Natural ways to keep things moving
When it comes to regulating the natural rhythms of your body
the fewer drugs you use, the better.
Several years ago, the FDA proposed a ban on phenolphthalein,
the active ingredient in many laxatives. Researchers said it was a
potential cancer risk for people who use it for long periods of time or
at higher than normal doses.
If you've relied on laxatives in the past, now is the time to try natural ways to keep your plumbing on a regular schedule.
Fill up on fiber.
Not getting enough fiber in your diet is the most
common cause of constipation. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and
legumes are good sources of fiber.
Drink plenty of water.
Drink six to eight cups of water every
day. Water helps soften your stools so you can pass them more easily.
Check out the latest buzz.
A small study confirmed the age-old
remedy of drinking a mixture of one to three tablespoons of honey
and water to get the bowels moving. But if you have irritable bowel
syndrome, it could make your symptoms worse.
Try a taste of the islands.
Studies have shown that bromelain, an
enzyme found in fresh, frozen, or canned pineapple, helps with regularity. Although most of the bromelain is in the pineapple's stem,
sonic nutritionists say eating just 4 ounces of pineapple a day will
help relieve constipation.
Mix in some psyllium.
Psyllium is a powder form of vegetable
fiber that is widely available in products such as Metamucil. This
helps gather your waste in hulk and eases the removal process.
Have some fun.
Exercising regularly can keep your bowels in
good working order. A mild workout often stimulates movement of
the bowels and puts an end to your discomfort.
Beware of side effects.
Common medications, such as sedatives,
aluminum or calcium antacids, diuretics, iron supplements, antidepressants, and cough syrup with codeine, can cause constipation. If
you think a drug you're taking is causing your constipation, talk with
your doctor. But don't stop taking it without his approval.