The bloat, the general discomfort, the abdominal pain, and the upset stomach all make being “backed up” extremely unpleasant. Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon problem. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH), constipation affects as many as 16 out of every 100 adults in the United States.
While it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice to ward off serious side effects of constipation or to check for an underlying health condition, it’s likely that simple measures can be taken to find relief. If not, seek medical attention right away.
Check out these six ways to find some sweet relief from constipation.
1. Consider prescription medications
You should always discuss any prescription medications with your doctor. Especially considering issues with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and IBS-C can cause laxative dependency which can result in improper bowel function over time. However, there is no need to suffer unnecessarily.
Amitiza (or the generic version, Lubiprostone) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic constipation, constipation caused by opioid medication, and IBS-C (constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome). Amitiza (Lubiprostone) is generally taken twice daily in an 8-mcg pill.
Once you get an Amitiza prescription, get an Amitiza coupon by clicking on the specific coupon for the pharmacy you plan on picking your Amitiza (Lubiprostone) up from. With USA Rx you can get your free Amitiza coupon and check out any possible serious side effects of Lubiprostone (Amitiza) to watch out for on their website. Considering not all insurance plans have the best medication coverage, any prescription savings is going to be beneficial.
Note: if you have some tightness in your chest after your first dose of Amitiza in an 8-mcg pill, don’t panic. This side effect generally stops within three hours.
2. Take a good look at your diet
If you’re hesitant to try prescription drugs right away, consider the possibility that your issue could be due to an improper diet. According to the NIH, people who eat “little to no fiber” are more likely to become constipated.
The Mayo Clinic, suggests adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (such as whole-wheat bread, cereal, pasta, and brown rice) to your diet to get more fiber. Generally, they recommend consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat. However, if you’re not used to a high fiber diet, you should work up to this amount as fiber has a tendency to cause bloat and gas that can lead to further abdominal pain when you’re not used to it.
3. Increase your water intake
According to the NIH, drinking plenty of water and naturally sweetened fruit juices helps fiber work its way through your intestines. This change often makes stools softer and easier to pass.
Although water is known for its many health benefits (like helping weight management and relieving constipation just to name a couple), the CDC found that between 2005 and 2010 adults in the United States only drank 49 ounces on average during their days. With this number being significantly lower than most recommendations, it’s no wonder constipation is such a common ailment in the United States.
4. Consider if you’re moving enough (pun intended)
Another way to get your colon moving more effectively is to get moving your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting regular physical activity increases “muscle activity in your intestines”. This can increase the frequency of your bowel movements and help with abdominal pain and gas. The Mayo Clinic generally defines constipation as “having fewer than three bowel movements a week.”
5. Make time for it.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that merely taking your time in the bathroom and not ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can be helpful in increasing the frequency and alleviating symptoms of constipation. Other sources suggest setting aside a specific time of the day to try to use the restroom to train your body. For example, 15-20 minutes after the second cup of coffee in the morning works for a lot of people.
6. Consider stress
The Cleveland Clinic lists stress as a common “lifestyle” cause of constipation. If you think that stress could potentially be a cause of your chronic idiopathic constipation, consider seeking medical advice regarding the best ways to reduce stress in your life to see if that helps the problem.