nutrition

Feeling Blocked? The What Vitamins Help With Constipation?

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

4 min read

You don't have to suffer silently from the symptoms of constipation. Natural products and supplements can help ease your discomfort and move things along.

What Are the Best Vitamins and Supplements to Relieve Constipation?

Here is a list of the most commonly supplements you may have heard of that can relieve occasional constipation:

  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Fiber
  • Aloe vera
  • Senna

Each of these supplements can potentially create a more functional digestive tract and thus ease occasional constipation.

What Causes Constipation?

Several factors play a part in a person developing constipation. Some factors are more controllable than others.

Here are some common factors that can make you more susceptible to occasional constipation:

  • Age: being an older adult
  • Hydration: dehydration can cause constipation
  • Diet: a diet low in fiber can slow your stools
  • Lack of physical activity: getting little physical activity slows things down in your gut
  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Diet changes
  • Travel

While you cannot change your age, you can manage a few of these factors. Simply hydrating yourself, getting regular movement, or eating enough foods with fiber in them may be enough to help you now that you know the potential risk factors for developing constipation occasionally.

What Are the Signs of Constipation?

Tight pain in your lower abdomen could mean one of many things. However, there are some telltale signs that your discomfort may be from constipation. Here are the most common signs:

  • Hard or lumpy stools
  • Passing three or fewer stools in a week
  • Straining to pass bowel movements
  • Feeling like stools are incomplete

Each of these signs can point to constipation. If your constipation is relentless then it is always a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider to figure out any potential underlying issues.

The Top 7 Supplements To Get Things Moving

1. Probiotics

Probiotic-rich foods, as well as probiotic supplements, can increase stool frequency. They also can help reduce intestinal transit time in constipated adults. Foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, can also work well.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium oxide supplements help bring water to the intestine and help move the bowels. On the downside, too much magnesium oxide can result in a loose or softer stool than normal.

3. Vitamin C

While there are no studies on the use of vitamin C for constipation, this wonder vitamin can help with bowel movements in general.

4. Vitamin B-12

Studies have shown that a B12 deficiency can present itself as constipation. Individuals who eat a solely plant-based diet are at risk for a B12 deficiency. Additionally, if you have digestive problems already, you may have difficulty absorbing the B12 from your food.

5. Fiber supplement

General fiber therapy can help with a stubborn bowel. Fiber increases stool frequency. However, to work most effectively, you must hydrate adequately, and thus drink plenty of water, when you take fiber or eat foods high in fiber.

6. Castor oil

Studies have shown that castor oil applied topically can decrease straining during bowel movements and leads to a feeling of complete evacuation after a bowel movement. Overall, it may help with occasional constipation symptoms. The way this works may be by relaxing smooth muscles within the stomach area allowing for bowels to move easily.

7. Psyllium husk

Other studies have shown that psyllium improves water retention in stools. Essentially, this supplement forms a gel that assists in eliminating stool.

What Gives Immediate Constipation Relief?

If you're suffering from the pain of constipation from time to time, you're probably not looking for a supplement that takes a long time to work. Here are some additional options for immediate constipation relief:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Don't eat processed foods
  • Use a footstool to squat when you go to the bathroom
  • Try exercises like walking, yoga, or jogging
  • Try a massage on your stomach

Additional options include laxatives or stool softeners however those can form dependency if used too often. And some people may use enemas but that process can increase the risk of infection, damage to the colon, and disrupt flora and electrolytes.

Can Any Supplements Worsen Constipation?

Even if you're trying to be healthy, you can sometimes inadvertently cause constipation. Some supplements, such as iron, can contribute to constipation in some people from time to time. Not all forms of iron do this, though, so check out the warning labels on your supplement.

Other Natural Ways to Treat Occasional Constipation

You can prevent constipation even more by natural means than you can with supplements. Your daily routine and behavior affect your colon health.

Food For Constipation

The food you eat, along with the amount of water you consume, can make for a happy and healthy colon. Here are common foods that make for a healthy functioning colon:

  • Oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Fiber-rich fruits like bananas and apples
  • Fiber-rich vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Brown rice
  • Split peas
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts

Snack on these items and make them a regular part of your diet so you are less likely to deal with constipation.

Exercise For Constipation

As you begin to incorporate these foods into your diet, implement an exercise regimen as well. A daily walk or jog will do wonders for your colon. The more you move, the more your colon can move, and the less likely you are to develop constipation.

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, your behavior, such as seeking nutrition for better health or exercising daily, will determine your constipation symptoms. Avoid supplements and behaviors that will worsen constipation.

Are you looking for quality supplements? Check out our supplies today. We have an extensive inventory of supplements that can help you.

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