It happens to the best of us from time to time: the dreaded constipation. Constipation varies from person to person and you may find yourself blocked after a long trip or taking medications, even if you regularly go twice a day. Other people may routinely skip days, which is perfectly normal.
But constipation can undoubtedly be quite uncomfortable. Clinically, constipation occurs when you have less than three bowel movements in a week, or your bowel movements are hard, small and difficult to pass. Although it can be tempting to just grab a laxative at the drugstore, there are other ways to cure your constipation. And keep in mind that you only need to try treatments if you are suddenly spending significantly less time in the bathroom as of late.
If you’re feeling a little slower than usual, check your diet. Your gastrointestinal system requires fiber and water to run smoothly. 20-35 grams of fiber are commonly recommended for best results. Fiber can be found in foods such as bran and whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables are higher in fiber than others. Eating prunes or drinking prune juice can help because prunes not only contain fiber, but also sorbitol, a form of sugar that is used as an artificial sweetener and helps you go.
Drinking plenty of water also helps, as do certain teas because they not only provide water to move things smoothly through your intestines, but compounds and chemicals that also work. Limiting high fat foods like meat, cheese and processed foods can also help. Exercise is also key, as it can literally get things moving.
When diet and exercise fails, you can try laxatives. It is recommended that you consult with a doctor for the right type of laxative for your constipation symptoms because overuse of laxatives can cause problems in the colon’s natural ability to contract and move things through your system.
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