WHAT IS CONSTIPATION?
Constipation medically means less then three bowel movement per week but usually definition varies from person to person as some call passage of hard stool as constipation while other call infrequent, irregular passage of stool generally hard feces and require straining but stool may be soft also on consistency with just infrequency.
Normal bowel movements in an adult may vary from three per day to three movements per week. In children there may be 3 to 4 bowel movements per day and as they grow, bowel movements may decrease and children may typically have 2 to 3 bowel movements per day.
Constipation may cause further issues like hemorrhoids (due to continuous straining), fissures (due to hard stool) etc.
SYMPTOMS & CAUSES
- Symptoms of constipation include:
- Infrequent, irregular passage of stool.
- Usually hard stool.
- Bloating of abdomen causing discomfort.
- Abdominal pain.
- Uncomfortable discomforting feeling due to unclear bowel movement.
- When there is slow movement of feces in the colon.
- People who have irritable bowel syndrome may suffer from constipation but may have frequent bowel movement also.
- In case of celiac disease.
- Pelvic floor disorder can also cause constipation.
- Low intake of water and liquids.
- Low fibre intake.
- People who have less active lifestyle may also suffer from constipation.
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
Infrequent, irregular passage of stool usually accompanied by hard stool with bloating of abdomen would diagnose constipation.
Treatment for constipation include advising the patient to take diet rich in fibers with lots of fluid along with exercises.
Cases which are not better by dietary and lifestyle management need medication.
- Advice patient to talk ample fibers in diet which can help in bulk formation of stool and can cause frequent passage of formed but not hard stool.
- Advice patient to take plenty of fluid in form of water, juices etc so the the stool can get moisture and can pass easily and frequently.
- Ask the patient for regular physical exercise atleast 4-5 times per week.
- Cases which are not better by conservative treatment need medicines.
Many homeopathic medicines help in curing constipation despite of the cause along with dietary management. Medicines like- sulphur, sepia, aloes, bryonia, nux vomica, graphites, pulsatilla, psorinum and many more are very efficient in treating constipation depending on the symptoms of the patient.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Do regular exercise.
- Take fibre rich diet. Foods rich in high dietary fibers are: whole wheat, brown rice, oat meals, pears, carrots, bran.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Don’t be stressed.
- Do meditation.
- Eat papaya.
- Avoid spicy fried food.
- Avoid all purpose flour (maida).
- Cheese, banana cause constipation.