Constipation is a very common problem. It is a known fact that the elderly have five times more chances of getting constipation than younger people. There are different factors that can lead to constipation in the elderly, such as poor bowel habits, poor diet, lack of adequate fluids in your diet, the use of certain drugs to treat other medical conditions, and a lack of exercise. Also, constipation can be caused by psychological factors because adults are often concerned about their bowel movements. Older people have a lack of interest in eating, so they eat a diet that is low in fiber. Loss of teeth can lead to constipation in the elderly because they choose to eat soft and processed foods which are low in fiber. The lack of movement and lack of exercise can lead to constipation. Also, in some cases, drugs that are prescribed to treat several medical conditions can lead to constipation. Many older adults fear that they will have constipation, and this, in some cases, can lead these people to depend on laxatives. These laxatives are making habits, so the natural mechanisms fail to work without the help of drugs. If you are an older person and you have constipation, then you need to talk with your doctor if the mentioned home remedies are suitable for you.
13 Natural cures for constipation in elderly
This is a fermented milk beverage that originates in the Caucasus mountains in West Africa. Kefir is a Turkish word it means “pleasant taste”. It is a probiotic, which means that it has bacteria and yeasts which can benefit your health when it is indigested. Kefir has many different species of microorganisms depending on the source. There was a four-week study in which 17 participants drank 17 ounces of kefir per day after their morning and evening meals. At the end of this study, participants used fewer laxatives, and they experienced improvements in stool frequency and consistency. You can consume plain kefir, or you can add it to smoothies and salad dressings. Also, you can mix it with cereals and topped with oat bran, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and fruits to add some fiber.
This is the fiber-rich outer casing of the oat grain. Oat bran has more fiber than consuming quick oats. In 1/3 cup of oat bran, there are 4.8 grams of fiber. One study done in the UK was shown that eating two oat bran biscuits a day can improve the frequency and consistency of bowel movements and reduce pain in participants who were between 60 – 80 ages. Another study done in Austria found that 7 – 8 grams of oat bran on a daily basis has reduced the usage of laxatives. You can easily combine oat bran with granola mixes and bake it into muffins or bread.
It is thought that prune and its juice can be used as an effective home remedy for constipation. Prunes have fiber and natural laxative sorbitol which is a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect. There are some studies which are shown that prunes can be more effective than fiber. If you have constipation, then prunes are the best choice for you. It is thought that about seven medium-sized prunes, two times per day, is an effective home remedy for constipation. If you have IBS, then you should avoid using prunes.
This is a popular home remedy for constipation. It is a type of osmotic laxative which you can buy in drugstores. You should take moderate amounts of magnesium supplements because it will give you relief from constipation. In some cases, higher doses are used to prep and clean out the bowel before surgery or other medical procedures. You need to talk with your doctor about how much magnesium you should consume.
Apples are rich in fiber, and in one – medium-sized apple, there are 4.4 grams of fiber, which is 17% of the daily recommended intake amount. There are some studies in which are noticed that apple fiber can increase stool frequency and weight, despite being given morphine, which is causing constipation. Apples are an easy way to boost your fiber content and alleviate constipation. You can eat apples whole, juiced, or in salads.
It is known that citrus fruits like mandarins, oranges, and grapefruits are refreshing snacks and a good source of fiber. These fruits are also rich in the soluble fiber pectin, especially in the peel. Pectin can accelerate the colonic transit time, and it can reduce constipation. Also, they have a flavonol called naringenin which can lead to positive effects of citrus fruits on constipation. There are some animal studies which are shown that naringenin can increase the fluid secretion in the colon, which causes a laxative effect. You should eat citrus fruits in fresh form, and you should get the maximum amount of fiber and Vitamin C from them. Mandarins and oranges can be eaten at any time and in raw form. If you cannot eat grapefruit in raw form, then you can add it to fruit salad.
This fruit is a great way to boost your fiber intake and promote healthy bowel habits. In one medium-sized fig, there are about 1.6 grams of fiber. In a half cup of dried figs, there are 7.3 grams of fiber which is almost 30% of your daily required amounts. Figs have an enzyme called fiacin, which has a positive effect on bowel function, alongside its high fiber content. Figs go well with both sweet and savory dishes. You can eat them raw or cook them.
The dietary fiber can increase stool consistency and add bulk, and both of them can improve bowel movement frequency. Fiber can help you to treat constipation because it has positive effects on digestive health. Prebiotic foods can help to improve digestive health by feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut. This can help to improve the balance of your gut bacteria. Some foods which are rich in prebiotics are bananas, onions, and garlic.
This is an herbal laxative that is commonly used to relieve constipation. You can take it orally or rectally. It has many plant compounds, called glycosides, which can stimulate nerves in your gut and they can speed up bowel movements. Usually, it is considered safe for adults to use Senna for a short period of time, but if you have noticed that your symptoms are not getting better in a period of few days, then do not wait more and visit your doctor about your condition. Usually, Senna is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and people who have certain health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
It is noticed that for some people, coffee can increase the urge to go to the bathroom. This is due to the stimulating properties of coffee. It stimulates muscles in the digestive system. There are some studies which are said that caffeinated coffee can stimulate your gut in the same way that a meal can. It is known that this effect is 23% stronger than drinking decaffeinated coffee and 60% stronger than drinking water. Also, coffee has small amounts of soluble fibers, which can help to prevent constipation by improving the balance of your gut bacteria.
There are different results given from studies about how exercise can effect constipation. There are some studies which are shown that exercise does not affect the frequency of bowel movements. In another study in which participated, people with IBS was found that exercising can significantly reduce the symptoms. If you have constipation, then you should try going for regular walks, and you will notice positive results.
Pears are rich in fiber, and in one medium-sized pear, there are about 5.5 grams of fiber. This is 22% of your recommended daily intake amount. You can eat pears raw or cooked. You can add them to your baked dishes, make juice of them or add them to fruit salads. Also, pears have fructose and sorbitol, which can help you to rid of constipation.
Drink more water
When you are dehydrated on a regular basis, then it can make you become constipated. It is very important to stay hydrated, so you should drink enough water. You can drink carbonated water because it will help you to rehydrate and to do things normally. There are some studies which are shown that carbonated water can be more effective than tap water at relieving the symptoms of constipation. You should not drink sugary soda because it can make your condition worse.