Are there any natural remedies for constipation in seniors that actually work?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes, as there are several natural remedies including a very safe and inexpensive remedy; good old fashioned water.
The quickest and easiest for people of our age to fight this condition is to take laxatives, but in the long run they can and do become dangerous as well as ineffective.
In finding the best of the natural remedies for constipation in seniors, it helps to understand exactly what this condition is, and then what are the most common causes as we age.
Constipation is best described as both the lack of regular bowel movements, as well as this once simple task becoming a lot harder to do.
As we age, all of our body functions will begin to erode somewhat, and this process is no different. However, the adage that you need to go at least once a day is simply not true.
On this note, age has very little effect, as all of our bodies are different in some way, and regularity is certainly no different.
The normal length between bowel movements may be once a day, but in some people it may be twice a day, every 2 days, or in some cases, only twice a week.
However, it is the consensus of the medical community that going (3) three or more days without a movement qualifies as constipation in seniors.
There are several potential causes of constipation in seniors, and while this list is not all inclusive, it covers a lot of them,
As we all get older, there are going to be a lot more foods that may give us gas or just don’t set well with us like they used to, and our first reaction is to take an antacid of some type.
The vast majority of all antacids contain either calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide, as this is what makes them effective. However, they can and do lead to constipation.
The most common brands, Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, and Maalox all have these ingredients.
The next common cause of constipation in seniors is a change in your diet or a change in your level of activity.
Diet is perhaps the leading cause, but so is inactivity. Bowel movements are a process of expending waste in our bodies, and if you suddenly become a lot less active, so will these movements.
Eating disorders such as Bing eating and Bulimia can also be the reason, as well as not drinking enough water.
We need water to survive, and if you are not “flushing” your body with the right fluids, several things can happen, especially as we age.
Certain medications can also be one of the causes such as iron supplements, anti-depressants, as well as several different types of prescribed pain killers.
Constipation in seniors may also be triggered by an underlying medical condition that you may not be aware of, and cold be a real warning sign if it persists.
Drinking too much alcohol takes several nutrients form your body including water, and can also trigger it.
Overuse of laxatives is never a good idea as not only will you become dependent on them and require more to be effective, in some cases, your body will become immune to them.
If you abuse them, they can also deplete your body of potassium, sodium and magnesium, resulting in an electrolyte imbalance.
The good news is that there are several natural remedies for constipation in seniors and they include the following.
The first and best defense is good old fashioned water, a lot of it.
Water is critical to our bodies for several reasons and with the movement process, it is the “oil” so to speak, that helps stools move through our colon.
Our colons major task is to absorb water, and to hydrate properly, you should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
We had heard all of our lives the importance of fiber in our daily diet, and this is the major reason why.
Fiber helps the movement process in several ways and if you do become constipated, your body is telling you that you need both more water and more fiber.
Most experts suggest that you get at the minimum 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams a day for men.
Most people, including seniors, only get about 15 grams daily from their diet.
Next on the list of natural remedies for constipation in seniors are berries including strawberries, blackberries, as well as raspberries.
They not only taste good, they are rich with fiber (2-4 grams) and low in calories.
Beans are also good in this battle as they are also rich in fiber. 1/2 cup of navy beans contains 9.5 grams, and kidney beans contain 8.2 grams
Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, prunes and apricots are also full of fiber, but they also contain sorbitol.
Sorbitol is a slowing metabolizing sugar alcohol found in these fruits that has been used for centuries as a natural laxative.
If you do not like prunes or figs, raisins and apricots are your answer.
Popcorn is not only a good snack food; it is considered a whole grain. Whole grain breads help provide more sources of fiber, and are much better for us than white breads.
Eating one orange a day provides you another 4 grams of fiber and only contains 86 calories, and oatmeal contains 2 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber helps us as it provides bulk to our stools.
These natural remedies for constipation in seniors may help you become regular in your own way, without taking laxatives and the risks they carry.
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