Natural Remedies for Constipation??

theskipSeptember 19, 2007

Does anyone know any natural remedies for constipation?

This is something I've dealt with all of my life. Over the years, my diet has slowly evolved into a very healthy diet. I eat ALOT of fruits and veggies, very little meat. I drink more than the recommended amount of water, or I drink tea. No junk food, processed foods, or fast foods. Except for a subway sandwich everyonce in awhile, but thats different.

It seems that everytime I try something new, like implementing more fruits into my diet, its like it works for awhile, but then slowly stops working. I've seen several doctors about this, and they all basically tell me is to "eat better, exercise more, and drink more water...oh, and here's a laxative to take every night."

I'm kinda feeling like I'm out of options. I've tried eating and drinking prunes, and it helps, but I really hate the taste. I already eat whole grain everything. Can anyone tell me their remedies for constipation?


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magnesium. If you drink milk, take calcium tablets, eat yogurt etc. you should take extra magnesium with it. It works for me and not much else has.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:26PM
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Coffee.They actually prescribe coffee enemas to people who are constipated.
I'm alot like you,and drinking coffee helps.

Actually,any hot liquid helps,even just hot water because it stimulates the intestines and gets things moving.

Also,have you tried that pro-biotic yogurt that's suppose to make you regular in two weeks? I have heard good things about it as well.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:23PM
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Try a glass of water nightly with plain 100% psyllium in it. You can buy it cheaply in the laxative section of Walmart. It is a natural fiber.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:21AM
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Sounds like IBS.
I have IBS with diarrhea, but alot of people have the constipation.
Magnesium definitely works for me. But lately, I've discovered something else that makes me have diarrhea, unfortunately, and that is fish oil tablets. Its healthy for you too. Why don't you give them a try?
I buy "Carlson's" fish oil tablets. They are supposed to have the highest quality stuff. You have to be careful, since not-so-great companies can give you fish oil with too many heavy metals. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:26PM
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Gosh, I never knew that about fish oil tablets. I have been taking them to help lower cholesterol, but have noticed IBS symptoms more frequently. Maybe I will stop taking them.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 10:35AM
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You have IBS-D woodnymph? I was bummed to realize as soon as I started them that I would get diarrhea.
I also take Calcium and magnesium for my diarrhea and it works great. But I'm easily upset by things like the fish oil, and recently I bought malic acid (supposed to be good for the pain of fibromyalgia), but I bought the stuff that's "maleated" with magnesium, and it gives me diarrhea too. So I need to find just plain malic acid.
Sometimes adjusting all these various diarrhea/constipating things around can let me take what I want without too much trouble. For example.......if I eat REALLY constipates me. So if I eat Activia, then I can take a fish oil or 2. Also, if I add ground flaxseed to my occasional morning smoothie I make, I can tolerate the fish oil more. but I always have to think "what do I need to adjust to avoid the diarrhea"?
Maybe this would work for you too. Adding either the Activia yogurt or the flaxseed might make you able to keep up with the fish oil! Hope I haven't confused you!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:53PM
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Catherine, no I don't have that yet, just extreme discomfort and cramps. I think it all began last winter when I had to take 2 courses of very strong antibiotics. I think my stomach is still messed up from that. I have tried the Activia yoghurt but honestly, it has not helped me all that much, nor has Beano. I am going to try to leave off the fish oil tablets for a few days and see it it helps. They are darned hard to swallow anyway. I already take Calcium and Magnesium for my bones and have not noticed any change. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:26AM
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Hi woodnymph,
You IBS started up after I had a horrible flu and pneumonia in l995. But in retrospect, I was on antibiotics for 2 months, and now I wonder if they damaged my GI tract. I really dread being on antibiotics now because I seem to lose more and more of my GI function. I think antibiotics are more injurious to our intestines than we know.
I've been tempted to have a stool test run by one of those places (Smokey Mountain labs??) to see if I didn't develop some sort of overgrowth back then, but haven't done it yet. I keep hearing that those places are sort of unreliable. And it seems like conventional docs don't believe in them. (But they don't always know everything, right?)
But it sounds like you might have developed your problems from the antibiotics, just like I did.
How much calcium are you on? What kind do you take?
For many years, before the diarrhea got too bad, most of my symptoms were just rumbling and feeling like I had a small animal living in my chest. I hate it. It seems to come and go and come and go, and I can't always know what sets it off.
Fortunately, the calcium has helped me alot. If I miss 1 or 2 doses, I get the diarrhea back. And it seems to happen at the most inopportune times!
I got one of those "Magic Bullet" small blenders. Its really great for slushie-type drinks. Several mornings a week I make one for breakfast. I usually put in rice milk or almond milk, part of a banana, blueberries, and a tablespoon or 2 of ground flax seed. I coudln't believe how much this drink slows me down (with my diarrhea). Maybe you could try it a few days and see what happens? Try to find organic flaxseed. I forgot to do that and wished I had gotten it.
I got mine at the grocery store where they have all those "Bob's" fresh ground flours, etc.
Another interesting thing with me......the doc finally talked me into having a colonoscopy last June. I had it and was relieved that all was normal in there.......but it made me feel awful for months afterwards. I think the clean out really messed up the balance of good bacteria in there. I was nauseous and dizzy for 2 months. Finally, after a couple months on probiotics, I began to feel better. I think some of us just live with marginal GI function.
There are several interesting books out there on the digestive "The second brain", and "Digestive Wellness". The second one has alot of good suggestions.
I use pepto bismol sometimes and it helps get me through the day sometimes. Good luck woodnymph!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 12:01PM
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catherine, thanks for all the info. especially for the warning re the colonoscopy. I have had to take low grade antibiotics for years due to having Rosacea. It is the only thing that works for me. So it is a trade off. I was able to counteract their effect with acididophilus tablets daily until last winter when I got the bronchitis so bad I was put on really strong antibiotics. I think this is what did it , for me.

I take an ordinary grocery store calcium and magnesium tablet that is, I think, only 1000 units.

I am going to stop the fish oil tablets and look for the flax seed oil. Guess I can get it at the health food store?

What is so amazing about this is that it seems so unpredictable. Apart from taking antibiotics, I have no idea what will set mine off. Although I notice that in hot weather it gets much worse. But then, that could be due to eating more salads, fresh fruits, etc.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:02AM
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Hi woodnymph,
I take Caltrate Plus 2 pills a day. It has about 600mg of calcium and some other minerals in each tab. I'm pretty happy with it. I take extra magnesium too.....if it doesn't give me diarrhea. I have lots of irregular heartbeats, which seems to be helped by both the calcium and magnesium. I'm like you.....I never know what's going to set it off. I think stress does for sure......even when the stress doesn't seem that bad.
I'm not very social. I've noticed that when I have to go to some function, I tend to get diarrhea beforehand. That's when the pepto comes in handy. Unfortunately.....that will stop me up for several days afterwards!
Yes, the health store most certainly will have organic flaxseed. But unless you want to eat the seeds whole (in salads, muffins, etc.), I suggest the ground seeds.
About the sure to take it in 2 divided doses. I've heard that the body can only absorb about 600mg at a time......but I guess if you're only taking it for diarrhea, you don't want it to get absorbed! (but it is good for your bones too).
That's a bummer about the rosacea and having to take the antibiotics. Is it just a matter of not wanting to have it on your face? Is there any way you could accept living with it, in order to not destroy your GI tract? Sometimes I get really worried that if I need antibiotics too many more times, I won't have any GI function left at all.
I will be interested in knowing how you respond to the flaxseed. I apologize in advance if it doesn't help you! Its supposed to be really good for your whole even if it doesn't slow down your diarrhea, its still doing good things for you!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 5:28PM
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catherine, thanks. Will go to the health food store. Need to clarify: I only have the cramps and bloating and gas. That is bad enough without all the rest. I agree, stress will always bring it on, even the good sort of stress. I did not know that about calcium. Maybe I should break my large pills in half and take them twice daily instead of once. Do you think your irregular heartbeats are caused by caffeine in either tea or coffee? (Mine were).

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 11:18AM
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Hi again,
Yes, my irregular heartbeats are definitely worsened by caffeine........more from coke than say Exedrine with caffeine. I wonder if my esophogus has an irritated vagus nerve in it. I have GERD that is behaving quite well recently (knock on wood).
Do you think you might have a lactose intolerance?
Yes, definitely break your calcium into 2 doses. I've noticed that I get nauseous a short while after the calcium. Do you get that?
I think missing a couple doses of my calcium gives me irregular heartbeats too. My doc said he's heard of that before. I wanted to ask him more about it, but we got side-tracked on something else.
Is your gas upper GI, or lower?
I can't believe how sensitive my heart is to caffeine......even just a little chocolate. Bummer. I hope it goes away eventually. I would love to be able to drink a caffeinated drink every day, just for energy. I have fibromyalgia with alot of fatigue.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 5:37PM
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Catherine, no, I don't think I have noticed any nausea after taking the calcium. It did occur to me recently that I might have lactose intolerance, as I seemed to have problems after eating cottage cheese daily, and even yoghurt. Then I recently read that wheat in products can upset some folks. I think mine is lower GI.

I read several places that the heart palpitations can be helped by drinking OJ and eating a banana a day. Mine went away practically by cutting out all No-Dose and cutting way back on caffeine. I can barely manage 2 large cups in the a.m.

Have you ever tried Yoga? I think it helps so many issues. I suspect it might help your fibromyalgia. I once thought I had that, as it runs in my family, but my strange aches suddenly got better a few years ago, when I increased my daily exercise. (I try to walk briskly for at least 45 minutes each day).

Re the fibromyalgia, years ago, I remember reading that there is a connection between this and an abnormal overgrowth of yeast in one's system. I think there is a book on this.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:48AM
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I've tried eating and drinking prunes, and it helps, but I really hate the taste.

If I were in your shoes and that's the only thing that worked, I'd try to learn to at least tolerate the taste of prunes. You might try the orange-flavored Sunsweet prunes. I'm not a fan of prunes either but I really liked these when I tried them. I don't eat them now because I don't need them..... a high-fiber diet works for me..... but if I did, I wouldn't hesitate to try them again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunsweet Orange Essense Prunes

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Conventional thinking on laxatives is that if you must take one, find one that's psyllium- or fiber-based. Psyllium is a natural fiber that's much gentler on the system than ingredients in many of the other products available today.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:30AM
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Dried apricots works for me. Just three or four daily.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:29PM
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A bowl of cheerios every night. It may take a few days for it to start working. I had surgery last year and had a problem afterward but as soon as I got back into my routine I was reg again.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 2:23PM
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