In medical terms, constipation refers to a condition where you experience less than three bowel movements in a week and where stools are hard, dry, and small. While it’s normal for some to only have a few bowel movements each week, constipation remedies and treatment are for those who experience a significant drop in bowel movements.
This can be a painful condition to experience and as such, receiving medical treatment is necessary to restore normalcy to this aspect of digestive health.
This blog looks at a few of the constipation remedies that may be prescribed if you’re experiencing this condition.
Beneficial lifestyle habits
Constipation remedies begin with changing your lifestyle to facilitate easier digestion. Here, one of the key recommendations include the incorporation of more fibre in your diet. Fibre helps stools become bulkier and softer, which makes it easier to be passed from the body.
It is recommended that you get between 20 to 38 grams of fibre in your diet, although actual values may depend on gender. This can come from a variety of sources including vegetables like carrot, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts, bread, brown rice, cereals, and fresh fruit or dried fruit.
At the same time, your diet should limit food items that are high in fat and low in fibre. These include popular dairy items including cheese, processed food, and even meat.
In this process, make a conscious effort to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Eight glasses of water a day are the bare minimum and can contribute to keeping your bowel movements less strained and painful.
In addition to this, you must make exercise a regular part of your schedule. Many studies have proven the beneficial effects of exercise on the digestive system and this includes preventing constipation.
Laxatives and other medication
One common constipation remedy is laxatives. While this shouldn’t be your first course of action, doctors may recommend this type of treatment in certain circumstances.
Laxatives aren’t ideal for long-term use, as you may begin to rely on them for all your bowel movements. If you are already taking laxatives, it’s important that you don’t stop taking them abruptly or your colon may not be able to contract as it normally does.
Some of the main types of laxatives include:
Bulk-forming supplements: Benefibre and Metamucil are some of the main examples of this laxative. Generally, these make stools bigger and softer and are relatively safe to be taken every day. Sometimes, they may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain medicines, causing bloating, cramps, and gas.
Lubricant laxatives: Including solutions like Zymenol, these laxatives help stool pass smoothly through the colon.
Osmotic laxatives: These help fluids move through the intestines with greater ease, although they may not be ideal for diabetes patients. Miralax, lactulose, and Milk of Magnesia are some of the most common osmotic laxatives.
Stimulant laxatives: These work quickly and can cause a range of side effects including cramps and diarrhoea. Dulcolax and Senokot are a few examples of this type of laxative.
Prescription medications: Medication may be used to draw water into the intestines and speed up the movement of stool. While other medications like plecanitide changes the consistency of stool by increasing the water in the GI lumen, increasing gastrointestinal movement.
Receive constipation remedies and treatment from expert gastroenterology specialists
If you’ve been experiencing constipation and lifestyle changes haven’t proven to be effective or if your symptoms are painful and severe, medical attention is of the utmost importance.
In this process, refrain from taking laxatives without the guidance of a gastroenterologist. You must receive advice on how long to take the laxative and when to stop.