Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Natural remedies for relieving constipation

Constipation may be caused by insufficient intake of water, as well as side effects of drugs or supplements, such as iron supplements.

Some remedies that I have tested and tried to be effective include:
1. Drinking plenty of water, especially in the earlier part of the day (morning and early afternoon)

2. Getting sufficient exercise - walking, and doing abdominal exercises can help strength the muscles necessary to empty the bowel without much straining

3. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques, such as yoga

4. Getting sufficient rest and sleep

5.- Reducing intake of meat in meals

6. Chewing food slowly and thoroughly where possible

I learnt that it is important to chew food slowly and thoroughly where possible when eating a meal.
"When you chew, your brain sends signals to your stomach and intestines that food is on the way. Your body can prepare itself for everything it will need to properly digest the food you eat. By giving your system a head start, the food you eat is better absorbed and digested. This passes the food more effectively and efficiently through your body. The more nutrients absorbed from the food you eat, the less fat that is absorbed for later use."

7. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables
eg papayas, guavas, bananas, cucumbers, grapes, green apples (with skin intact)

I also remember that some fruits, such as guava and papaya, can be very effective to help relieve symptoms of constipation. Ripe guavas with soft flesh are especially effective (raw ones can be hard to chew, so should be avoided) - there were times I ate a ripe guava after lunch, and the next day, I experienced bowel movement quite easily. The high fibre content provides roughage for the colon and rectum to release the stool more easily.

I have also checked that guava, cucumber, grapes, apples with green skin intact, papayas and bananas are suitable for people with blood type B. These foods are high in fibre, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system naturally, and without having gluten allergy side effects.

I learnt that eating ripe bananas have other benefits:

Reducing Depression
Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood
Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function
Constipation and Diarrhea
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
8. Taking natural supplements, such prune juice, psyllium husk
"Psyllium is quickly becoming one of the top recommendations for people using low-carb Atkins-style diets. It is very difficult to get enough fibre in a diet when you eliminate the carbohydrates in cereals, whole grains and fruits. Psyllium capsules are an easy way to take care of this problem. It fills you with fibre, reducing appetite without overstimulating the nervous system; a much healthier approach than formulas containing ephedra such as Herbalife or Metabolife."
 I remember I took the supplement in powder form with water - I would poured one small satchet of psyllium husk into a glass of water, and stir it to mix well with water. Then I would drink it completely. Sometimes I would drink another glass of water after that. There were times the bowel movement occurred shortly, within half an hour. Other times, there was no immediate response, so I simply continued to drink lots of water (8-10 or more glasses of water) during the day, and then tried taking the supplement again the next day, for the bowel to clear naturally on its own. I tried to minimise straining where possible, and let it happen naturally with the help of deep breathing.

I also have managed to remember the brand name of the natural fibre supplement I took last time - it is called Fybogel.

I also found some samples of dulcofibre in the kitchen cabinet, which I haven't tried yet. I think it is a new product - I just googled it and found this information.

I also remember drinking prune juice which I bought from the supermarket - I used to drink a glass of prune juice every day or every other day, besides drinking plenty of water, and it helps to facilitate a relatively smooth bowel movement - sometimes the day after.

Prune juice is also suitable for people of blood type B. For some reason, the website below discourages people from drinking coconut milk. On the other hand, it lists papaya and banana as beneficial for people of blood type B.

9. Taking probiotics

Here's sharing some information on this Neobiotics probiotics that I have been taking every other day - I find that it is quite effective in maintaining regular bowel movement too.
"Yes, probiotics for constipation do work even for chronic constipation and the evidence continues to grow."
Additional resource on probiotics:

According to this medical website:
"The goal of therapy for constipation is one bowel movement every two to three days without straining."

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