health

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Constipation? Here’s What You Need To Know

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

Constipation is something that everyone has experienced at least once in their lives, yet we all feel a little embarrassed when it comes to talking about it.

That bloated feeling in your stomach weighs your whole body down and makes you feel three times heavier than you actually are. Life doesn’t wait for your stomach to start functioning normally again, but fortunately there are plenty of easy lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help.

One of these is apple cider vinegar, that funky-smelling wonder elixir said to aid everything from colds to weight loss. As it turns out, it also contains properties that can help combat constipation — but only if ingested in the proper way.

Keep reading to learn all about apple cider vinegar for constipation — it may be the simple solution sitting in your pantry!

What Is Constipation?

On the toilet
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Constipation is a condition in which you are unable to move your bowels frequently, and feel continual, noticeable discomfort in your stomach. As Mayo Clinic explains, symptoms of constipation include:

  • Passing fewer than three stools a week
  • When you do pass them, they are hard and lumpy
  • Bowel movements are very strained
  • Feeling of the stool being stuck and not being able to push it out completely

What Are Common Causes Of Constipation?

Holding stomach in the bathroom
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As unpleasant as constipation is, it is a rather common occurrence that has affected everyone at some point in their lives. According to Healthline, the main causes of constipation are considered to be:

  • A low-fiber diet: Lots of meat and dairy, but not enough fruit and veggies.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water.
  • Lack of exercise: Little body movement can slow your metabolism down, causing constipation.
  • Delaying the trip to the toilet: The longer you hold it in, the more chances of constipation.
  • Certain medications: Some pain medications, as well as high-calcium antacids, can influence bowel movements in a negative way.
  • Pregnancy: Huge changes happen to the body during pregnancy, and constipation might be one of them.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar
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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the product of a natural fermentation process.

As BootsWebMD explains, bacteria and yeast break down the natural sugars of apples and turn them into alcohol. If the process stopped here, the result would be refreshing apple cider. However, the next fermentation stage is apple cider vinegar.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Constipation?

Does apple cider vinegar work
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According to Healthline, apple cider vinegar may be one of the best natural remedies to relieve this uncomfortable problem.

This is because it contains pectin, which is a water-soluble fiber that improves overall digestion. It also contains malic acid and acetic acid, both of which are very digestion-friendly.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Constipation

Looking at apple cider vinegar
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According to Aboutconstipation.org, there are two different types of fiber that we ingest: insoluble fiber found mainly in cereals and whole-grains, and soluble fiber found in vegetables and fruit. The insoluble fiber is what can cause constipation, especially if you already have underlying digestive issues. However, ACV’s natural acidity can help to break that down.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Constipation

Adding apple cider vinegar to drink
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According to Earthclinic.com, the safest way to begin relieving your constipation with ACV is by taking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water or juice, once or twice a day. Adding honey to the mixture can also improve its pungent taste.

After a couple of days, if you don’t notice any changes, increase the dosage to a maximum of three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water or juice, once or twice a day.

Keep in mind that ACV does not help everyone with their constipation problems, but it is still a good place to start. You should consider the rest of your diet, and introduce these foods that help with bowel movements. If after a week or so you see no improvements, you should seek advice from your doctor.

Apple Cider Vinegar Warnings

Taking laxatives
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As with anything we ingest, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. According to Livestrong, too much ACV can cause several unpleasant side effects.

Damage To The Tooth Enamel: Because of its natural acidity, ingesting apple cider vinegar in large, undiluted quantities can cause tooth enamel erosion. This can be prevented by using a straw and rinsing your mouth after.

Throat Burns: Elderly people and children should be more wary of this particular problem. People who know their bodies are more reactive should take precautions and only ingest ACV that has been diluted.

Skin Burns: These burns are a danger mainly to those with more sensitive skin. In such cases, interaction between apple cider vinegar and one’s skin should be avoided as much as possible.

Medication Interaction: Apple cider vinegar may interact poorly with certain medications (such as diabetes medication, digoxin, and some diuretic drugs). If you take any of these medications, it may be best to avoid taking apple cider vinegar altogether.

Another extremely important note: apple cider vinegar has been shown to react negatively with laxatives. If you have taken any over-the-counter laxatives, you should not ingest ACV.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Constipation?

Constipation after drinking apple cider vinegar
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As unlikely as it may be, there’s a chance that apple cider vinegar can actually cause constipation.

As WebMD explains, another one of ACV’s possible side effects is low potassium levels, which can manifest as:

  • Weakness
  • Excessive urination
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation

So, there is a slight chance that taking ACV as a natural remedy for constipation can actually make it worse.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea?

<u> Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cause Diarrhea? </u>
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According to Healthline, apple cider vinegar may also cause diarrhea. And although it may sound like heaven after you’ve been constipated for days, going to the toilet too much can be just as bad as struggling to go to the toilet, if not worse.

Getting diarrhea from apple cider vinegar can be caused by a few reasons:

  • Sugars found in ACV can stimulate peristalsis.
  • Undiluted ACV can pull water out of the body and into the bowel.
  • Alkalizing effects of the ACV can potentially kill the good bacteria in your intestines.

Any one of these reasons is an unhealthy side effect, and should not be sought purposefully.

How To Prevent Constipation

Preventing constipation with foods

Everyone can agree that the best way to solve a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and there are a few ways to do that.

According to the UK’s NHS, adjusting your diet and lifestyle practices can do wonders to your digestive tract.  You can start by:

  • Making sure you are always hydrated by drinking loads of water.
  • Eating lots of food that are high in fiber.
  • Exercising.
  • Never delaying the trip to the toilet.

With these tips in mind you can make sure that your body works just as it’s supposed to. If you found all of this advice useful, SHARE it with your family and friends!