Natural Stool Softeners
Along the way, this liquid waste is kneaded by the muscles surrounding your colon, and the colon absorbs water and nutrients for use by your body.
In a healthy digestive system this liquid matter gradually becomes harder and forms into solid stools.
These stools are stored in your descending colon and rectum, waiting for you to evacuate your bowels.
Constipation is a condition in which stools passing through the colon become too hard, and are therefore difficult to pass.
This can be caused by a range of reasons, but some of the most common reasons are that you eat a diet which is low in fiber.
Fiber helps prevent constipation by giving your stool some substance, so that it can pass through your colon more efficiently.
If this doesn't happen, your colon absorbs too much water and your stool becomes harder than it should.
Adding some fiber to your diet is the obvious first choice to treat constipation.
However if this isn't effective, there are some over the counter medications that can help.
We have all heard of laxatives, but these should not be used regularly as they can cause irritation to your bowel as well as become habit forming.
A stool softener is a slightly milder constipation medication that is often an effective treatment.
Stool softeners work by drawing water into your colon, and preventing some of the re-absorption.
The effect of this is that your stools are less hard, and therefore easier to pass.
However it is worth noting that stools that have already passed through your colon are less likely to be affected by this medication.