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Constipation Relief

Updated on December 17, 2010

Constipation affects most people at one time or another and it's helpful to know what you can do if you have difficulty moving your bowels. Constipation has many causes so you should first determine why you're having difficulty passing stool before you set out to fix things. If you're not experiencing severe pains or other unusual symptoms, you can probably sort your constipation out with one of the following remedies -- but if you do have any serious symptoms presenting themselves at the same time, you should probably be checked by a doctor just to be safe and rule out some other illness or blockage.

Natural constipation remedies:

  • Edible fiber! -- A lack of fiber is a major and very common contributor to constipation. Fiber helps get things moving, so try to add some to your diet. Specifically, try adding insoluble fiber in the form of carrots, broccoli, prunes (they're not bad, really!), other raw fruits, veggies and whole grains. If you're familiar with WASA bread/crackers, they are very, very full of fiber and very healthy.

  • Supplemental fiber -- If you're not keen on eating fruits or veggies, or if you simply aren't prepared to eat as much of them as you'd need to do in order to sort your constipation out, try a fiber supplement. You can try adding psyllium husk or linseed to your diet, or, if you'd rather try one of the big brands like Metamucil, you might want to go with that. If you'd rather have something that is taste-free, try something like Benefiber, which really is easy to drink.

  • Drink fluids -- Stool stops moving along when it loses too much fluid, so try to replace it by drinking more water and/or juice. If you have a juicer this could also be an excellent way to get those high fiber fruits in at the same time. Do not use coffee to hydrate yourself, however, as caffeine can cause dehydration.

  • Probiotics -- You can find these in the form of dairy drinks and other dairy products like yogurt. In some cases they might taste a bit strange but you do get used to it. Probiotics contain "good bacteria" that is meant to help the digestive process and as a result, may help relief constipation.

  • Herbal laxatives -- These are often sold in the form of tea, but there are other formulations as well. Just be careful and don't use them for longer than a week -- abuse of laxatives can lead to impaired bowel function and other health problems.

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