In our article When Is Constipation a Concern, we discussed how to watch for a time to visit the doctor.
Before we get to that point it would make sense to talk about what can be done for constipation in a much gentler, healthy, life-promoting way. Most people who have chronic constipation do not have enough fiber in the diet. Putting in or back into the diet is hard for many in a badly ruined taste bud sense and to the body that is not used to it. Easing your way into high fiber rich foods is something you may have to take slowly but do by all means take it seriously.
Finding bread that is 100% whole wheat is a good start. White winter wheat bread that is 100% is softer than many whole wheat breads. Adding carrots, celery, lettuce, peppers and other fibrous vegetables to your cold cuts, chicken and egg salad sandwiches or on the side of your sandwich will add fiber to the meal in many tasty ways. If they are not on the sandwich remember to eat them first or at least before a second helping.
Psyllium is probably the most used in fiber supplements. Psyllium is a plant with seeds and husk that act effectively and quickly to provide a mild laxative. Rather than force an action as laxatives are poorly designed to do, psyllium actually works through this by the provision of fiber. You can purchase psyllium at any health food store in capsules or in one of the fiber supplements we have come to love and share here at pain in the stomach.com.
Senna Leaf and Rhubarb leaf are natural laxatives and very efficient but should not be used for children or for a long period of time. They force an action that is only beneficial for a short period of time and will also cause dependency if taken regularly.
Alive Probiotics has 10 billion live organisms per capsule. Probiotics can be one of your best friends to have on the shelf after a life of poor eating habits causing constipation or diarrhea. Part of the reason for constipation in a large percentage of people is the lack of proper intestinal flora to break down food. Probiotics restore what has been robbed by anti-biotic perscriptions, public drinking water, and dairy products which are not organic. There are many other reasons for the loss of good flora, good bacteria in the GI tract but you can read more about that at AliveProbiotics.com
The important thing to understand is that you can eat healthier and add exercise to your regimen but in order to undo much of what has been done you will want to consider probiotics. One a day will do you.
Certain foods will help more than others. Cooking food kills enzymes and breaks down the fibrous walls which absorb fluid and draw food down the alimentary tract. Enzymes are also needed to extract vitamins and minerals from what we eat. Ideally, eating more raw fruits and vegetables and high fiber foods as we mentioned before are the key. Plant based enzymes are beneficial when you are starting on this journey to make sure to get the most nutrition out of what you eat. It is this nutrition that will revitalize your health while the fiber and probiotics reestablish the correct flow and process in the GI tract.
Some tips to avoiding the pain that comes from constipation would be to eat more fiber as we said before but what does that mean?
- It means eating more raw or very slightly cooked vegetables as part of your diet. The closer to the vine, the tree or the root your food is the healthier it is. Get away from the packaged and processed foods and into the produce aisle.
- It means drinking plenty of clear liquid; water and herbal teas or clear juices within reason.
- It means getting out and walking a little or a lot more or some other calorie burning exercise.
- It means eating fresh fruit that has not been cooked and canned/jarred and it means eating foods with unprocessed bran (avoiding white, bleached or enriched flour) and it eating whole grains. We explain more about how to incorporate more of these foods into your diet in other articles.
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