically naturally occurring gut bacteria that are alive and beneficial. By eating probiotic foods such as Yakult, yoghurt, kimchi etc people can increase the levels of these beneficial bacteria.

OTC or prescription laxatives

In case natural remedies are ineffective your doctor or pharmacist can recommend some laxatives but each laxative works differently depending on the type. These are effective but should not be consumed without a medical consult.

Bulking agents are fiber-based laxatives which work by increasing the water content present in the stool. Then there are stool softeners which contain oils to unstiffen the stool allowing it to pass easily through the gut. Stimulant laxatives are the kind that stimulate the nerves in the gut to increase bowel movements. And then there are Osmotic laxatives which are also stool softener but do so by extracting water from the neighbouring tissues into the digestive system.

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