TOP 10 Tips to relieve constipation
Constipation is an incredibly common problem. It is a common problem in the sense that most of us almost think of it as routine. It can be caused by foods you eat or avoid , life style choices, medication or disease. Unfortunately constipation can have a serious negative effect on quality of life as well as your physical and mental health .Those affected by it usually feel bloated, uneasy with the inability to pass stool easily.
Before running to the drug store for a quick fix laxative (which often worsens the problem).Try some natural ways to relieve constipation. You can do these in the comfort of your own home.
Get moving- If you want stuff to move through your body you need to move too.
High fiber diet- you should eat high fiber fruits like berries, apples, prunes, pears etc. In short fiber is a material that can not be digested and it acts like a sponge. It draws water from its surroundings, making it swell, which softens stool and adds bulk to it which in turn helps it to pass. So always drink plenty of water with fibrous foods. Raisins are rich source of fiber.
Coconut water is also a good laxative.
Lemon water – The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant for your digestive system and can also help flush out toxins and undigested material that may have built up along the walls of the colon.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into one cup of warm water and drink it.
Prunes – This fruit works as a natural laxative because it has high amounts of fiber and contains sorbitol. Sorbitol softens stool because it is a natural carbohydrate that is not easily digested, it draws a lot of water as it passes through the intestines, gives bulk to stool. Be careful not to take too much.
Drink more water – Being dehydrated regularly can make you become constipated. To prevent this, its important to drink enough water and stay hydrated.
Establish a routine – Poppy schedules are not just for puppies, they are a great way to relieve and prevent constipation in humans too. Regulate the timing , when you go to the bathroom will regulate your bowel movements as well.
Healthy gut flora is vital to keep our digestive system working properly. There are a number of ways to go about helping your bacteria flourish, but one simple method is to enjoy a cup of yogurt which is filled with probiotics, with breakfast and during the day.
Exercise – Exercise helps constipation, simply makes you an overall happier, healthier human being.
Being intolerant to dairy or lactose may cause constipation in some people. If you suspect dairy is a problem try removing it for a short period of time to see if that makes a difference.
If you have IBS following a low fodmap diet helps relieve your constipation . However that alone may not be sufficient to provide relief.
Ayurvedic Treatment –
Try having two or three Triphala tablets (you can also use the powdered form) with warm water before you sleep. Triphala is made with Harad also known as black myrobalan and works as a fantastic laxative.
Direction to use – Mix one spoon of Triphala powder in warm water and drink it all in one go. Do not eat or drink anything after and let Triphala work its magic through the night. The mix tastes bitter and in case you have difficulty gulping it down, add a spoon of honey to it.
What is a FODMAPs DIET ?
FODMAPs is an acronym that stands for
F – fermentable – meaning they are broken down or fermented by bacteria in large bowl.
O – Oligosaccharides – oligo means few and sachharide means sugar. These molecules made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain.
D – Disachharides – Di means two. This is double sugar molecule.
M – Monosachharides – Mono means single .This is a single sugar molecule.
Polyols – These are sugar alcohols (however do not lead to intoxication)
How do FODMAPs trigger symptoms of IBS
When consumed in foods/drinks FODMAPs can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and pass through the large intestine where two major events happen.
The FODMAPs are readily fermented by bacteria in the large bowel contributing to the production of gas.
The FODMAPs are also highly osmotic meaning that they attract water in to the large bowel, which can alter how quickly the bowels move.
These two processes can then trigger symptoms including excess wind, abdominal bloating and distension, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea.
However not all FODMAPs will be symptom triggers for all patients. By controlling and managing the consumption of foods that contain the FODMAPs individual can significantly reduce or even eliminate their IBS type symptoms.
The low FODMAPs diet is proven to be an effective dietary treatment for the vast majority of people suffering from IBS. Consuming foods that are FODMAPs friendly complies with the low FODMAPs diet.
It is recommended that all people with IBS like symptoms should be investigated for celiac /coeliac disease. If IBS is confirmed, then the low FODMAPs diet is recommended for dietary management of symptoms.
High FODMAPs Diet –
Vegetables –onions, garlic, legumes/pulses, beetroot, celery, cabbage, sweet corn, asparagus.
Fruits – Apples, pears, mango, water melon, peaches, plums.
Dairy products – cow’s milk, yoghurt, soft cheese, cream , custard, ice cream.
Protein sources – Legumes/pulses
Bread/cereals – Rye, wheat containing breads , wheat pasta, wheat based cereals, wheat based biscuits.
Nuts and Seeds- Cashews, pistachios.
Low FODMAPs Diet –
Vegetables – Sprouted beans, green beans, capsicum, carrot, fresh herbs, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, zucchini.
Fruits – Banana, orange, grapes
Dairy products – lactose free milk, lactose free yoghurt
Protein sources – Fish, chicken, tofu, meat
Breads and cereals – Oats, rice, quinoa, gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, gluten free biscuits, rice cakes etc.
Nuts and seeds – Almonds < 10 nuts, pumpkin seeds.
You want to know about lactose free milk – Regular milk contains the milk sugar lactose, while lactose free milk does not.
Commercial milk producers add lactase( It is an enzyme produced by the stomach, breaks down the milk sugar galactose so that you can absorb it) to lactose free milk so that you can drink it without experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms. Lactose makes the taste of milk sweeter.
What is gluten free diet ?
Gluten free diet does not include the grains wheat, barley, rye or hybrids of these grains. This includes all varieties and forms of these grains, such as spelt(a type of wheat)and malt (made from barley).
Dr. Suman Setia BAMS DNHE PGDHHM