Discover everyday ways you can relieve the tension caused by constipation before resorting to over-the-counter treatments.
Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet by eating things like beans, bran and certain vegetables will keep you regular.26
Know your laxatives
Natural or bowel-stimulating? Oral or rectal? Knowing what type of laxatives there are and how they work to ease constipation will help you choose the relief that’s right for you.
Bulk forming laxatives26,31
Increasing the bulk of your stools, food supplements act in a similar way to fibre. They work by absorbing water. The bulk of your faeces stimulates the muscles in your gut to move the faeces along and out of the body.
These types of laxative help to stimulate your intestinal muscles into action. Typically, stimulant laxatives work by contracting the intestines, which moves the stool. However, they can cause side effects, including cramps and diarrhoea, and can take around six to twelve hours before leading to evacuation.
Working in the gut, these water-attracting laxatives act by drawing water from the intestine wall into the colon. This increases the volume of your stool and sets off the triggers that get your bowels moving. Depending on the active ingredient, they take between two to three days to be effective.