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How to Relieve Constipation

how to relieve constipation

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One of the things you may not remember about your childhood was just how effortlessly your digestive system worked. This isn’t true for everyone, but for most of us, constipation was something that was pretty much unheard of when we were young. The digestive system wears out just like the rest of our bodies do as we age. We can, however, make better choices for maintaining good digestive function and for some people that means looking into how to relieve constipation.

As is the case with most physical ailments, it’s better to be proactive than reactive when deciding what to do for constipation. That means trying to make it so that you don’t become constipated in the first place (proactive), rather than trying to figure out how to relieve constipation once you find you’re unable to go to the bathroom as you usually would (reactive).

The best way to relieve constipation is to increase the intake of soluble fiber in your diet for more long-term relief from constipation. Then use a psyllium-husk laxative mix like Metamucil if immediate relief is required in order to produce a bowel movement. Beyond that, the best approach to relieving constipation is with a focus on diet and lifestyle changes. Doing so can restore you to some measure of the effortless digestive process you had when you were a kid.

Diet Changes

Many people in North America do not eat enough high-fiber foods and don’t get enough water every day either. Add to that the fact that many people also eat processed food the majority of the time. You'll definitely have a recipe for people becoming constipated! If you’re looking to understand how to relieve constipation, taking a critical look at your diet is probably the best place to start.

The benefit of adding fiber to your diet is that it increases the weight of your stool and speeds its passage through your intestines. It’s recommended that people who are chronically constipated eat more fresh fruits and vegetables each day and choose whole-grain breads and cereals as much as possible.

As a guideline, you can aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your daily diet. For water intake, the standard recommendation of 6 to 8 glasses a day will help overcome constipation.

Manage Stress Levels

It’s fairly easy to understand that the foods you eat may be causes of constipation. It may come as more of a surprise to learn that being overly stressed can cause constipation too. Prolonged stress causes elevated levels of a hormone called cortisol to be present in the body. The body’s digestive system is regulated in part by hormonal balances. Too much cortisol and the digestive process is thrown out of whack and constipation can occur as a result.

Learning how to manage your stress levels may be helpful as you learn how to relieve constipation. And not only that, but it will be beneficial for your overall mental health and wellness too.

Get More Physical Exercise

Regular physical exercise is extremely good for overall health, and that includes optimizing the body’s digestive and waste elimination processes. And as for what do for constipation, it doesn’t take much in the way of exercise to make you more regular again. The key for getting benefits from exercise is to make sure that it’s vigorous exercise. And knowing whether you’re exercising vigorously is fairly simple. If you’re sweating, then you’re exercising in the way that will bring you health benefits.

Use of Constipation Medication

The reason we’ve chosen to list this last is because when looking into how to relieve constipation it’s always best to try to make lifestyle changes and explore natural constipation relief mixes. This includes Metamucil or non-prescription constipation products like Ex-Lax. Usually, a combination of both is very effective for most people.

However, if you have persistent constipation that is not relieved by natural approaches then your physician may recommend one of the following prescription constipation medications for you:

  • Linzess (linaclotide)
  • Trulance (plecanatide)
  • Amitiza (lubiprostone)
  • Relistor (methylnaltrexone)
  • Movantik (naloxegol)
  • Symproic (naldemedine)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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