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Discover Home Remedies to Manage Constipation

According to SingHealth, about 80% of people are affected by constipation at some time during their lives, indicating that short periods of constipation are normal. However, experiencing constipation can significantly affect your daily life, potentially leading to discomfort and health issues if left unaddressed. 

As such, it’s crucial to promptly address this common digestive issue to mitigate the risk of further aggravating the issue. 

What is Constipation?

Medically, constipation is defined by fewer than three bowel movements per week, often accompanied by hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. This common digestive problem affects individuals of all ages and can vary in severity and duration.

What Causes Constipation?

When stools become hard and dry, it’s typically because the colon has absorbed an excessive amount of water. This is often the underlying cause of constipation, which can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Taking certain medications
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Insufficient fluid intake
  • A diet low in fibre
  • Suffering from irritable bowel syndrome
  • Delaying the urge to defecate
  • Shifts in routine or life stages, such as travelling, pregnancy, or ageing
  • Dysfunctional intestinal processes
  • Overuse of laxatives

Remedies That Help Manage Constipation at Home

Here are a few home remedies that may help in addressing your constipation:

1. Water for a Healthy Digestive System

Dehydration can stiffen the stool, making it hard for proper egestion to take place. This could eventually lead to constipation. 

To combat this, it is recommended that adults drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. This is because water isn’t just a thirst-quencher; it’s a vital component for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Therefore, when your body is adequately hydrated, your intestines tend to have an easier time moving stools, which is crucial for preventing constipation. 

Additionally, incorporating water-rich foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons into your diet can also boost your hydration levels, further promoting easier bowel movements.

2. Maintain a Fibre-Rich Diet

Switching to a fibre-rich diet can be beneficial for your digestive tract as fibre bulks up your stool and helps it pass more smoothly and quickly through your intestines. Given its ability to do so, adults should consider having an intake of 25 to 30 grams of fibre per day from sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

However, remember that increasing your fibre intake should be a gradual process. This should be done so as to allow your digestive system to adjust. In addition, it should be accompanied by increased water consumption to aid in fibre’s effectiveness.

3. Beverages that Help with Constipation

Besides water, various fluids can contribute to your hydration and help manage constipation. Herbal teas, for example, can soothe the digestive system and promote regularity. One such herbal tea that could help with digestive problems is peppermint tea. Studies show that peppermint can help relax intestinal muscles and help manage pain. 

Additionally, in moderation, caffeinated beverages like coffee and green tea can stimulate your colon and enhance bowel movements. However, it’s vital to consume these in balance with water to prevent the opposite effect, as too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, exacerbating constipation problems. 

4. Lifestyle Changes to Consider

The impact of lifestyle choices on constipation cannot be overstated. Here are some of the ways you can adopt in your daily life to prevent or manage your constipation:

  • Regular physical activity, even as simple as daily walking or stretching, can stimulate the muscles in your intestines, making it easier to have regular bowel movements. 
  • Paying attention to your body’s cues and not ignoring the urge to go to the bathroom is crucial.
  • Adopting a squatting position or using a footstool to mimic this posture can align your intestines in a way that facilitates easier passage of stool. 
  • Be mindful of medicines that may cause constipation, such as certain painkillers, antidepressants, and iron supplements. Discuss alternatives or counteractive measures with your healthcare provider so you can address this condition in a way that suits your condition.

What to Take Note Before Taking Constipation Medicine

If your constipation significantly affects your quality of life, it is worth considering taking medicine for constipation in Singapore. However, before starting any new medication, it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals. This step ensures that the constipation medicine you consider is right for your health needs. Additionally, during this consultation, you and your healthcare provider can discuss various methods on how to relieve constipation. They may be able to suggest alternatives that might better suit your condition, providing an appropriate approach to addressing your constipation.

For more wellness tips, check out our tips on how to combat flu symptoms and manage body pain.