- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Cure Constipation - 5 Easy Tips
Everyone has suffered from constipation at some point in his or her life. While you might be embarrassed to talk about it, constipation is no laughing matter. It can be painful and in some cases, it is a sign of a more serious medical problem.
Bowel movements differ from one person to another. So how can you tell if you are constipated? In general, you are considered constipated if you move your bowels less than three times a week and if your stool is hard and dry. Women and the elderly usually suffer from constipation more frequently.
The good news is that constipation is usually temporary. Find out how to cure constipation with these quick and simple lifestyle changes.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation happens when stool moves slowly through the digestive tract. This causes stool to become hard and dry, thus the pain when moving your bowels. Two of the most common causes of constipation are inadequate fluid intake and fiber in your diet. Ignoring bowel movements, misuse of laxatives and certain medical conditions can also cause the muscles used to move your bowels to not function properly.
How to Cure Constipation Fast
1. Eat a fiber-rich diet.
Fiber helps in forming soft and bulky stool. This causes stool to move faster in the colon and aids in reducing pain when passing stool. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 to 35 grams. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, fruits and vegetables and beans. It is also best to stay away from low-fiber foods such as meat and dairy products.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Another way to soften your stool is to drink a lot of water. When you are constipated, try to drink 4 glasses more than your usual amount. Also try drinking warm liquids to help relieve discomfort.
3. Use laxatives.
If the two tips above do not work, try using laxatives. These over-the-counter medications come in different forms such as fiber supplements, stool softeners, and stimulants. Make sure that you use the right one based on your situation and needs. Also remember that while laxatives can help cure constipation fast, overuse can actually worsen the symptoms.
4. Exercise regularly.
Moving around while constipated seems impossible but it can actually help treat constipation. Lying in bed all day might not do any good. Get things moving and do some light exercises. Simply walking around the house can help stimulate intestinal activity.
5. Do not resist the urge to move your bowels.
Ignoring the urge is one thing you should never do. You might think that you can get away with it but over time, this can cause intestinal slowdown. Another common mistake is being in a hurry while in the bathroom. Always take your time to allow your body to pass stool.
How to Prevent Constipation
You can prevent constipation by following the same steps mentioned above. Simple lifestyle changes are all you need to prevent or at least limit having constipation. It is beneficial, though, to learn when you should see the doctor. Though usually not serious, constipation can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. See your doctor immediately when you have blood in your stool, experience pain when passing stool or your constipation has lasted for more than a week. In serious cases, prescription medications or surgical procedures may be necessary to cure constipation.