The Mayo Clinic defines constipation as a digestive disorder in which a person has three or fewer bowel movements a week. There are many causes of chronic constipation, from poor diet to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. But there are several methods available that can alleviate or cure chronic constipation. The trick is finding the colon cleanser that is best for your individual situation.
Improve Diet and Lifestyle
The best colon cleansers come from your diet. The Mayo Clinic suggests eating a balanced diet with more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. These high-fiber foods can help prevent and alleviate constipation. A person needs 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, the Mayo Clinic reports in its article “Constipation.” The fiber aids the digestive system by creating bulky stools. This makes elimination easier and more frequent. A
lso drink lots of water. The Mayo Clinic writes that the amount of water a person needs each day “varies and depends on your age, sex, health, activity level and other factors.” But the American Dietetic Association suggests each person drink at least 64 ounces of fluids each day. Both these expert organizations say to cut down or eliminate caffeine. Caffeine causes dehydration, which increases the likelihood of constipation.
Exercising is also a good treatment for chronic constipation. The physical activity gets the intestinal muscles moving.
Use Over-the-Counter Remedies
To increase the amount of fiber in your diet, there are OTC fiber supplements such as Metamucil, FiberCon and Citrucel. These are options for people who can’t get the daily requirement of fiber from food. The Mayo Clinic also describes several types of laxatives that are useful for treating chronic constipation. Stool softeners “moisten the stools.” Stimulants cause muscle contractions in the colon. Osmotics helps fluids to flow through the colon. OTC drugs to consider are Correctol, Fleet, Colace, Miralax and Senokot. Drink lots of water with any laxative drug you choose and be certain to follow the instructions on the label.
Use Homeopathic Remedies
The Mayo Clinic defines homeopathy as “a holistic, nontoxic system of medicine.” There are many homeopathic drugs available as an alternative remedy for chronic constipation. Many of these drugs are “plant-based laxatives.” The Mayo Clinic suggests visiting a homeopathic doctor to get the right medicine for your individual needs. For example, a homeopathic doctor may prescribe sulfur for painful stools or bryonia for hard stools.