A day without bowel movement? Isn’t it discomforting and uneasy? If this problem continues for long, it may be constipation. This is a very common and frustrating problem. According to the survey, around 22% of the country’s adult population suffer from constipation. It is one of the most common growing problems because of poor diet and lifestyle habits.
“Kolkata tops the chart at 28%, followed by Chennai which has 24% of the population suffering from the condition and claiming to experience extreme pain while passing stools. Even Delhi has 23% of the population suffering from constipation and has the highest number of people consuming food from outside along with the high intake of junk food,” said the survey.
Other cities on the list are Patna, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad with a lower number of people suffering from constipation compared to the other three cities in the survey.
Signs and symptoms of constipation include:
- Hard stool
- Staining to have bowel movement
- Passing fewer than three stools a week
- Abdomen pain
- Rectal bleeding caused by hard stool
- Loss of appetite
Say a ‘BIG NO’ to junk food
We often love eating out and gorging on some mouth-watering spicy food, which tastes divine but the consequence is not as pleasing as its taste. Oily, spicy and salty food can lead to several lifestyle disorders and one of the most common disorders is constipation.
For all those noodles and fries fans, note that they are low-fiber and high in fat. This contributes to constipation. Not to mention, fast foods often don’t have much nutritional value. If you crave for such foods, then try making burgers, fries, and other fast foods at home.
With such a lifestyle and diet habits, people keep clutching the pillbox for a remedy everytime which makes them susceptible to chronic constipation. Here are the top 10 causes of constipation:
- Not consuming enough fiber
- Drinking less water
- Out of balance gut bacteria
- Certain medication
- Excess supplement of calcium and iron
- Eating too much dairy
- Excess sugar and unhealthy fats
- Lack of physical activity
- Laxative abuse
Note: Do not eat foods such as white rice, white bread, red meat, frozen food, fast food or junk food, coffee, chocolate and excess dairy products when you suffer from constipation.
Natural treatment to relieve constipation
Try home remedies to treat constipation without medicine:
Increase fiber intake
Include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, ancient grains and seeds Green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and spinach are rich in dietary fiber, thereby aid in proper digestion and regular bowel movements. Similarly, fruits such as prunes and figs high in fiber have a laxative effect.
Drink enough water
Make sure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration. It can be very helpful if you drink lukewarm water in the morning for cleansing and keeping your digestive system on track.
Stop being a couch potato and stay active. Regular exercise helps in a proper digestive system and regular bowel movements. There are several yoga poses to stimulate bowel movements and improve digestion.
Do not hold your poop
Do not ignore the urge to go to the toilet, it leads to constipation. The more you let the stool stay inside you, the more it absorbs the water make it hard and difficult to pass.
Use bulking agents
Add bulking agents to the diet to soften stools and help them pass easily. There are several herbs such as fenugreek and flax seeds that have a laxative effect.
Home remedies for constipation
Include these superfoods in your daily diet to prevent this awful problem.
Include more healthy fats
Fats are not always bad for health and infact, oils are essential for a well-balanced diet. Olive oil, castor oil are incredibly good for your body and so are the oil-rich nuts. Acting as a laxative, these oils will help balance the intestines and regulate your bowel movements.
Yogurt is probiotic in nature, it improves your gut functioning and eases out digestion. Probiotics are good bacteria which will help in making your bowel movements frequent and easy. Have two-three cups of curd or any other probiotic food every day to ease out your tummy.
Clear vegetable or chicken soup
Have warm soup to ease digestion, warm liquids are generally advised to improve bowel frequency. Also, clear soup is a healthy replacement for your regular unhealthy snacks. Try to eat clear delicacies made with very little olive oil.
Mint or ginger tea
Mint and ginger tea is a very powerful remedy and good for the digestive system. Ginger is considered to calm an upset stomach. It detoxifies the body and ease troubles.
Citrus foods such as lemon, oranges contain a good amount of vitamins and nutrients which maintain the body balance. Vitamin C rich water adds to the proper digestion which further improves the digestive tract in the body. Hence, drink a glass full of fresh lemon juice everyday to avoid any kind of trouble.
Stomach acids play an important part in balancing the body function. When sodium carbonate reacts with the essential acids present in the body, carbon dioxide and water are released which help in maintaining a clean colon and regulating the bowel movements.
It is the most effective home remedy for constipation. This is also one of the trusted Ayurveda treatment for constipation. You can have Triphala tea or take one-fourth of a teaspoon of it, half teaspoon of coriander seeds and one-fourth teaspoon of cardamom seeds. Grind them and have twice a day. Triphala has glycoside that has laxative properties.
A teaspoon of roasted fennel during bedtime with warm water acts as a laxative.
Reasons for constipation in children
One of the more common reasons for constipation in children is when they switch from an all-liquid diet to one that includes solid foods. Constipation may also occur if your child is sick and appetite drops down. Family history of constipation can also cause it due to shared genetic and environmental factors.
Nowadays toddlers, who are on toilet training, become constipated especially if they aren’t ready. For some children who avoid going to the bathroom, even if they have the urge to go or who don’t want to stop playing fun games or who don’t want to use the restroom, which is away from home usually face this problem as ignoring the urge makes it harder for them to go later. Last but not least, a change in the child’s routine like traveling, extreme summers and hot weather or stress also affect the bowel functioning.
Home remedies for treating constipation in babies
Here are a few home remedies to treat constipation in children:
Note, if your child drinks enough water for proper hydration. It is essential for regular bowel movements. Both water and milk are helpful for children. Formula-fed babies need to extra water in between feeds. Ensure that you’re using the right amount of formula milk when making up a bottle to as too much milk can dehydrate your child.
Formula-fed babies are sensitive to certain ingredients which may lead to constipation. If your baby is breastfed and you feel so, you would want to change the brand of formula.
If your baby is above 6 months and has started eating solid foods, you may try giving him/her prune juice. It is claimed that prune juice is a natural laxative that can help treat constipation in babies as it promotes soft and easy-to-pass stool.
This probiotic is an excellent home remedy to treat constipation and aids digestion in children. Yogurt can be given to babies as soon as they start eating solids – around 4-6 months. Being rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamins, yogurt is a great choice for one of the baby’s early food.
Raisins with water
Another effective remedy for treating constipation in babies, raisins can help regulate the bowel movement. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
While the tips suggested above may be helpful and easily available at home, we suggest that you check with a doctor or a child specialist before trying anything to ease your baby’s pain and discomfort.
Instead of opting for medicines, laxatives, stool softeners and fiber supplements, try these underrated foods to get relief from constipation naturally. You will not regret it!
Above all, if you have underlying health conditions like hypertension or diabetes or are already on medication, always consult your doctor or your general physician before you try any home remedy for constipation.