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Constipation Remedies

March 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 224

Constipation is a common problem in the United States, especially for women and people over 65 years of age. Over 4 million Americans battle this problem frequently, and it is responsible for about 2.5 million visits to the doctor each year.

Although constipation is common, it is certainly not normal, and it can be more than just annoying or uncomfortable. The delayed bowel transit time means your body's waste products stay in the intestines longer and your body reabsorbs some of these toxins into your blood stream. This may cause health problems such as headaches. Over time, constipation & straining can lead to other problems like hemorrhoids or anal tearing.

Constipation is often characterized by two or more of the following:• straining • hard or lumpy stools • feeling of incomplete evacuation or feeling of blockage • less than three bowel movements per week

Luckily, many of the most common reasons that people suffer constipation relate to improper diet or exercise, both of which can be easily remedied. Dietary causes of constipation include dehydration, inadequate dietary fiber, food allergies or sensitivities, and eating too many sweets/ starches/ carbohydrates. Too much stress and habitually ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can also lead to constipation. A lack of exercise is another common cause of discomfort.

For short term relief, eating prunes or taking Milk of Magnesia may help. For longterm relief, however, it's best to correct the cause(s) rather than overusing laxatives, as this can worsen constipation over time by suppressing the colon's ability to evacuate the stool. The following measures often help relieve constipation:

• Make sure you are well hydrated. Most adults should drink at least 1-2 Liters of water a day. Drink a pure, quality water, and only drink in between meals, not with meals. Warm water first thing in the morning can help trigger a bowel movement.

• Increase your daily fiber intake. It's best to do this by eating more vegetables and salads with meals, but taking a fiber supplement may also help. Be sure to increase your fiber consumption slowly, as sudden increases can make constipation worse.

• Decrease your consumption of sugars, grain products, and starches, as these foods make constipation worse.

• Move throughout the day. Physical activity helps trigger bowel movements, so at a bare minimum, stretch in the mornings, and try to walk 30 minutes each day.

• Break the habit of ignoring your urge to have a bowel movement. Avoid any irregularity in meal-times and bowel movements.

• Cleansing the colon may help in cases of chronic constipation. For some people, a series of 2-3 colonics may help loosen up any fecal impaction.

Constipation may also be caused by certain medications (such as narcotics and antacids), medical conditions (like hypothyroidism), or problems with neurological control. In fact, the colon's ability to move content along, segment by segment, is controlled by the enteric nervous system. Spinal cord injuries often cause severe constipation, but milder misalignments of the spinal column (most often lumbar spine or sacrum) may be responsible for some cases of chronic constipation. For this reason, chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture are effective alternative treatments for constipation relief, especially in combination with a proper diet and adequate exercise.

For persistent constipation (despite trying natural remedies), black stools, or if you are having 2 or less bowel movements per week, see your doctor promptly. They may do tests to rule out obstruction, ulcers, or other potentially serious underlying conditions.

Constipation Remedies: Natural Options for Relief by Dr. Margarite Melikian

Dr. Margarite Melikian is a chiropractor and acupuncture practitioner in Glen Ellyn, IL. More information about this Glen Ellyn Chiropractor can be found at

Source: EzineArticles
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