Around 30 percent of Germans need home remedies for constipation because they suffer from it regularly. Women are affected more often than men. Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy, but also during menstruation and menopause, can make them more prone to digestive problems.
The problem usually increases with age. Hard bowel movements and strenuous defecation make them reach for a laxative. About 5 percent of children ages 1 to 5 are also affected. The most common cause is a lifestyle – wrong foods, too much food, and not enough exercise.
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When Is Constipation Present?
Constipation – medically called constipation – is often accompanied by difficult and even painful bowel emptying. Those affected have to bloat, a feeling of fullness, hard stools, or even bloody feces. Constipation is actually not a disease, but a symptom that indicates a disorder in the digestive system.
How often the big business is done varies from person to person. Some may defecate as little as three times a week, while others may defecate daily. Anything from three times a day to three times a week is generally considered normal. For infants who are breastfed, as many as 7 bowel movements a day to once a week is normal.
Doctors refer to constipation when the following criteria are met:
- Bowel movements possible less than three times a week.
- Emptying the bowels is difficult (only with strong pressing).
- Hard stools, usually lumpy consistency.
It is not uncommon for this to be temporary bowel inertia. Too little exercise, not drinking enough, and eating too much food cause the bowels to become sluggish. A change in lifestyle the help of some home remedies for constipation quickly bring about improvement without having to take a laxative.
If it is a case of chronic constipation, this often means greater suffering for those affected. Usually they have already tried all home remedies for constipation or laxatives without success.
The following symptoms may occur:
- Lumpy and hard bowel movements.
- Feeling of incomplete bowel emptying, strong pressing necessary.
- Less than 3 bowel movements per week.
- Bloating and feeling of fullness.
- Loss of appetite.
- Hard, painful abdomen.
- Injuries to the anus and rectum, bloody feces.
What Helps Against Constipation?
- A high-fiber and balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help to balance your digestion.
- Eating slowly and calmly, while chewing well, promotes the flow of saliva. Digestion already begins in the mouth.
- Take breaks from eating so that your stomach and intestines have time to digest.
- Avoid lack of exercise.
Incorporate more movement into your daily routine (for example, use the stairs instead of the elevator or walk short distances instead of driving). Take time to go to the bathroom and don’t suppress bowel movements. Schedule times to relax and relieve stress, because too much stress causes the body to shut down bowel activity.
Constipation during pregnancy is common. Hormonal changes often cause bowel sluggishness and digestive problems such as bloating. Here you can find more information on this topic.
What Home Remedies Are There For Constipation?
Already in ancient Egypt – around 2000 BC – there were writings about home remedies for constipation. According to this, digestive problems have not been known for a short time. However, in modern times, food is always and everywhere available in large quantities.
Therefore, digestive disorders such as constipation have become a real widespread disease. However, you do not have to resort to medicines immediately, but try natural laxatives:
You can drink a glass of lukewarm water on an empty stomach in the morning after getting up. This stimulates the so-called gastrocolic reflex, which positively influences the movements of the intestines.
Fresh plums and figs – alternatively as dried fruit – as well as sauerkraut (as juice as well as vegetables) can help digestion. Flaxseed, bran, and psyllium are swelling agents that soften the stool and thus act as a natural laxative. But make sure you drink enough or it will have the opposite effect!
A warm cherry pit or herbal pillow has a decongestant effect and relieves abdominal pain. But also a warm bath can be soothing and relieving. An abdominal massage can also help as a home remedy for constipation.
It is best to use a pleasantly scented oil and massage clockwise, starting from the right underside of the abdomen to the left (corresponding to the course of the large intestine). Warm fennel or chamomile tea prevents flatulence and has an antispasmodic effect. Fennel in particular has an anti-flatulent and digestive effect.
Senna leaf tea is also considered a natural laxative and was already known to the ancient Egyptians. Leaves, as well as fruits, are used. The sennosides of the plant irritate the inner wall of the intestine, which causes muscle contractions and stimulates intestinal activity. But be careful: the tea should not be used in cases of intestinal inflammation or irritable bowel syndrome, as well as by pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children!
Fast relief can bring an enema. For this purpose, about half a liter of lukewarm water or chamomile tea is flushed into the intestine by means of an enema, which should lead to complete emptying.
Glauber’s salt is also an old home remedy for constipation, which is supposed to promote bowel emptying. You take about 40 g and dissolve it in a liter of lukewarm water. It should be drunk within 15 minutes. The effect is felt after a short time, but it can last for several hours.
Before each meal you can mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it. A mix of 100 ml of tomato juice, 100 ml of sauerkraut juice, and 50 ml of carrot juice, as well as a pinch of pepper or chili, is also a proven laxative.
Home Remedies For Constipation In Children
Make sure your child has a balanced diet rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains). They should only get a little milk, but should eat mildly acidified dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk every day.
You should also pay attention to the following things.
- Avoid stuffing foods such as bananas, white bread, cakes and sweets.
- Pay attention to the amount of water you drink every day and give your child unsweetened teas or mineral water if possible.
- Use olive oil and linseed oil for cooking instead of butter and margerine.
- Make sure that your child gets enough exercise. An afternoon or evening walk can be enough.
A gentle abdominal massage with the flat of the hand and in a clockwise direction can also stimulate bowel activity in your child. Likewise, a warm poultice and cherry/herbal pillows have a pain-relieving and cramp-relieving effect.
Digestive problems, whether diarrhea or constipation can quickly lead to a sore bottom in children. Here you will find the sore creams we tested and a sore cream advice. Constipation in babies or children is not uncommon.
When Should I Go To The Doctor?
If home remedies for constipation and laxatives do not have any effect, you should see a doctor. Especially in children, prolonged constipation leads to a variety of problems.
In addition to the impaired ability to empty the bowels, children develop a fear of going to the toilet and get into a vicious circle. They withhold stool out of fear of the often painful bowel movement. This disturbs the natural voiding reflex, which in turn leads to a worsening of bowel movement problems.
Although home remedies for constipation or a natural laxative are usually sufficient. However, if additional symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, colicky abdominal pain, or bloody stools occur, a doctor should definitely be consulted. Then the cause could be a serious illness.
Please also note that laxatives, as well as home remedies, should not be used for a long period of time. Your body can get used to the stimulation and the bowel can become even more sluggish. Therefore, self-medication is also associated with risks.
What Does The Doctor Do?
The doctor will carefully palpate the anus to rule out organic reasons for the constipation. Further examinations such as ultrasound or a colonoscopy may be necessary.
Usually, no enema is necessary. In most cases, therapy is given over a period of time with high-dose macrogol, which ensures that the stool becomes soft. This procedure is successful in almost 100% of children without organic problems, but adults also mostly respond positively to it.
Stool training is also often advised. This involves going to the toilet regularly after every meal – children are put on the potty. Even if nothing happens – one should remain there calmly and without temporal stress. With consistent regularity and patience, you can get back to normal.