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How to relieve constipation

30th July 2020

Constipation can be something that many people suffer with from time to time and it can be unpleasant. It can cause stomach pains, bloating and a generally uncomfortable feeling so when you’re suffering, you’re bound to want to look for ways to relieve it.

Eat more fibre

Fibre is responsible for the movement of your bowels so if you’re struggling with constipation, then fibre can help.

There are different kinds of dietary fibre that generally fall into two categories: insoluble fibre and soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to your stool and can help them to pass more easily and quickly through your system. Meanwhile soluble fibre absorbs water to soften your stool and make it easier to pass.

Examples of insoluble fibre include wheat, whole grains and vegetables while soluble fibre is present in oats, nuts, seeds, legumes and peas. It’s a good idea to try and up your intake of both kinds to effectively relieve constipation.

Drink more water

One of the leading causes of constipation is dehydration, as a lack of water can force your stool to become dry and slow your system down.

Your first port of call when feeling constipated should be to drink more water, and actually sparkling water can be better than still water. Studies have found that sparkling water can be more effective for relieving constipation.

However, you shouldn’t reach for any other types of fizzy drinks. Fizzy, sugary drinks can actually make your constipation worse and are bad for your health in general. Also, if your constipation is caused by IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) then you may find that fizzy drinks disagree with you anyway and you may want to avoid them.

Take medication

Like most ailments (serious or non-serious), there are a range of medications available to help relieve constipation. Movicol sachets can help to regulate your bowel, while Dulcolax tablets can relieve discomfort.

Senna is a common ingredient in constipation remedies as it contains plant compounds which stimulate the nerves in the gut and help speed up bowel movements. It’s a popular treatment because it’s safe and suitable for most people.

However, it’s not recommended for pregnant women or those with inflammatory bowel disease, so it’s always worth checking before taking any medicines (even over the counter ones). You can buy effective constipation treatments from UK Meds.

Drink caffeine

Coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) stimulate the digestive system and can therefore increase your urge to go to the toilet. While this may make many people want to avoid too much caffeine (especially those with IBS), it can be helpful if you’re dealing with constipation.

One study found that caffeinated coffee can stimulate the digestive system in the same way that a meal might. The effect was 60% stronger than drinking water and 23% stronger than drinking decaffeinated coffee. So if you can, go with a caffeinated cuppa.