When you need a remedy for constipation, a good starting point is to check out some of the simple changes to your diet and lifestyle or other home remedies that help get things moving. If extra help is needed, medications – such as Coloxyl – may help you find relief.
Diet and lifestyle changes
Many people find that a healthy diet containing enough fluid and fibre, along with regular exercise helps them manage their constipation.
Making some simple changes to your diet or daily routine may bring relief and help prevent constipation.
For example, you could:
Change what you eat and drink
- Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your poo soft and easy to pass – but limit dehydrating drinks such as alcohol.
- Make sure your diet contains enough fibre (about 30g every day) – eating a diet rich in fibre can help keep bowel movements regular by softening and making poo easier to move. Some good sources of fibre include cereals, grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
- Cut down on the amount of processed or junk foods you eat.
Be as active as possible
- Regular physical exercise, such as a daily walk, helps stimulate the muscles in your gut and encourages regular bowel movements.
- Try to aim for about 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you have any health problems, talk to you doctor about what activities are best for you so you can be as active as possible.
Improve any bad toilet habits
- Go to the toilet when you need to – ‘holding on’ or ignoring the urge means more water is likely to be extracted from your poo, making it harder and more difficult to pass.
- Regularly ignoring the urge to go can lead to you becoming less sensitive to normal gut signals, making constipation even more of a problem.
- Try to keep to a regular time and don’t rush things – our guts are most active when we wake up in the morning or after a meal, which makes these the ideal times to go.
- Make it as easy as possible – when sitting on the toilet try to keep your feet flat on the floor but your knees above hip level (using a low stool may help).
What’s causing your constipation may not always be obvious and benefits from any changes you make may take time to appear. If the changes are not helping or you are concerned about your constipation – talk to your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare provider.
Home remedies for constipation
There are various home remedies that may help when you have constipation, including:
Adding some natural food laxatives into your diet
Many foods contain water, fibre and other ingredients which have natural laxative properties, making them useful remedies when it comes to dealing with constipation.
Fruits such as pears, plums, prunes, figs and kiwifruit, as well as bran cereals and flaxseed are great at helping you stay regular.
LEARN MORE about natural laxatives
Probiotics may help
When the natural gut flora is disturbed, the beneficial bacteria in probiotic foods may help restore the natural balance and help improve your digestion and bowel movements. You can find these helpful bacteria in cultured yoghurt and other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Magnesium supplements, such as magnesium citrate, can act as a laxative. They do this by helping to drawing water into the gut, which then softens your poo, making it easier to pass.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements to make sure they okay for you to use.
Senna leaves and fruits have long been used as a remedy for constipation. Their laxative effects help make your poo softer and stimulates the wall of your gut to help push things along.
Senna extract is used in combination with other laxative ingredients in commercial products – such as Coloxyl with Senna – to provide dual action constipation relief.
Quick constipation relief
Laxatives are a type of medication used to treat constipation. They come in lots of different forms, such as tablets, powders and syrups, and are usually taken when diet and lifestyle changes have not helped enough.
Although laxatives are readily available, they may not be suitable for everyone. The effectiveness of each type varies from person to person and it’s best to talk to your doctor about which kind may be best for you.
There are 4 basic types of laxatives:
- Bulking forming laxatives
- Osmotic laxatives
- Stool softeners and lubricants
- Bowel stimulants
It’s usually recommended to start with a bulk-forming laxative. If laxatives don’t work or you find yourself constantly needing to take them, talk to your doctor.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.