Almost everyone has different timings and habits as far as moving the bowels is concerned, however certain people who fail to pass their stools less than thrice a week, are regarded by doctors as being constipated, this may be due to a variety of reasons and constipation is an uncomfortable issue. Besides these genuine sufferers from constipation, there are many others who have to strain to defecate every time they move their bowels, needless to say such persons may also benefit greatly from some of the therapies and remedies that are aimed at the people who suffer constipation, as the causes may be similar.
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The nature of the diet that people eat seems to play a part in a vast number of cases, in fact it is seen, and a lack of fiber and scarcity of fluids in the diet is the reason constipation occurs. There may be other reasons as well, include those that are purely physical, these include a lack of exercise and movement and sedentary habits over a long period of time, psychological causes such as the presence of a severe depression in some people may trigger constipation; there may also be other underlying medical disorders problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, a high blood calcium level in the afflicted person, a underperforming thyroid gland, constipation may even be a sign of cancer of the colon. Additionally the abuse of drugs such as antacids and laxatives can hamper and impair bowel activity and function giving rise to the symptoms of constipation, certain types of medications and drugs can also bring on constipation, including drugs used for the treatment of a high blood pressure, certain classes of antidepressants, and some types of narcotic pain relief drugs. All these factors can contribute and cause constipation to appear in a person.
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The supplements that have been suggested below are to be used in cases of constipation, that are not regular but are occasional in occurrence, in such cases these natural substances may go a great distance in alleviating the symptoms of the affliction, however it should be remembered that any sudden or abrupt changes in a person's bowel movements especially in the frequency, may have other underlying causes which could be signs serious medical disorders, for example cancer or a bowel obstruction, if that is the case then a qualified medical practitioner should be consulted immediately to rule out the possibility of serious disease. On the occasional occurrence of constipation and discomfort in the bowel movement, these supplements can help, and some even have a prophylactic basis and could be used if so desired even over a long period of time.
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The multi purpose vitamin, ascorbic acid or vitamin C can prove to be an effective remedy for constipation, as one of its functions and proven capability is in its role as a mild laxative, in addition to its property of boosting immune system function and its effectiveness as an antioxidant. Most people who use this vitamin at a dosage level of about 3,000 mg daily experience a loosening of the stool and the alleviation of other symptoms. There may be cases of this not occurring in certain people, in such eventualities it is recommended that along with the 3,000 mg dose, the mineral magnesium can be taken, the combination of the vitamin and the mineral will prove effective, this mineral has mild laxative properties besides its other functions within the body.
There are other herbal based remedies and substances that can be tried out aside from these two substances, these include herbs such as psyllium husks, flaxseed in grounded form, or grounded fenugreek seeds are rich in fiber and provide a lot of fiber which goes a long way in inducing the formation of larger and softer stools, which are easier to pass, these natural herbs can be used daily, and as an added component to the normal diet. Liquids especially water must be an important element of the diet, besides lessening the chances of dehydration water is essential to the production of soft stools, therefore it is advisable to have these herbs with plenty of water to ease the passage of the extra bulk contributed by the fiber along the digestive tract when defecating. Another option and one that can be used in combination with other supplements is prune juice or dried prunes, these have a lot of fiber in them and are a safe and natural choice. Another mildly laxative herbal based remedy is tea made from dandelion root.
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It may so happen that relief from constipation will not come even after using a combination of the aforementioned herbs for the duration of two days, in such cases which are rare, recourse may be taken to the herb cascara sagrada as a last resort. This herb is a very powerful laxative, and has properties of stimulating the muscles in the bowels to contract, however its use must be limited to two weeks at the longest and it cannot be used by pregnant or nursing mothers.
Commonly used essential oils for constipation:
Besides a necessary and adequate supply of fiber and liquids in the diet, the following naturopathic remedies can be an important component and support for the bowels in the attempt to cure oneself of the constipation. The natural balance of bacteria in the bowels is an important key to health; in this case the good bacteria such as those of the acidophilus and bifidus bacteria are helpful in restoring a healthy intestinal flora and the balance, the natural component of pathogens in the bowels. Other substance such as natural plant-based digestive enzymes can help towards the elimination of toxic substances and useless dietary factors, including many intestinal parasites, and yeasts, etc. all of these can help alleviate and even prevent the occurrence of constipation in an otherwise healthy individual. The recommended dosages for these homeopathic remedies are about 30c once or twice daily, the results however can only be seen over a couple of days, it must be understood that these substances are not laxatives and do not have a laxative function, and their effect is slow and gradual, effective over some time period.
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There are two types of simple steps and lifestyle decisions that can be followed, the first one concerns diet and here it is important to eat and consume foods that are rich or abundant in fiber, this means that the normal diet must include a lot of raw fruits and raw vegetables, other fiber rich foods such as whole grains, bran, and dried beans. It is also very important to drink a lot of fluids, water ideally should be drunk in amounts that range from at least 7 to 8-glasses a day, natural and fruit juices can make up some of this amount but pure water is the best option. Physical exercise is another important component to the minimization of the risk of constipation, especially, regular physical exercise, it is also important to maintain proper bathroom hygiene and timings and to pass stool as soon as the urge comes on.
If children are having the dual case of constipation alternating with diarrhea during their illness, some homemade solutions like oatmeal cooked in flaxseed tea can be effective. As this is rich in fiber, it relieves the constipation felt and at the same time has a soothing effect of the irritated intestines. The tea can be made from flaxseeds if about 1 tsp of flaxseed is mixed in about a quart of spring water, this has to be simmered for about fifteen minutes until the tea is made, the resulting liquid is the flaxseed tea and this is what has to be used to cook and prepare the oatmeal. As an alternative to this you can also try other options, like adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flaxseed tea to about 4 ounces of juice and giving your child a daily dose. Under this treatment forty eight hours is the maximum time you will have to wait, as the symptoms of the constipation will have disappeared in that time. Chronic constipation and irritated intestinal walls can also be relieved and greatly soother by drinking licorice tea or tincture. Children can be put on a dosage regimen of this for a total of about 4 days, with a dose taken one or two times daily.
For your attention: children with high blood pressure cannot be given this herbal remedy. As an alternate aloe vera juice which is of liquid food grade quality can be quite effective against constipation in such children. The edible form of the aloe vera juice can be purchased. This juice can be given to the child once or twice a day in combination with fruit juice or applesauce to make it more palatable. Children's bowel movements can also be greatly eased using one to 10 drops of organic flaxseed oil, twice daily with the food.
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