Scottsdale Acupuncture


Home Remedies For Constipation – Part 1

Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2015 by

constipation, home remedy, health

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we treat a variety of gastro-intestinal disorders, the most common being constipation. Almost everyone has experienced constipation, so we wanted to take the time to share some home remedies that can treat this condition.

**Please note that if you’ve been suffering with this ailment for a prolonged period of time, it is important to seek the help of a medical professional.**

What is constipation?

Constipation is a health condition that is defined by having fewer than three bowel movements a week. A person who is constipated will have bowel movements with stools that are hard, dry, and small, making them painful or difficult to pass. [Link]

It is important to note that some people think they are constipated if they don’t have one bowel movement every day. This is not always the case, as some people have different bowel movement patterns. There are some people that can have up to three bowel movements a day while others may only have three a week.

What are some common causes of constipation?

Some of the more common causes of constipation are; poor diet, inadequate fluid intake, medications (antacids, antidepressants, pain killers, iron tablets and diuretics), excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, abuse of laxatives, pregnancy, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), anxiety/stress/depression, old age and intestinal obstruction.

A person’s constitution and their genetics play a large role in how they will experience constipation, as some people will have a propensity for being constipated regardless of how healthy or active they are. It is important that the people who fall into this category take preventative measures to avoid exacerbating this condition.

How common is constipation?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems affecting about 42 million people in the United States. [Link] That means 1 out of every 7 to 8 people will be constipated at some point during the year.

What are some home remedies for constipation?

With so many people experiencing constipation on a regular or semi-regular basis, pharmaceutical companies have taken note, and provided numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications to provide immediate relief. While these medications might be effective, they may contain chemicals that can have adverse side effects on the body. Instead of relying on medications, there are a variety of home remedies that can be used to alleviate constipation that are natural, holistic and don’t have any side effects.

What is the water method?

One of the most common home remedies we share with our patients experiencing constipation is the water method. It has proven to be the easiest, most effective and natural way to alleviate the symptoms for people who have been constipated for any amount of time.

The water method is simple; all you need to do is keep 12 to 14 ounces of water next to your bed at night. As soon as your wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, sit up and drink the entire glass/bottle of water. It’s important that the water is room temperature, so leaving it bedside is crucial. Follow this regimen for at least 3 weeks so that you will be able to get the maximum effect as it could take some time to get the bowels moving. [Link]

This method has been used by a number of patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture with great success. It is usually the first home remedy recommended. Whether the constipation is acute or chronic, the water method has proven to be able to treat constipation (when used consistently).

Can eating more fiber treat constipation?

An age-old remedy for constipation is to increase the amount of fiber in a person’s diet. Fiber is material that cannot be digested by the body, and it acts like a sponge. As fiber passes through the digestive system it will draw water from its surroundings, making it swell, which will soften stool and add bulk. This process will then help to pass the bowel movement. [Link]

While you can purchase fiber supplements from the pharmacy or grocery store, we suggest focusing on consuming foods that are rich in fiber. Here is a short list of some natural food products that are high in fiber: raspberries, pears, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, barley, oatmeal, brown rice, split peas, lentils, baked beans, almonds, artichokes, green peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and sweet corn.

In part 2 of this blog series we will provide more home remedies that can treat constipation. We hope you find this information useful and effective.