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Best Supplements for Constipation

Best Supplements for Constipation
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Struggling with constipation can be a frustrating and often uncomfortable experience. While diet and lifestyle changes are foundational to improving bowel health, they’re not always enough.

This is where supplements can play a crucial role. In this article, we’ll explore a selection of supplements that have been shown to effectively combat constipation. From fiber supplements that bulk up stools to probiotics that balance gut microbiota, we will guide you through various options to help you find relief and improve your digestive health.

What Are the Signs of Constipation?

Recognizing the signs of constipation is crucial to managing discomfort and preventing long-term health issues. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but they typically include:

  • Infrequent Bowel Movements:Having fewer than three bowel movements a week is a common indicator.
  • Difficulty During Bowel Movements:You may experience strain or pain during the process.
  • Hard or Lumpy Stools:The stools may be difficult to pass and feel dry or hard.
  • Feeling of Incomplete Evacuation: After a bowel movement, there you may get the sense that not all stool has passed.
  • Bloating or Abdominal Pain:There may be bloating or abdominal pain as a result of stool buildup.

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation is a common digestive issue that many experience at least once in their lifetime. It’s typically characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stool, or a sensation of incomplete evacuation. Several factors contribute to the development of constipation, including:

  • Insufficient Fiber Intake:A lack of fiber-rich foods (such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) in one’s diet can lead to constipation.
  • Inadequate Hydration:Not drinking enough water can make stool hard and difficult to pass.
  • Lack of Physical Activity: Leading a sedentary lifestyle can slow down digestive processes.
  • Medications:Some medications, including painkillers, antidepressants, and iron supplements, can cause constipation as a side effect.
  • Ignoring the Urge to Go: Habitually ignoring the body’s signals for bowel movements can lead to constipation.
  • Stress and Lifestyle Changes:High levels of stress and significant changes in routine or lifestyle can disrupt regular bowel movements.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies:It’s also possible to suffer from a vitamin deficiency that causes constipation. For instance, an insufficiency in Vitamin D has been linked to constipation because it plays a crucial role in the functioning of the digestive tract. Similarly, Vitamin B-12 is vital for nerve health, and a deficiency can affect the body’s ability to regulate bowel movements.

What Are the Best Supplements for Constipation?

Best Fiber Supplements for Constipation

When considering the best fiber supplements for constipation, it’s important to understand the difference between soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that aids in digestion, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and accelerates its passage through the digestive system.

Here are some of the top fiber supplements for constipation:

  • Psyllium Husk: Often regarded as the gold standard, psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that absorbs water, thereby making stools softer and easier to pass.
  • Inulin: A prebiotic soluble fiber, inulin not only helps with constipation, but also supports gut health by stimulating beneficial bacterial growth.
  • Wheat Dextrin: Sourced from wheat starch, wheat dextrin is a soluble fiber that can promote regular bowel movements by adding bulk to the stool.
  • Methylcellulose: Made from the cell walls of plants, this is a non-fermentable fiber that increases stool bulk and facilitates its movement through the digestive tract.
  • Polycarbophil: Acting similarly to both soluble and insoluble fibers, polycarbophil absorbs water to form a bulky, gel-like substance that engenders easier stool passage.

Best Magnesium Supplements for Constipation

When it comes to alleviating constipation, magnesium supplements have gained popularity for their effectiveness. Magnesium works by drawing water into the intestines, which softens the stool and makes it easier to pass. Below are some of the best magnesium supplements for constipation:

  • Magnesium Citrate: Highly absorbable by the body, magnesium citrate is often recommended for those dealing with constipation. It acts quickly and is available in both pill and liquid form.
  • Magnesium Oxide: Known for its potent laxative effect, magnesium oxide can relieve constipation efficiently. However, it’s important to start with a low dose to gauge your body’s tolerance.
  • Magnesium Glycinate: While primarily used for its calming and nerve-supporting properties, magnesium glycinate can also be beneficial for constipation. It’s gentle on the stomach, making it a good option for individuals with sensitive digestive systems.
  • Magnesium Sulfate: Also known as Epsom salt, when dissolved in water, this supplement can be taken orally to relieve constipation. However, it should be used sparingly, as it can lead to dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes if overused.

Best Probiotic Supplements for Constipation

Probiotic supplements contain live bacteria that can help balance the gut’s microbiota, thereby promoting regular bowel movements and improving digestive health. For individuals struggling with constipation, using probiotic supplements may provide relief. Below are some of the best probiotic supplements for constipation:

  • Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic: Renowned for containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, this supplement has been proven to improve gut health and bowel movement regularity.
  • Align Probiotic Supplement: Boasting a patented strain of Bifidobacterium, Align has been lauded for its ability to support digestive health and alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including constipation.
  • Phillips’ Colon Health: With a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, Phillips’ offers a daily supplement that helps support overall digestive health and prevent constipation.
  • Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women: Specifically designed for women, this formula includes a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains to support digestive and immune health while simultaneously targeting constipation.
  • Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care: A high-potency formula with 50 billion live cultures from multiple probiotic strains, this product is designed to re-establish digestive balance and support immune health, thereby relieving constipation.
Best Daily Supplement for Constipation

What Is the Best Daily Supplement for Constipation?

When considering the best daily supplement for constipation, fiber supplements often come to the forefront due to their efficacy and safety. Among these, psyllium husk stands out.

Psyllium is a type of soluble fiber whose water-absorbing properties allow it to soften stools and increase stool frequency for those struggling with constipation. That said, it’s important to introduce fiber supplements to your regimen gradually and stay properly hydrated to prevent gas and bloating.

Can Any Supplements Worsen Constipation?

While supplements are generally taken to improve health and well-being, it’s important to note that certain types can exacerbate constipation. Iron and calcium supplements, in particular, can cause constipation. This is because these minerals can alter the balance of fluids in the gut and slow down the movement of waste through the intestines.

Additionally, some forms of fiber supplements, if not taken with sufficient water, may also lead to or worsen constipation. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a history of digestive issues.

What Is the Most Powerful Natural Laxative?

One of the most powerful natural laxatives is the humble prune. Prunes, or dried plums, are rich in dietary fiber and sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect. The fiber helps bulk up the stool, making it easier to pass, while the sorbitol helps soften it by drawing water into the colon.

This combination makes prunes highly effective for relieving constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. Beyond their laxative qualities, prunes are also packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to anyone’s diet.


In summary, managing constipation often requires a combination of dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, supplements. From fiber-rich psyllium husk to magnesium supplements and probiotics, several products can alleviate symptoms and promote regular bowel movements. However, it’s essential to remember that individual responses to supplements can vary.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve your health, the Sanctuary Wellness Institute has you covered. Connect with one of our online health and wellness coaches today to discover how you can elevate your well-being through simple lifestyle changes, all from the comfort of your own home.

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