Contrary to the old joke, plumbers are not the only ones that can turn shit into gold. Retail and pharmacy shelves full of laxative products are proof that when our ‘pipes’ are ‘clogged’ we will pay handsomely for fast relief.
Constipation is not normal and not pleasant. It is important to figure out the reasons for one’s constipation and try to address the root cause of the problem.
Good hydration habits, regular consumption of healthy oils, varied nutrition with good sources of soluble and non-soluble fiber, and regular physical activity are all baseline essentials for smooth operation and easy elimination.
Ideally, you should establish a regular pattern of elimination (i.e. every morning after breakfast or every evening before bathing). Routine helps train the body to eliminate on a regular basis.
Try some of these options until you find the right combination that works for you:
- Prunes. Keep prune juice/nectar in the house (store bought 100% prune juice or homemade prunes cooked in water and pulverized). Shake the bottle well, and drink a glass of prune juice daily. You can also pour prune juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. When needed, thaw a few prune-juice ice cubes in a cup, dilute with water if needed, and drink. Alternatively, just eat a few prunes daily followed by drinking plenty of warm water or tea.
- Raisins. Some people have found that eating raisins is more helpful than prune consumption.
- Orange Juice. Drink 100% pure orange juice every morning.
- Pears and pear juice. Drink, bake, or eat fresh.
- Beets, cooked and incorporated in baked goods.
- Beans. Eat 2-3 daily servings of beans and lentils.
- Vitamin C, when taken in mega dose under the supervision of a physician can act as a laxative and induce a BM.
- Magnesium citrate capsules can be used under the direction of a physician (Natural Calm is a brand often mentioned as helpful and gut friendly).
- Glycerin suppositories purchased at a pharmacy can provide temporary relief and can be used to help establish a regular bowel movement schedule.
- Abdomen massage and deep yoga breathing just before going to the bathroom.
- Aerobic activity like jumping in place or running just before trying to evacuate.
- Kneeling or squatting. Many people have found that placing a stool under their feet while sitting on the toilet is helpful.
- Epsom salt baths help relax the body and are considered detoxifying aids when stool is delayed from exiting the body.
- Low residue foods. While most people need extra dietary fiber to aid bowel movement, a few others may do better with low residue foods, such as peeled and deseeded vegetables and fruits. Whether you do better on a high or a low fiber diet, drinking plenty of water is essential.