Constipation -- Causes and Top 10
Natural Remedies
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Last updated July 30, 2016 (originally published
August 29, 2010)


By Katrina Devine, Contributing Columnist

What happens when the call of nature stops calling? Results
often include
bloating, straining, pain and being very fed up.
Constipation, just like its’ opposite diarrhea, can cause
disruption to your daily life.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Disease, constipation is one of the most common
gastrointestinal complaints in the United States. More than 4
million Americans have frequent constipation, accounting for
2.5 million physician visits a year.

[Update: as of 2014, up to 27.1% of Americans suffer from
chronic idiopathic constipation, also known as functional
constipation, according to a 2004 study ed by Dr. Higgins of
the University of Michigan Division of Gastroenterology.
 In the
most severe cases, you lose the ability to pass any stools and
the feces become "impacted", requiring surgery.
]


What Is Constipation?

The American Gastroenterological Association maintains that if
3 days have passed without a bowel movement, then you have
constipation.

How many times a day should you have a bowel movement?
Regularity of bowel movements depends on each individual
person. Some people may have bowel movements 3 times per
day while others might go 3 times per week. Constipation in
infants and children is a more complex matter and you may
need to follow
different recommendations if your child becomes
constipation.

Remember that constipation itself is not a disease. But it is
often a symptom of other medical conditions. If you have
frequent bouts of constipation or have had constipation for
more than 3 weeks, visit your doctor.

Here are the Top 10 natural remedies for constipation, drawn
from university research:

























1.
Water: Water helps to prevent constipation. A study
conducted by the Nestlé Water Institute, Vittel, France, in 2003
found that even mild dehydration can cause constipation. Make
sure  that you are drinking on average 8 pints (4liters) of
water per day. (Read more about
how much water you need to
drink.)

You can also increase your water intake by "eating your
water". Eating vegetables such as zucchini and squash which
have high water content can help you stay hydrated and avoid
constipation.

2.
Fiber: You need fiber to have regular bowel movements. The
National Institutes of Health lists fiber as one of the most
important elements of beating constipation. Fiber helps food
move through the digestive system with ease and avoids things
getting clogged up. Processed foods can lead to this
congestion. Ideally you should ensure that you consume at
least 25g of fiber per day. Here is a
list of fiber-rich foods.

There are two types of fiber, soluble --meaning it dissolves in
water --- and insoluble. Only soluble fiber has been found to
reduce constipation, according to a 2011 study from Leeds
Gastroenterology Institute in the UK. The type of constipation
studied was "idiopathic constipation, meaning it arose from an
unknown cause. Taking insoluble fiber resulted in a 27%
reduction in straining, less pain and 31% more bowel
movements per week.  Taking insoluble fiber produces
conflicting results.

Foods high in soluble fiber include zucchini, squash,
blueberries, raspberries, figs, pears and especially walnuts.

3.
Oil: Oil helps the waste move through your intestines with
greater ease. A study conducted by the Department of
Pediatrics, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana
University School of Medicine, in 1987, found that mineral oil is
helpful in the treatment of constipation in children. The children
ingested the mineral oil between meals and were monitored for
4 months. Olive oil is also beneficial in aiding the movement of
your waste. Try adding olive oil to your salad dressing to help
relieve constipation.


4.
Don't Fight the Urge to Go to the Toilet: According to the
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease,
ignoring the urge to go to the toilet is a common cause of
constipation. Similarly if you are constipated and feel the urge
to go then you should try. However, do not strain as this can
cause damage to your body.


5.
Regular Exercise Moves Your Bowels: A study conducted by
the Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina,
in 1990, found that those who exercised little were more likely
to suffer from constipation. Exercises to help are: jumping
rope, brisk walking, yoga, lunges and squats. Here is a list of
other
exercises that help constipation.



6.
Flaxseeds:  Flaxseeds are a natural remedy for constipation.
The National Institutes of Health recommend flaxseeds to treat
constipation. Flaxseeds are a natural laxative. Flaxseeds can be
crushed and taken with juice or water. You can also buy
capsules to take.



7. Chew Slowly: A study conducted by Soroka University
Medical Center and the Faculty of Health Sciences, 2006 found
a connection between chewing and constipation. The
researchers had the subjects self report their symptoms. The
subjects who chewed less and ate quickly were more likely to
have constipation. You should avoid eating too quickly or
swallowing large pieces of food.



8. Reduce Iron: A study conducted by the State University
Hospital, Syracuse, New York, in 1980, found that iron
supplements and a higher than normal level of iron can
contribute to constipation. If you suspect that you are
consuming too much iron or are taking supplements then
consider reducing your intake to see if you notice a difference.



9. Bael Fruit: A study conducted by the National Medicinal
Plants board, New Delhi found that the fruit of the Bael tree
was useful in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The
researchers mentioned constipation in particular as being
improved by the ingestion of the Bael fruit.



10. Probiotics: A study conducted by the Department of
Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, in 2002,
found that probiotics containing  L. rhamnosu and/P.
freudenreichii resulted in a 24% increase in bowel movements.

































Related:
Bowel Movements Indicate How Healthy You Are /
Bowel Color-What It Means /Why Am I Bloated?-Causes and
Top 10 Natural Remedies / Urine Color-What It Means /  Bowel
Smells and Passing Gas-Home Remedies      

Why Americans Read In Bathrooms-The Hidden Epidemic of
Constipation

Bowels -3 Keys to Normal Bowels
Exercises That Increase Bowel Movements
Diet and Exercise-A Simple Plan

Snoring Increases Your Risk of Stroke 67%

Six Pack Abs--Step By Step

Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

Foods That Shrink Your Waist

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DIETS AND FITNESS

BOWEL MOVEMENTS

INTESTINES-KEEP THEM
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HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH
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150,000 DIE FROM EXCESS
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I HAVE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE!

FOODS THAT LOWER YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

INFLAMMATION INSIDE THE
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FAT--IT'S ALIVE!

WHY WE GO SOFT IN THE
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