Understanding Your Constipation Treatment Options
There’s nothing like going through the day with a bloated, dull pain in your abdomen from having a backed-up digestive tract. Constipation can be a day ruiner, however, there are things you can do to treat it.
Keep on reading to discover which constipation treatment option may help you.
Exercising Away Your Constipation
Now the thought of exercising while you’re constipated can sound extremely uncomfortable, but according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is one of the best treatments for constipation. Physical exertion helps stimulate the muscles in your bowels which can help move stool through your digestive tract. This happens when higher heart rates occur during exercise which helps promote the natural contractions of the intestines.
According to WebMD, exercise decreases the amount of time it takes food to travel through the large intestine. This places a limit on the amount of liquid your body can absorb from the stool. Stool that is dry is less likely to move, so keeping the stool moisturized is important in order to achieve healthy bowel movements.
Adding exercise to your weekly routine is especially important for those who experience chronic constipation, or “infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer,” according to Mayo Clinic. The experts at Mayo Clinic even suggests that you should be exercising most days of the week if you’re trying to treat chronic constipation.
WebMD says that even walks lasting about 10-15 minutes a few times a day can significantly improve the health of your digestive system, including treating constipation and preventing it in the future.
Other types of aerobic exercise like jogging or swimming can also help treat the bouts of constipation. Stretching and yoga are other types of exercises that are great for treating constipation too.
Give Laxatives a Chance
Now there’s plenty of comical stories involving laxatives that we’ve all heard. That being said, laxatives can be a lifesaver in situations where your constipation becomes unbearable. There’s a lot of different laxatives that you can use.
Fiber supplements, stimulants, osmotics, lubricants, stool softeners, enemas, and suppositories are all potential laxatives that can expedite the process of stool passing through the digestive tract.
Stimulants work by forcing contractions in your digestive system. Osmotics on the other hand help move fluids through the colon. Mineral oil and other lubricants help stool move through the colon. Stool softeners pull water from the intestines in order to moisten the stool. This makes it easier to pass through the bowels. Enemas and/or suppositories help soften stool by heavily moisturizing them and forcing a bowel movement.
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Adding Fiber to Your Diet
Creating a high-fiber diet is a great way to combat and prevent constipation. There are countless foods and recipes that can make having a high-fiber diet easy and enjoyable. Your body will thank you for this in the long run too!
The fiber helps solidify your stool and makes it easier to pass through the digestive system. According to Mayo Clinic, you should, “aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your daily diet.”
Foods with lots of whole grains and/or whole wheat tend to be extremely high in fiber. These foods include whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread/rolls, etc. These make for great sides for your favorite meals.
Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of fiber. Celery, lettuce, apples, pears, artichokes, beans, peas, and lentils are some great options that have positive effects on other aspects of your health too.
Stop Holding in Your Poop
While this may make some people squeamish, it needs to be said. It may seem counterintuitive to hold in your stool when you’ve been constipated for a while, but unfortunately, we don’t control when we have to use the restroom. This is why it’s extremely important to make using the bathroom a priority when your body tells you it’s time to go.
Holding it in will not only exacerbate your constipation, but it can also lead to other complications for your health.
Taking it to the Professionals
There are certain situations where you should always consult your medical professional. This is especially true for when you experience any unexpected changes in your digestive process (from ingestion to defecation). It should be prioritized even more if chronic constipation is present in these unexpected digestive changes.
Now it may not be necessary to see a doctor for a random instance of constipation. However, if it becomes a pattern and you’ve tried other methods of constipation treatment, it’s imperative that you make it a priority to see a medical professional.
Listening to Your Body
When it comes down to it, it’s extremely important to listen to your body. Just like you’d listen to your body’s messages of pain after breaking your arm if your digestive process is becoming a hassle you should make addressing it a priority.