Uncomfortable, inconvenient, bloated? these are just some words used to describe constipation. Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or stools that are dry, hard, small in size, and difficult to pass or eliminate. This condition also occurs in people who have bowel movements fewer than 3 times per week.
One key thing to keep in mind is that constipation is not a disease. It is a symptom. At some point in life, a person will be able to experience this condition. The good news is that there are a lot of constipation remedies that are effective in providing constipation relief. These constipation remedies range from simple lifestyle and diet changes, to acupressure, to OTC or over the counter medication.
A diet low in fiber plays a big role in constipation. Fiber is essential in making stools easier to pass because this material gives stools bulk and a soft texture. The most common sources of fiber include oat bran, wheat, fruits and vegetables. Instead of grabbing a calorie-filled cookie or a greasy hamburger for a snack, settle for an apple, figs and prunes.
Dry and hard stools may be the result of a low fluid intake. Water is important because it keeps the intestinal tract and the rest of the body hydrated. The recommended fluid intake is at least 1.2 liters which translates to around 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda as these dehydrates a person.
When a person exercises regularly or performs any physical activity, he or she breathes in deeply, bringing oxygen and blood to the intestines. This does not have to an intense or strenuous workout. A light jog and even brisk walking will do.
There are several types available in the market such as bulk-forming laxatives, osmotic laxatives and stimulant laxatives. Each one has a different effect on the digestive system. It is best to consult a doctor before taking these medications.