Constipation is a common problem that everyone will experience at some point in life. Many people only move their bowels once or twice a week, which is a mild form of constipation. To be healthy, you should be dropping some kids off at the pool at least once a day on average. Changes in diet and activity can trigger mild and temporary constipation. This is not a major concern.
However, if you miss the train to brown town and can’t get your bowels moving again you should take it seriously. There are things you can to do get your guts churning healthily again, and keep the train on its tracks.
First thing’s first. Start drinking water. Dehydration can tip the scales toward constipation. By drinking a large amount of water, and then making water a regular part of your daily life you’ll go a long way toward making more regular appearances on the porcelain throne.
Fiber much? Well, you should. The average person should have at least 30 grams of fiber every day. Not only does it give your intestines the traction they need to push the works along, but it also feeds the kinds of gut bacteria that you want living in your belly. Also, many fiber-rich foods have tracer components that can help you track your regularity.
Prunes. If they’re good enough for grandma, they’re good enough for you. Prunes are yummy. They’re like giant squishy raisins. They also have a healthy dose of sorbitol- a nutrient that softens stool. Prunes are also high in fiber, and that’s why they are so good at getting things flowing again.
You may love cheese, but it doesn’t love you back. Cheese and other dairy products contain lactose, which is pretty difficult for most people to digest. Even those who handle it well, do so at the cost of slowing down the works. Lactose can cause gas, which can lead to discomfort and exacerbate constipation.
Yogurt is an exception to the dairy rule. Yogurt, if you get the right kind, contains lots of healthy probiotics. Building up healthy gut flora keeps your tummy happy and moving. It also helps to fight off Candida, which is a fungus that grows in us and on us and can cause cancers if it grows out of control for too long.
There are a number of herbs that can help as well. Flaxseed, psyllium, and fenugreek are good examples. Basil and oregano also help keep your gut healthy and reduce bloating- which almost always accompanies constipation. Bulking agents like these soften stool and help regulate your bowels. You can take them as tablets, or you can get them dried in shakers at the store. Get into the habit of shaking these healthy herbs onto savory foods, and you’ll renew your relationship with the toilet in no time.
If you’re really up $%^& creek without a paddle, it might be time to bring out the big guns. Castor oil is an all but certain remedy for a plugged up bottom. Castor oil both stimulates the intestines and provides some extra lubrication to help get things going in the right direction again. The two downsides to it are; one, it’s disgusting; and two, you can take too much of it. If you’re in dire need of relief and are considering turning to Castor oil, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor for proper dosage. Also, if you’re pregnant or have appendicitis, it may not be a good idea- and you should definitely consult a doctor before taking it.
While we’re talking about oils, it’s worth noting that fish oil can actually cause constipation. If you’re having a problem going potty regularly, you should probably avoid fish oils until you get it sorted out.
Magnesium is another good way to get things back on schedule. Magnesium draws water into the intestines, which will make everything work more smoothly. It’s also a good way to help with sleep disorders. Take only 10 to 30 grams dissolved in a glass of water. It will taste unpleasant, but it’s worth it to get your bowels working properly again.
Make long-term changes to your lifestyle. Chronic constipation can lead to all manner of intestinal disorders, far too many to cover here. Adding more activity to your daily life is important, especially if you work at a desk or office. Make salads and green vegetables a regular part of your diet.
Most people underestimate the importance of gut health. But with a few good habits and emergency measures in reserve, you can help ensure better poops more often.
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