How to Pick the Best Stool Softener
Are you looking for the best stool softener? The term is often used instead of “laxative” but there’s actually a difference. A laxative is a substance that’s used to help cause a bowel movement. How about a stool softener? It’s technically a kind of laxative known as an “emollient laxative.”
Stool Softener vs. Laxative
It’s important to keep in mind that there are actually several types of laxatives. That’s because there are also several causes of constipation so there are different ways that laxatives function in order to fix the constipation problems. For example, some work on the intestine, others on the stool, and still others on both the stool and intestine.
All laxatives function in one way or another to provide relief from constipation. This is an important issue to keep in mind. However, some laxatives can be a better option than others based on how strong the ingredients are and the length of time you need to use the laxatives.
An emollient laxative functions by softening the stool. One of the main benefits of such products is that they’re mild enough to prevent constipation when they’re used on a regular basis. On the other hand, they’re the least effective type of laxative for treating constipation. It’s the best option for people who have mild, chronic or short-term constipation.
Picking the Best Stool Softener
How can you find the best stool softener? Arguably one of the best options is to use natural remedies since it will help to prevent many side-effects. Here are some of the best options:
It’s important for stool to have enough water content. Make sure to drink 6-8 glasses a day and more if it’s hot/humid outside or you do workouts. Water is the only natural 0-calorie food in the world. It’s estimated that about two-thirds of the body are made of water and 90% of the brain. It’s also important for the process of digestion so it’s quite helpful if you’re having problems with constipation.
Soluble fiber helps to soak up food’s moisture and slow down digestion. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps to treat constipation faster. There are various sources of fiber and the main ones are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure that you keep the skins of fruits and veggies since that’s where you can get tons of fiber. It’s also advisable to eat some raw veggies because it will also help to retain the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
3. Mineral Oil
This can promote a patient’s bowel movement by coating their stool/bowel in a film. That keeps moisture in the stool. You should also consider using cooking oils like olive, canola, and soy oil as it will also help to improve your digestion and treat constipation effectively. These are healthy fats that can provide many health benefits including improved digestion.
4. Epson Salt/Water
This not only helps store muscles but also loosens up stools. The salt can be effective in treating short-term constipation. This is a better option than stimulant laxatives because it’s effective and can usually work within 30 minutes to 6 hours. Besides the option of mixing the salt with water, you can also use it externally.
This helps to stimulate digestion since when you move the stool moves through the stomach. It’s important to do some light exercise if you want to treat constipation effectively. You don’t have to do a full workout but instead some light cardio like walking, bicycling, or step-climbing would be effective in helping to boost your body’s processing of food.
Probiotic foods are “good” bacteria and include yogurt and other fermented foods. It’s better to pick plain yogurt then add some fresh fruit since many of the commercial products include a load of sugar with the fruits added. The good bacteria can help to improve your digestion. You’ll also be adding the benefits of milk products to your diet including calcium and Vitamin D.
This might be surprising since many people aren’t familiar with them. These seeds are high in fiber and can help to add extra bulk to your stool as it moves through your two intestines. One issue to consider is that flaxseeds don’t have much flavor. That’s actually a good thing because you can add them to several kinds of foods to make them tastier and healthier. It’s important to drink enough water when you consume the seeds to make sure that they move effectively through your digestive system.
8. Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are an excellent option if you want to treat constipation with a natural stool softener. Another plus is that they’re high in magnesium so you can get an extra dose of the mineral while improving your digestion. Magnesium can help to move the stool better through your digestive system. This is particularly true since magnesium can relax the muscles naturally. That, in turn, can help to stop stomach cramping.
9. Coconut Water
This might be a surprising one. Studies show that coconut water is an excellent alternative to plain water when you have digestive problems. That’s because it also helps to maintain good electrolyte levels. Like water, it can clean your urinary tract and help prevent dehydration. Coconut water is also high in potassium, which is an important mineral when you want to improve your digestive problems like constipation.
Picking the Right Stool Softener
Whether you pick OTC or food-based stool softeners there are various factors to consider in order to pick the right one. Here are some of the most important issues:
Some foods, in particular, have tastes that you might like or dislike. So it’s important to select a food-based stool softener that you can handle in terms of the taste.
Food will generally be cheaper than OTC supplements so if you want to save money this is an excellent option. However, keep in mind that in both cases you’ll be investing in your health so it’s arguably worth the money you spend to rid yourself of constipation.
Some products or foods might work better for you than others.