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How to Cure Constipation Without Medicine

Updated on April 30, 2016

An embarrassing subject....

It's not the nicest thing in the world to talk about, but when you feel constipated it really is uncomfortable. You can feel bloated, full of gas and lose your appetite. You have less energy and occasional stomach cramps, making life feel pretty awful.

So what is constipation?

Basically the need to go to the toilet but having difficulty to open your bowels. Stools may be hard or painful and you just can't go.

On the Bristol Stool Chart (used by health care professionals) a type 1 stool is hard, lumpy and shows signs of constipation. Type 7 is the lowest which is the complete opposite - very watery feces.

A healthy person should be type 3 - 5. Below 3 indicates constipation, whilst type 6 and 7 suggests diarrhoea.

How do I know if I am constipated?

You will know your own habits, including your bowel habits. We are all different, but it is normal to go to the toilet once or twice a day.

You would tend to go around the same time each day. Maybe in the morning after breakfast and a cup of coffee, or in the afternoon after lunch.

If you usually go everyday, missing a day or two will be noticeable. If you feel the urge but find it hard to pass, then you are constipated.

What are the causes?

There are many factors to consider when you face constipation. These are the common causes:

  • Dehydration
  • Medication, such as strong painkillers
  • Fasting or eating very little
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet and lack of fiber
  • Medical reasons such as spinal injury, MS, cancer of the colon or rectum, or tumors of the bowel
  • Age (the very young and the elderly may be prone)

Finding a cure

There are many types of medicines readily available to help ease the problem but this is not necessarily the answer. Simply changing your lifestyle can give you results.

Medicines such as Lactose, Movicol, Syrup of Figs and Senna are usually prescribed if you have chronic constipation. These are not a permanent solution however, as laxatives of these sorts use water from the body to soften the stool. This will lead to dehydration eventually.

Relying on laxatives is not a great solution and overuse of them can cause problems.

These include being unable to go to the toilet without taking them, becoming deficient in vitamins and minerals, low blood pressure or very loose stools and incontinence of feces.

This is due to the bowel relaxing and then being unable to hold the contents - an extreme effect of laxative abuse.


Change what you eat

Addressing your diet is the first step to regulating your bowel habits. You need to eat the right things in order for your body to digest it properly.

Overloading your system with junk food high in fat and little nutritional value will bloat you and make you sluggish. A sluggish bowel means irregular toilet trips.

Fruit and Vegetables

It sounds obvious and medical experts bang on about the importance of having your 5 a day, but they say it for a reason.

In fact there are many, many good reasons for having 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. But one of those reasons is to keep you regular.

Fruit and veg are high in water content and fiber. Fiber is great for your insides. It moves quickly through the intestines and keeps the stools softened. It also cleans out the colon which lowers the risk of bowel related diseases.

Try eating fruit with edible skins for extra roughage (apples, pears, nectarines), bananas, fruit rich in vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, kiwi) and dried fruit such as dried apricots and prunes.

Eating stewed or cooked fruit is also good for the digestive system.

Eat more veg than fruit during the day as fruit is higher in sugars.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are unrefined and far better for us than refined grains found in pasta, white bread and tortillas. The whole grain contains B vitamins and folic acid, as well as that all important fiber.

Whole grains can be found in:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Muesli
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat pasta /tortillas /crackers
  • Wild rice

Making a simple switch from white bread, cream crackers, white pasta and white rice to the whole grain versions will make a significant difference.


Drink water!

Our bodies need water. It's great for hundreds of reasons from reducing headaches and tiredness to dry and unclear skin. It has so many health benefits and keeping our fluids up is another good way to clear out the colon and improve our digestive system.

Flushing out toxins and waste will be done more easily by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. If you can drink cooled boiled water it will get things moving nicely.

Squeeze some fresh lemon into your warm drink for a cleansing and refreshing beverage.

Having herbal teas are also great for a clear out. Peppermint tea helps the digestive system and settles an irritable bowel. While nettle tea can help awaken the bowel and is great first thing in the morning.

Any fruit or caffeine free tea helps with your fluid intake, so have these if you find plain water a little dull. Also, try switching to these if you drink a lot of caffeine fueled drinks

Tea and coffee with caffeine can also reduce constipation as caffeine acts as a stimulant, and it is a diuretic. Do not overdo it though in case it leads to diarrhoea.

Good Oils

Non- saturated fats found in good oils help as act as a lubricant, helping you to pass stools easily.

Foods to eat include:

  • Oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted plain nuts
  • Flax Seeds

On your bike!
On your bike! | Source

A healthier lifestyle

A little bit of exercise each day gets all the muscles warmed up, including the muscles in the bowel. Doing a little walking or cycling everyday can help get things going.

Sitting or lying for long periods of time can slow down movements.


By massaging your abdomen in a clockwise direction for small periods of time each day, you can help to reduce the fecal build up in the colon. Use massage oil to help.

If you are unsure, try a health clinic where a specialist can do it for you and give you advice.

Colonic Hydrotherapy

Otherwise known as colonic irrigation, a trained professional will perform this in a specialized clinic or beauty parlor.

The idea is to cleanse the colon using warm water, positioned in the rectum to flush out the colon. The treatment lasts around 20 to 30 minutes and it is recommended to have this done two or three times a year.

Those who promote colonic hydrotherapy believe it clears out the system, reduces toxins and gases and helps to keep on top of constipation.

The risk however may be a perforated colon due to the water pressure, and full research should be carried out before deciding to go ahead.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I suffer badly from painful constipation and have to strain a lot,I take two dolcoease every night and sometimes add a sennacot,nothing works.i drink herbal tea and don't eat much.anyone no what else I can try

    • profile image

      ranjeet K 

      7 years ago

      This type helps me sometimes but after days its the same.

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi Treasuresofheaven thanks for the comments. I guess it's just simple steps!

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      These are good reminders to have a healthy diet and exercise. I think we under-rate exercise - but it is often the key! Good writing, straightforward - and nobody should be constipated after following these instructions.

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Keep your fluid intake up - vital. The rest is just common sense sensible diet. Stop buying junk food and eat whole grains and lots of fruit and veg.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      plzz tell us more treatments for this stupid constipation

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi Vinaya - I hope this can help. It can be trial and error but it's good to know the facts.


    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      9 years ago from Nepal

      Constipation is a common problem in my family. I will ask my family members to read this useful and informative article.

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi Rusti, glad you liked the hub and got some good info from here.

      If we need a softener then it can't be avoided, especially if we suffer with bad constipation and piles. So glad you found a solution - must have been awful.

      Thanks for commenting :)

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 

      9 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      I take pain killers and trust me I have screamed and screamed to where my family asks are you okay?

      Sometimes it's so bad I bleed. My dr now has me on softeners. Another pill.I haven't screamed since I started taking softeners again.I think you have given greatb information on how to deal with it.Loved the hub!

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Billybuc - it's not the prettiest of subjects, I know, but thanks for staying with it and commenting :)

      Thanks for your comments johncimble, always exploring and urmilashukla23 - much appreciated

      Wow jen, you tried the massage? I want one done professionally. We learned how to massage the abdomen when I had my baby, and I did a baby massage course. It really works on a constipated tot!

      Laxatives are not great. I have tried many but they certainly didn't suit. For a quick relief, stick with the prunes :D

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Kudos for writing this Emma! Yes, we all get a little stuck at times, yet we refuse to want to discuss it! Your remedies are easy and for the long term, a healthy lifestyle is the answer!! I once tried a laxative, never, never again, that was complete torture!! Who does that? The massage is incredible I did experience this and the effects are quite immediate to say the least. Awesome.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image


      9 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great and informative Hub. Thanks for posting it.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I found this hub helpful. Thank you for sharing..

    • johncimble profile image


      9 years ago from Bangkok

      what a great hub Emma, your hub is really useful!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      9 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The topic almost turned me off but I'm glad I read your hub. Very informative with some information I did not know. Nice job!

    • Emma Harvey profile imageAUTHOR

      Emma Kisby 

      9 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thank you THEHugG5 and Beelady for your comments. It is rather a delicate subject but one many can relate to!

    • Beelady profile image


      9 years ago

      Well done for tackling a less than savory subject! Lots of sensible advice here, have voted useful.

    • THEHuG5 profile image


      9 years ago

      Very informative hub! I didn't know that laxatives used the water from your body to soften the stool but that's good to know. Voting up.


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