Constipation is a common health problem that affects many people. The good news is that it can be cured by making a number of changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Start by increasing your consumption of fruit and vegetables to at least five portions per day. Add more fiber-containing foods to your diet, too. Wholegrain cereals and bread, oatmeal porridge, bran, beans and raisins are all good choices.
Try to eat four to six light meals and snacks throughout the day rather than three heavy meals. This eating pattern will be much easier on your digestive system. Avoid eating heavy, three-or-more course meals, as these will overload your digestive system and make constipation more likely.
It is also important to drink sufficient fluids. Water is the best choice as it will flush toxins out of your system. Gradually increase your fluid intake until you are drinking between six and eight glasses per day. Try to avoid drinking coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks as they have a diuretic effect that will cause your body to get rid of essential fluids.
Changes to your lifestyle can help cure constipation. Constipation can be aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle, so take some exercise every day. Even a short walk in the fresh air will help. Stress can also worsen constipation, so make an effort to reduce the stress in your life and set aside time to relax.
Certain drugs can make you more susceptible to constipation, including calcium-based antacids, iron or calcium supplements, some antidepressants and sleeping drugs. If you suspect that your medication is a contributory factor, ask your doctor if you can try an alternative product.
Take laxatives only when it is absolutely necessary. If you take them too frequently, your body could become dependent on them, reducing your natural bowel function and worsening your constipation.
If you do become constipated, try drinking hot water with a dash of lemon juice or taking a chewable tablet containing 1,000 mg of vitamin C as soon as you get up in the morning, although the latter remedy is not recommended if you have an ulcer or other stomach complaint. Prune juice or aloe vera juice can also help to ease constipation but be careful not to drink too much as stomach pains may result.
If you take all of these measures, you should not only notice that your constipation improves significantly but that your general health is also enhanced, making you feel more energetic and benefiting the whole of your life.