Natural remedies and lifestyle changes are often successful in curing constipation, though in some cases, medical intervention is necessary.
Before trying a completely natural approach to taking care of constipation, check your symptoms and see a doctor if constipation continues or if you have any of the following, WebMD said
• Belly pain worsens or is new.
• Nausea or vomiting is new or worsens.
• You see any blood in your stools.
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Although the time between bowel movements varies between people, WebMD said
going longer than three days allows the stool to become hard and compacted. Consult a doctor if you have any concerns.
But even though constipation can be a sign of more serious problems, it often can be treated at home. Here are five suggestions that may help:
– Movement can keep your system in shape, and not just your muscles and joints. According to WebMD
, inactivity is one of the key risk factors for constipation. Even just walking 15 minutes every day can help.
2. Add fiber to your diet
– Fiber foods, like fruit, vegetables, and cereal, can help keep your GI system moving. "Adding fiber to your diet increases the weight of your stool and speeds its passage through your intestines," The Mayo Clinic said
. "Slowly begin to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Your doctor may recommend a specific number of grams of fiber to consume each day. In general, aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your daily diet."
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3. Take your time
– Some medical websites recommend scheduling a bowel movement at the same time every day, so that you can do so when you have time. The Mayo Clinic warned against ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom. "Take your time in the bathroom, allowing yourself enough time to have a bowel movement without distractions and without feeling rushed," the website said.
– Talk to your doctor about using laxatives and be careful to follow label instructions on how frequently you use them. Overusing stimulant laxatives, such as Ex-Lax and Feen-a-Mint, "decreases the tone and sensation in the large intestine, causing dependence on using laxatives," WebMD said. "Regular use may interfere with your body's ability to absorb vitamin D and calcium, which can weaken your bones. Do not use laxatives for longer than 2 weeks without consulting your doctor."
5. Elevate your feet
– "Support your feet with a small step stool [about 6 in. (15 cm)] when you sit on the toilet," WebMD said
. "This will help flex your hips and place your pelvis in a more normal 'squatting' position for having a bowel movement."
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