Home Remedies for Constipation

Home Remedies for Constipation

You’ve probably experienced the symptoms of constipation before. For some people, abdominal discomfort, feeling “blocked up,” trouble passing stools, or an inability to go to the bathroom at all can become chronic. 

Constipation develops for many reasons, including not being hydrated, changes in your diet, age-related changes, and taking certain medications. The good news is that there are things you can do at home to help ease constipation. 

At Digestive Disease Care, with eight locations in New York, our gastroenterology providers understand the frustration and discomfort constipation brings. And for those with chronic constipation, we know how the condition can negatively affect your life. 

Understanding constipation

Bowel movements (BMs) result based on many factors, including the foods you eat, your level of physical activity, how much water you drink, your overall health, and more. When your normal BMs get interrupted to the point where you can’t pass stools as you usually do, we call it constipation. 

Some common symptoms associated with constipation include:

Having constipation for a few days can be frustrating. But occasional bouts of constipation aren't typically cause for medical intervention. Instead, consider some home remedies to ease your discomfort.

Home remedies for easing constipation 

Although constipation can be uncomfortable, the good news is that there are things you can do to ease the condition. Here are our top tips:

Eat more fiber

It’s not enough to take fiber supplements when you’re constipated. Instead, eat a high-fiber diet every day to help keep your BMs soft and moving. The best sources of fiber include vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds. 

To ease constipation, base meals around plant-based sources of foods and reduce your consumption of low-fiber foods, like meat, eggs, and especially dairy

Drink more water

Drinking more water is essential when you have constipation. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day—even when you’re not constipated, as this will help prevent the condition. And be sure to avoid beverages that contain dairy or alcohol, as this can make constipation worse.

Try drinking some coffee

Because coffee stimulates the muscles in your digestive system, having a cup or two if you’re feeling constipated can help you go to the bathroom. It also has fiber that helps improve the balance of the healthy bacteria in your gut. 

Move your body more

Exercising helps the foods you eat pass through your large intestine. If you’re constipated, try going for a walk to help move things along. Stress can make passing stools more difficult, so to prevent constipation from coming back, try to exercise every day to keep your stress levels down. 

Go to the bathroom regularly

If you’re feeling constipated frequently, try to encourage your body to get more regular by visiting the bathroom around the same time each day. Your colon is most active in the morning, so try going to the bathroom around the same time after you get up.

Use over-the-counter laxatives carefully

It can be tempting to take an over-the-counter laxative when you’re constipated. And occasional use is probably okay. But using them often causes nerve damage in your colon and interferes with the muscle contractions needed to empty your bowels. 

The result? Regular laxative use actually increases your risk of chronic constipation. And since they can be habit forming, you can start to feel like you need to use laxatives before you can move your bowels. Talk to a doctor if you use laxatives.

Signs it’s time to seek medical help for constipation

If you’re struggling with constipation every week, or if your bout with constipation doesn’t resolve on its own, it’s time to seek medical help. You should also make an appointment if, in addition to constipation, you experience blood in your stool, significant stomach pain, or unintended weight loss. 

At Digestive Disease Care, our providers treat constipation and get to the bottom of what’s making you irregular. We evaluate your medical history and relevant lifestyle habits to determine the underlying cause of your chronic constipation. 

Some issues that can trigger chronic constipation include but aren’t limited to:

Get help for occasional and chronic constipation by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at Digestive Disease Care in New York. 

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