4. What are constipation remedies/treatment options?
There are so many ways to get long-lasting relief from constipation! Among those include laxatives, lifestyle changes, and (my obvious favorite) pelvic physical therapy!
Meh. In my opinion, laxatives are extremely overused and so overrated. Many people believe these are the only way to relieve constipation. However, you may not be aware of certain drawbacks to taking laxatives:
- Not all laxatives are safe to use daily!
- Decreased bowel function (lost muscle and nerve response) which leads to reliance on medication
- Electrolyte imbalances which can lead to more serious issues such as weakness, confusion, and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Interference with absorption of nutrients and certain medications
- Uncomfortable side effects
- Abdominal cramping/pain
- Even INCREASED CONSTIPATION
Now, I am not saying laxatives should never be used – they have a time and a place. They can provide immediate constipation relief in some cases. However, use them temporarily and not habitually. Focus on lifestyle changes to address the root cause of your constipation. This will help you have the most long-lasting relief from constipation.
These methods are often overlooked because they take more work and time; however, these will have the most lasting effects! In order to have the best results, incorporate these gradually over time.
- Eat a variety of whole foods, plant-based. Try for 30 different plants per week!
- Avoid processed foods and dairy products
- Drink plenty of water
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We alllll know that we should “eat more veggies.” This is true. You should eat more veggies. However, you should understand that not all fiber is created equally! There are actually different types. You may need more of of one and less of the other. Here are specific examples of common constipation complaints along with which fiber type you should increase:
“My poop is too big to come out and it hurts.”
- You need more soluble fibers.
“My poop is sticky and won’t come out.”
- You need more insoluble fibers.
I’m not going into more detail in this post. But if you are curious to learn more, read HERE. At least now you are aware there are different types!
Movement is medicine. Seriously, even stand or walk more often. Nothing crazy. Our bodies were meant to be vertical, not horizontal! Any extra movement you do will be beneficial.
Changes in Prescription Medications
Some prescription medications can make constipation worse. You may need to discuss constipation issues with your doctor so they are aware. This may warrant an adjustment to your medications.