Constipation is unpleasant, but you don’t need to suffer. Try these remedies to get your digestive system back on track.

    • 1.  Go for a walk: If you ever had a dog in your life, you know that Fido invariably needs some walk before attending to its business.  This is because walking naturally stimulates peristaltic in all animals, including humans.  Sitting in the office chair does not.
    • 2. Put the pressure on: Some people report excellent results from gently massaging the tummy 2-3 times a day for 2-3 minutes.  Apply pressure slowly and easily following the flow in the colon, from lower right up, then across from right to left, and finally down on the left side.  If you notice any areas that feel painful and the pain persists, see your doctor without delay.
    • 3. Change the pose: Modern toilets are convenient, yet some reports suggest that the sitting position (rather than “more natural” squatting position) results in misalignment of the colon and thus prevents effective elimination.  A company appropriately called Squatty Potty even offers a special footstool to help elevate one’s feet while using a toilet.  Seems like a simple enough device to give it a try.  Of course, no two colons are identical: what helps some may or may not help you.
    • 4. Drink wisely: Staying well-hydrated is always good – 8 glasses a day being a common target.  Some drinks, however, a more effective than other.  Try a simple cup of hot water with lemon juice to help get things moving. Experiment with herbal drinks, such as dandelion tea, which is often reported to have a mildly laxative effect.  The jury is still out on the effect of coffee: it helps some people, but be careful before overindulging on java.
  • 5. Eat wrinkled fruit: Prunes, raisins, and figs are among the oldest home remedies for constipation.  They are high in fibre and contain beneficial chemicals, such as tartaric acid, which have laxative effects.

It goes without saying, however, that simple remedies are not always sufficient.  Constipation can be a sign of a much more serious condition, such as hypothyroidism, Irritable Bowels Syndrome (IBS), or depression.  Constipation is also a known side effect of many medications commonly prescribed, for instance, to treat allergies, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If your constipation is persistent, and particularly if you experience pain or observe blood, call your doctor without delay.

Fortunately, modern medicine has a wide spectrum of treatments for managing constipation and new medications are in the development pipeline of several pharma companies.

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