How quickly you can relieve your constipation does depend on many factors including your diet, any medication you are on, and also how long you have had constipation for. This is why it’s really important you start to listen to your body and work out what’s right (and wrong) for you.
Each one of us is individual and therefore the same remedy or solution to constipation will not work for everyone. Sometimes though you just need a ‘quick fix’ to relieve your constipation as it’s causing pain or perhaps you have a party or event to go to.
The good news is, there are some natural and quick solutions that may work for you and are much more holistic in their approach than popping a laxative (which tends to relieve the immediate symptoms but cause longer term problems if used regularly).
Here are five quick fixes that may help relieve your constipation.
1. Take a probiotic
Probiotics work by providing a healthy balance of good bacteria within your gut, which supports overall good digestive health, as well as supporting your immunity which has been discussed previously in ‘Can constipation weaken your immune system?’.
People who suffer with constipation tend to have lower levels of good bacteria, so topping up with a good probiotic such as OptiBac Probiotic Bifidobacteria & fibre’, will help restore the balance and help your gut to get moving by supporting your bowel movements. This particular strain is backed up by loads of research, and there's also more information on probiotics and constipation in ‘Benefits of probiotics & prebiotics’.
Working time: this varies but generally probiotics will start to work within a few hours. For more chronic constipation they may be best taken the night before to allow them to start working overnight.
2. Try a yoga pose
Yoga is all about calm and balance, both for your mind and your body, and there are specific moves that can help relieve your constipation. Yoga works by helping to relieve stress and any worry connected with your constipation, and it also helps to ease your symptoms by stimulating blood flow and energy to your digestive system and its many muscles, which in turn helps to encourage movement.
Because certain yoga moves stimulate specific areas of the digestive system, this allows a much more targeted approach for constipation relief. Take a look at ‘Can yoga relieve constipation? 4 simple poses’, to find the one that’s right for you.
Working time: Some people may find that yoga provides an immediate effect as it targets a specific area.
3. Have a glass of prune juice
Prunes are a natural cleanser and this juice recipe provides lots of soluble fibre needed for constipation and acts as a gentle laxative.
Recipe: Take 4 prunes, remove the stones, and then soak overnight in water. In the morning, liquefy the prunes with a little water, and juice together with 2 unpeeled pears and a medium unpeeled cooking apple. Stir well and drink.
Working time: if you have mild or acute constipation then you should feel an effect within a few hours, but for more chronic constipation sufferers I would drink it before bed and allow the juice to work it’s magic overnight.
4. Go for a walk or gentle jog
Movement is crucial for constipation sufferers, as it helps to keep the bowels moving and allows food to move more easily through your digestive system. You may find a brisk walk or even a gentle jog around the block will provide natural relief and quite quickly.
Working time: movement works almost instantly, so depending on how long you have been blocked up, for this can work within an hour.
5. Grab yourself a cup of tea!
There are certain herbs that can have a gentle laxative effect on your digestive system, namely dandelion, nettles and sorrel. These are usually found as individual teas (Clipper Tea does both a dandelion and a nettle tea) and drunk regularly throughout the day will help to keep you hydrated and also stimulate gentle movement. Aim for 3-4 cups a day.
Working time: Again, this will be down to the individual but should start to work after a few hours or cups.
Take a look at ‘Natural remedies for constipation’ for more natural ideas to help relieve your constipation.