Chris and I both get this question from clients all the time "Help! I'm constipated, what do I do?". This is very common for many people and it can affect all aspects of their lives causing them extreme discomfort resulting in them not want to leave the house or participate in special life events.
Everyone is different so the number of bowel movements you have per day will vary, but a good rule of thumb is an average of 1-3 bowel movements a day for a healthy digestive system. When we poop, we are eliminating toxins, bacteria, mucus, and fiber so important that we are keeping our bowels moving properly so that toxins are not being reabsorbed back in through our colon. So although we don't want to be harboring these toxins in our colon, it's important that we don't run out and start popping over-the-counter laxatives. These can cause more damage than good and you can become dependent on them. Natural health is always the path to BEST health so below we will go over some ways you can get safe and natural constipation relief.
What causes constipation in the first place?
- Stress and constant busyness
- Poor diet
- Certain medications
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Eating too much fiber and not enough water
- Candida, IBS, or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Not exercising
- Magnesium deficiency
- Hormonal imbalance
- Food intolerances
- Resisting the urge to go during the day
Here are 11 Natural Ways to Get Constipation Relief Fast
- Warm lemon water. Lemon juice helps with waste elimination which will help get things moving right along. Use the juice of 1/2 or whole lemon in a glass of warm water first thing upon waking up in the morning to jump start your digestion. Read more about the many benefits of lemon water here.
- Keep hydrated. Water is needed to help food pass through the small and large intestine. 5 to 10 pounds of fecal matter can be stored in the colon because of dehydration caused by lack of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your current body weight in ounces of water each day.
- Coconut oil. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil by mouth will help to lube up your system and keep your things running smoothly. During the colder months, coconut oil may be in a solid form so you can warm it up for a few seconds and drink it or add it to a tea. I prefer to take it in solid form straight up but everyone is different.
- Exercise daily. Keeping your body moving every day is key to stimulating circulation creating a healthy digestive system. Getting in about 30 minutes or more of exercise a day will help improve your daily bowel movements and will make a huge difference in every aspect of your life! Check out these workouts to get you started.
- Herbal teas. Drinking teas such as a senna containing teas like "Smooth Move" or "Get Regular" blends or fennel and ginger tea to get things moving and improve digestion.
- Magnesium. Taking magnesium daily can really help to relieve constipation by pulling water into the stool. Many Americans are deficient due to lack of it in our soil and therefor the food we eat, poor nutrient absorption, and it leaving the body through sweat and stress. Start supplementing with magnesium citrate at night before bed to help constipation. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath at night with 1-2 cups of Epsom salt.
- Coconut water. Drinking this can help to hydrate you and balance your electrolyte levels. It can also have somewhat of a laxative effect so start slow and ease off when needed. To get the highest quality coconut water look for one that is organic and doesn't have added flavors or sugars.
- Probiotics. Our gut is full of good and bad bacteria that help to keep our immune system strong and digestion running smoothly. Many things we put in our body such as antibiotics, medications, alcohol and certain processed food can kill off both the good and the bad bacteria. Supplementing with a high quality probiotic supplement with at least 15 billion live organisms, probiotic-rich foods like kefir and sauerkraut can help keep your gut flora in check and digestion functioning better.
- Squatting instead of sitting. Since the beginning of time we squatted to go to the bathroom but that all changed when we started sitting on a toilet. For many people this can cause some blockage. Using a foot stool like a Squatty Potty to help put you in a more natural position can help to relax your colon to allow stool to flow freely and take off the pressure of straining which can cause hemorrhoids.
- Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth the minute you start to even think about food and then enzymes are produced as you start to chew your food. But most of us do not chew food properly as a result of rushing through our meals. Large chunks of food then go through the digestive tract without being broken down properly. It is important to really focus on the food you eat, try eating without distractions such as TV and phones (I know that seems impossible but you can do it!). Really concentrate on the look, feel and taste of your food. Chew until it becomes liquid in your mouth or aim for about 30 bites.
- Essential oils. Using high quality essential oils like lemon, tangerine, ginger, fennel, rosemary, wild orange, and peppermint as an abdominal rub mixed with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, or in a warm bath with Epsom salts can help to relieve constipation and leave you feeling amazing.
Do you have any natural remedies that have helped you with constipation? We would love to hear them in the comments below!
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