Constipation can be treated at home using various methods, including increasing water intake and consuming fibre. In addition, over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available if home cures are unsuccessful.
Almost 20% of Americans experience constipation, which leads to 8 million annual doctor visits (1 Trusted Source, 2 Trusted Source). Constipation may be brought on by certain foods that people consume or avoid, certain lifestyle factors, certain drugs, or certain medical disorders. Unfortunately, many people don't know what causes their chronic constipation. This condition is referred to as chronic idiopathic constipation.
The following signs and symptoms of constipation are present (3 Reliable Sources):
Numerous all-natural methods can aid with constipation. They may be performed comfortably at home, and most of them are supported by science.
Here is some all-natural home remedy for constipation relief.
Constipation can result from chronically being dehydrated. Therefore, consuming enough water and maintaining hydration is critical to avoid this (6, 7Trusted Source, 8). Drinking some carbonated water (sparkling water) may help someone constipated. It can aid in hydration and aid in resuming activity.
According to research, sparkling water relieves constipation more effectively than tap water. It applies to those with chronic idiopathic constipation and those with dyspepsia or indigestion (9, 11 Reliable Source). However, it is not a good idea to consume carbonated beverages, such as sugary soda, as these might have negative health effects and may exacerbate constipation (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Some IBS sufferers discover that carbonated beverages worsen their symptoms, so they may want to avoid sparkling water and other carbonated beverages.
Doctors frequently advise patients to consume more dietary fibre to cure constipation. Increasing your fibre intake will give your bowel motions more weight and consistency, making them easier to pass. Also, it facilitates their quicker passage through the digestive tract (14).
A 2016 review indicated that adding extra fibre to a person's diet helped 77% of those with chronic constipation (15Trusted Source).
Nevertheless, other research indicates that consuming more fibre may worsen the issue. Others claim that dietary fibre increases stool frequency but may not relieve other constipation symptoms such as pain, bloating gas, or inconsistent stools (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
It is so that different forms of dietary fibre might affect digestion in various ways. Dietary fibres come in a wide variety. However, they can be broadly divided into soluble and insoluble fibres.
In vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran give feces weight and may make it easier for them to transit through the digestive tract.
In foods like oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and various fruits and vegetables, absorb water to create a paste that softens and enhances the consistency of stools.
The best option for treating constipation is non-fermentable soluble fibres, such as psyllium (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Psyllium was discovered in a 2020 study to be 3.4 times as helpful for constipation than insoluble wheat bran (18 Trusted Source). Online retailers sell many psyllium fibre brands.
Studies have found mixed results exploring the effects of insoluble fibre as a constipation therapy. It is partially because some individuals with functional bowel disorders, such as IBS or chronic idiopathic constipation, may find that insoluble fibre exacerbates their condition (19 Trusted Source, 20 Trusted Source, 21 Trusted Source).
Certain fermentable soluble fibres may also be poor at relieving constipation because they lose their ability to hold water when fermented by gut bacteria (22 Trusted Source). People should try to eat a variety of soluble and insoluble fibre to prevent constipation. For both men and women, 25 grammes (g) of fibre is advised daily (14). A diet rich in soluble non-fermentable fibre, such as psyllium, is also beneficial.
Exercise may be able to reduce the symptoms of constipation, according to numerous research studies (23, 24, 25, and 26Trusted Source). Sedentary lifestyles have been associated in studies with a higher incidence of constipation. Because of this, some medical professionals advise stepping up exercise to get the bowels going (23). However, not all studies support the notion that exercise relieves constipation. Thus, more investigation is required (27 Trusted Source).
According to other research, while exercise did not necessarily lower a person's frequency of bathroom visits, it did help them feel better overall and minimize some symptoms (28Trusted Source).According to other research, while exercise did not necessarily lower a person's frequency of bathroom visits, it did help them feel better overall and minimize some symptoms (28Trusted Source).
Brisk walking is a moderate workout that can help IBS sufferers with digestive problems and overall quality of life. Jogging, however, can exacerbate symptoms for some people (29Trusted Source).To determine whether it helps, try engaging in light exercises, such as taking regular walks, swimming, cycling, or jogging.
Constipation may be eased by consuming coffee. Some folks may need to use the restroom after drinking coffee. Coffee stimulates the digestive system's muscles (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source) .
Caffeinated coffee can activate the gut like a meal might, according to a 1998 study. Its effect was 23% stronger than drinking decaffeinated coffee and 60% stronger than drinking water (31Trusted Source).
Coffee may also include trace levels of soluble fibre, which assist in maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria and avoiding constipation (32, 33 Reliable Source). Yet, those with IBS may experience caffeine's bowel-stimulating effects more strongly. Moreover, it might aggravate stomach problems (30Trusted Source).Caffeine can be eliminated from the diet to determine if it helps those with IBS.
Probiotics might aid in preventing long-term constipation. Probiotics are live, healthy bacteria that are found in the gut naturally. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus are two of them. Probiotic meals can help people raise their levels. An unbalanced bacterial population in certain sufferers of persistent constipation. More probiotic food consumption may help to maintain this balance and avoid constipation.
According to a 2019 evaluation, consuming probiotics for two weeks helps alleviate constipation by boosting stool frequency and consistency (37 Trusted Source). Creating short-chain fatty acids may also aid in the treatment of constipation. In addition, they might enhance bowel motions, making stools easier to clear (38Trusted Source).
Try a probiotic dietary supplement instead. According to research, consumers began to experience the advantages of these supplements after 4 weeks (39Trusted Source). To test if this helps with constipation, try taking probiotic supplements sold online or eating more probiotic-rich foods. Among the prebiotic foods are yogurt and sauerkraut.
Constipation is unpleasant and could have a variety of underlying causes. Nonetheless, many natural cures and home treatments work well.
A patient might speak with their doctor to determine the cause and develop a successful treatment plan if constipation persists.Yet, many of the natural home cures in this article can significantly relieve symptoms.
Increasing your fibre intake and using a laxative, suppository, or stool softener are all examples of home remedies for constipation. In addition, a colonic massage, mild exercise, or attempting the squat position are also beneficial.
You risk developing constipation if you don't consume enough high-fibre foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Constipation may result from consuming excessive high-fat meats, dairy products, eggs, sweets, or processed meals. Lack of fluids.
Normal transit, sluggish transit, dyssynergia defecation (DD), and slow transit-dyssynergia combo are the four subtypes of chronic constipation (6,7).