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8 Ways to Get Constipation Moving

Constipation can be painful and embarrassing. It can also damage your microbiome health by affecting its absorption and triggering leaky gut syndrome. This article suggests some gentle and natural remedies to help get things moving without having to reach for medication. Before you try the following suggestions, it can be helpful to spend a week or so taking a food/poop journal. Write down what you eat throughout each day and in a separate column, note any bowel movements and how you got on. Try to identify any links between how or when you are eating, and your constipation. Also monitor how much water you are drinking. Dehydration can be a cause of constipation, so note down your water intake and make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres per day.

If you have still not got to the cause of your constipation, try one of these remedies at a time until you find something that helps:

  1. Magnesium citrate powder dissolved in water. Start with 1/3 the recommended maximum dose on the label and gradually increase over the course of 3 days, if needed. Magnesium relaxes the smooth muscle in the colon and draws in water that can help improve motility and make your bowels move.

  2. Vitamin C powder. Only use high dose vitamin C for occasional bouts of constipation as it can actually cause diarrhoea if overused. For the same reason, make sure you aren't far from a toilet when doing this. Stir 1,000-5,000mg of vitamin C powder into a glass of warm water and repeat every hour until your bowels vacate. If it does not or if constipation continues, please talk with your doctor.

  3. Ginger. Make ginger tea using fresh, grated ginger and hot water. Aim to drink three cups a day to improve motility in the bowel. If you find ginger tea, you could try a ginger capsule before meals. These are available from most health food shops.

  4. Smooth Move tea. Occasional use of this herbal stimulant laxative can help alleviate the symptoms of constipation but if you have an underlying condition that is causing your constipation it may quickly return.

  5. Digestive Enzymes. Most health food shops will be able to recommend a good digestive enzyme. Take one capsule on an empty stomach, 15 - 20 minutes before one of your main meals.

  6. Probiotics. A limited dose of probiotics can really help to get things moving, while also helping to repopulate your gut flora.

  7. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Try 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon in a little warm water about 10 minutes before a meal or 15 minutes after a meal. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a small pinch of cayenne pepper.

  8. Enteric Coated Peppermint Oil Capsules. 1-2 capsules between meals may help to relieve IBS symptoms. Look for 200mg per capsule maximum.

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