Constipation is a common problem that almost everyone has faced at least once in their lifetime. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, constipation affects 20% of the U.S population annually resulting in a total of almost 8 million visits to the doctor.
Constipation happens out of the blue and happens for multiple reasons – be it due to the lifestyle choices, food, and diet, or the type of medications taken, bowel movements may be affected. It is usually an uncomfortable experience, where you will have difficulties passing out stools and have infrequent visits to the toilet.
Needless to say, older adults who are physically less active and reliant on medications are more prone to contracting constipation. Find out how you can adopt some home remedies to relieve constipation!
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Adding more fiber into your diet has been said to increase the weight and consistency of bowel stools while softening them, making them easier to be passed out. Fibers also help to solidify watery stools due to the absorption of water, resulting in a healthier bowel movement.
Consume food that is high in soluble fiber such as fruits including bananas and prunes, as well as oats and beans. On the other hand, insoluble fiber speeds up the digestive process and prevents constipation, and examples include vegetables and whole grains. Consume a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber to have an overall healthy diet.
Studies have reported that a sedentary lifestyle leads to higher risks of constipation while exercising helps to regulate bowel movements. For a starter, try going for regular walks or light jogs to stimulate muscles in the intestines and colons.
Never underestimate the importance of regular exercises, especially for older adults! Make it a habit to routinize it and you will see results in due time. What’s better, going for a walk or run is absolutely free of charge!
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is one of the common causes of constipation, as the lack of water in the intestines results in hard and dry stools that cannot be easily passed out. The good old saying still remains: drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily so you don’t get constipation problems.
Try an Abdominal Massage
An abdominal massage is effective in relieving constipation by stimulating muscle contractions. As a home remedy, it can result in having higher frequencies of bowel movements and relieving discomfort in the body when done frequently.
You don’t have to engage in a professional doctor or massage therapist for help, simply check out any online video that guides you through the process of massaging your abdomen area from the comfort of your home!
Try Coffee or Ginger Tea
Drinking coffee increases your visits to the bathroom as the caffeine present helps to stimulate muscles in the gut!
Alternatively, ginger tea is another beverage that has been effective in stimulating digestion, offering relief for constipation. It generates heat in the body and has mild laxative effects which promote bowel movement and activity to speed up the process.
Take Supplements or Medication
Supplements rich in magnesium are great for seniors with bones that are less dense and works wonders on your digestive system. Studies by Healthline have reported that magnesium citrate relaxes your bowels while extracting water to your intestines, making stools softer and easier to pass. Other vitamins that help the digestive system include vitamin C, B1, and B5.
Do consult your doctor for advice and do not take them on a regular basis should you be unfamiliar with the medications or supplements you have at home.