The best way to prevent constipation and diarrhea is with permanent diet and lifestyle changes. But to get the most from your efforts, try these natural remedies that attack your symptoms and sometimes relieve more than one at the same time.
Alternating constipation and diarrhea can be one of the toughest conditions to handle. How can you try to relieve one when you know the other is probably coming soon? Believe it or not, three things can help you with both.
Try an apple a day. Whether your problem is visiting the bathroom too often or not often enough, apples can help. Just one apple with its skin contains 4 to 5 grams of fiber -the most important nutrient in keeping your bowels working regularly and smoothly. Get-ting back to normal without relying on harmful drugs could be as easy as replacing that afternoon snack of potato chips or cookies with a crisp, delicious apple.
Have some honey. Honey may ease constipation and clear up diarrhea associated with IBS – for those who can tolerate it. Against diarrhea caused by bacteria, for instance, research shows it could ease that bloated and cramped feeling. In fact, modem sci¬ence shows raw honey kills bacteria that even the most powerful antibiotics can’t handle.
But honey is also an age-old folk remedy for constipation. Mix one to two tablespoons of honey in a glass of water to get things moving again. If you can afford the calories (one tablespoon has 64), you may want to try three tablespoons of honey instead of one or two. Three tablespoons seems about twice as effective in bringing on a bowel movement. For some folks, three tablespoons could be better than fiber.
This cure works for many people because honey contains more fructose than glucose. Both of these are natural sugars. When foods are higher in fructose than glucose, you often aren’t able to absorb and digest the fructose very well. Your body has to get rid of the undigested sugar, so you have a bowel movement. Honey contains higher amounts of fructose in excess of glucose than any food except apples, pears, apple juice, or pear juice. So honey, apples, and pears can all be good natural laxatives.
Sip some psyllium. Although many people with bowel disorders have trouble absorbing the fructose found in honey and apples, they still have one more double-duty remedy to turn to – psyllium.
Psyllium comes from the husks of plant seeds and forms a gel in liquid. It is often recom-mended for IBS because the gel helps slow diarrhea but also fights constipation by keeping stools soft. It’s sold commercially as a powder you can mix into water, but you’ll also find it in breakfast cereals. Check your favorite to see if it has been fortified with this helpful fiber.