Constipation Natural Remedies

Constipation natural remedies can be at times as effective as medications. Constipation is the infrequent and difficult passage of stools.

Althought the frequency of elimination varies from person to person, the medical definition is fewer than 3 bowel movements per week. Abdominal pain may also be present. An acute case is one where there is short term bloating, discomfort, and inability or evacuate the bowels. Rarely, it is caused by a bowel obstruction, most commonly it is due to lack of exercise, lack of fiber and not enough fluids.

Did you know that people with chronic constipation have a four fold increase in risk of colon cancer? The longer fecal material stays in the colon, the more toxins in the stool become concentrated.

Chronic problems with the bowels usually goes on for months or years. The nerve endings in the rectum which signal the need to move the bowels may become desensitized. Long term use of stimulant laxatives can cause this. This condition may be accompanied by anal fissures resulting from straining with stools, flatulence, hemorrhoids and indigestion.

One of the most common causes of this problem in the US and industrialized countries is obesity. Most overweight and obese people do not exercise, which helps with bowel movements. They typically have a poor diet filled with carbs and fatty foods and an over abundance of meat..all of which slows the bowels.

Other causes of chronic constipation include:

  • Consistently depressed mood and sadness
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Spinal cord injury
  • High calcium levels
  • Kidney failure
  • Use of iron supplements
  • Opiod medications and pain killers

There are severeal types of consitpation natural remedies. Bulking agents add bulk to the stool making it softer. Simtulant laxatives allow the intestinal walls to relax for easier stool passage. Some herbs increase bile production. Bile contains cholesterol, a fatty substance that lubricates stool.

Beneficial Constipation Natural Remedies

Aloe(bitters), or buckthorn, or cascara, or sennaOver the counter tablets. Take as directed on label.Simulant laxative.
DandelionTincture. Take 20 drops in 1/4 c. water 3x/day on empty stomach.Increases bile flow into intestines.
Ginger1/3 tsp powder in 1 cup water 3x/day.Relieves muscle spasms and cramps of constipation.
HibiscusTea bag in 1 cup water 3x/day.Draws water into intestine, softens stool.
KelpAs food, eat 2oz once a week.Bulking agent, relieves stress on rectum and anus.
MateTea bag in 1 c. water 1-2x/day.Restores minerals lost after treatment with stimulant laxatives.
Milk thistleSilymarin gel caps, 300mg/day.Increases bile flow into intestine.
Psyllium seedCereals and powders, use as directed on label.Bulking agent, soothes hemmorrhoids, does not cause cramping.

Cautions In Use

Long term use (over 2 weeks) of stimulant laxative is not recommmended as fluid drawn into the intestines from the body can deplete electrolytes, especially potassium. Loss of pottasium is greater if taking a diuretic (hydrochlorothiazide or Lasix), and could lead to an increase in calcium in the blood. For women taking extra calcium, this could cause kidney damage.

When it comes to constipation natural remedies, even short term use of stimulant laxatives can result in dangerous potassium depletion in combination with the following drugs: Lothobid, Lithonate, Cibalith, Eskalith and Lithotabs. The danger here is that if potassium drops below a certain level, you may be at risk for a heart attack.

Do not use dandelion or milk thistle if you have gallstones.

Do not use psyllium seed within one hour of taking other medications.

Additional Recommmendations

When taking prescriptions, take them at different times from stimulant laxatives. Constipation natural remedies may affect the rate at which other medications are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Add more fiber to your diet, but do it gradually or avoid gas and bloating.Apples, banannas, beets, cabbage carrots and citrus fruits add water to the intestines, making stool softer. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Be careful taking antibiotics which may reduce the normal flora of the gut. Without the bacteria, constipation natural remedies and stimulant laxatives such as aloe, buckthorn, cascara and senna will not work. Take 1 tsp of acidophilous daily at least six hours before taking a stimulant laxative.

Regular exercise can speed the passage of food through the digestive system, easing constipation.

Read about more herbs at the Herb Dictionary Online.

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