How to Use Olive Oil for Constipation

How to Use Olive Oil for Constipation

You can buy various types of olive oil at most grocery stores. Extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the purest because it doesn’t go through a lot of heating and chemical processing.

Because olive oil isn’t a medicine, there isn’t a standardized recommendation for its use as a laxative.

In a study published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, researchers found that daily doses of olive oil were effective in improving most constipation symptoms in people undergoing hemodialysis for kidney disease. The doses started at 4 milliliters and increased as needed.

You can consider trying a spoonful mixed in with a glass of orange juice or a cup of warm milk. The oil can also be used as a salad dressing or as an ingredient in cooking. If constipation is a frequent problem, you may want to start drizzling it on salads, cooked vegetables, or eggs to increase its presence in your diet.

Read more: 6 natural constipation remedies »

Are There Any Side Effects?
Small doses of olive oil are well-tolerated by most people. Because it may have natural laxative properties, olive oil consumed in large amounts may contribute to diarrhea.

Olive oil packs a lot of calories into a small serving. One tablespoon, for example, has nearly 120 calories. If you’re carefully counting calories, remember to include olive oil in your tally.

If you have diabetes, you should talk with your doctor before using olive oil in this manner. Olive oil may lower your blood sugar levels.

Risk Factors to Consider
Adding a little more olive oil to your diet or trying a spoonful here and there to treat constipation isn’t likely to carry any risk, even if it doesn’t wholly address the problem of constipation.

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If you’ve consumed olive oil in the past without problems, adding more to your diet or taking it as a laxative should be fine. You should consult with your pediatrician before giving olive oil to your baby.

Read more: 5 safe remedies for constipation in pregnancy »

Outlook
If olive oil doesn’t help, consider taking an over-the-counter laxative. Many of these products work within a few hours, so you shouldn’t take these if you’re unable to access a bathroom readily.

If you’ve tried olive oil or other treatments and you’re still constipated a few days later, make an appointment with your doctor or a gastroenterologist. If you don’t have a bowel movement for a week, you should seek medical attention. You should also seek medical attention if your bowel movements are painful or produce little stool.

How to Prevent Future Constipation
Follow these tips to prevent constipation:

If you’ve started a new medication and constipation is one of the side effects, tell your doctor. An alternative medication or a lower dose may solve the problem.
You can also try adding more fruit and leafy, green vegetables to your regular diet.
Make sure you have at least eight glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration.
You can also limit the number of sugar-sweetened drinks you have because they’re high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Being obese or overweight can increase your risk of constipation.
Regular physical activity, even if it’s just a brisk walk every day, can also help improve your overall digestive health and help prevent constipation.

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