If you’re struggling with constipation, it can feel like you need relief, FAST. And while lots of places on the internet will rattle off “10 home remedies for getting rid of constipation now,” the best bet to address it is to get to the root cause. That includes getting a workup from a knowledgeable doctor, which might include SIBO breath testing, a thyroid panel, or stool testing.
But, if you’re looking for supplemental ways to support healthy digestion and reduce constipation, we can help. Let’s break down some doctor-approved ways to holistically treat constipation, once you’ve begun to understand the root cause.
RELATED: Common causes of constipation.
Supplements that can help remedy constipation
These supplements can be a test to see if you can relieve your constipation without precisely figuring out the root cause—but we recommend getting input from your doctor, regardless of if these work or not. A few things you could try as at-home constipation treatments:
- Probiotics or fermented foods daily: These can help re-establish a microbiome and hopefully help bad bacteria turn over.
- Digestive enzymes: These help with food digestion and stomach acid production, which can impact constipation
- Magnesium glycinate: A common supplemental recommendation that can relax muscles associated with the intestines and allow things to pass. It is also an osmotic laxative, so it can soften your stool and allow it be easier to pass. As with any laxative, it’s important to run this by your doctor before giving it a try.
RELATED: Why ‘inflammation’ isn’t a bad word.
If you’re looking for routines to support healthy digestion, these daily lifestyle additions can help.
Increase fiber: Try adding a minimum about 25gm per day of mixed insoluble and soluble fibers. If you have other health factors, this number would be changed and individualized, so check with your doctor on what’s best for you.
Increase water: Yes, we’re saying drink more water—a minimum of 100oz per day, and more if you drink coffee or exercise.
Biofeedback/bowel training: When you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, go. Don’t let that urge pass. By listening to your body’s messages and getting into the rhythm, your body can feel more in a routine, which can help constipation over time.
RELATED: How fiber builds your gut health and microbiome.
Adjunctive remedies for constipation
If you’ve gotten to your root cause AND you’ve employed the above tactics, you still might need supportive care to help your support your bowel. These two manual therapies can help.
There are certain things like previous surgeries or traumas that can cause adhesions of the bowels to any other location in the abdomen. Chiropractic care can perform adjustments to the organs (called visceral manipulation) that can break up these adhesions and cause the poo to physically move better in the abdomen.
If there has been any degeneration of the spine or herniation of the discs that can cause disruption of the signaling to the bowels, causing constipation. By engaging regular chiropractic care, you can help the nerve signaling in your bowels and reduce constipation.
Pelvic Floor PT
We often think of pelvic floor pt for women before or after birth, or if someone is having bladder leakage issues, but pelvic floor PT can actually be a powerful tool for women or men experiencing constipation. The muscles in your lower abdomen can be too tight, not allowing for regular elimination. Working with a pelvic health specialist, you can retrain those muscles to relax, allowing proper elimination.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.