Constipation is a recurring problem in almost everybody’s life. Though most of the people are embarrassed to admit it, as many as 14 million of people suffer from this constipation in UK only.
A change in a person’s usual routine of bowel motion is called as constipation. Moreover, it is marked by less frequency in motion and a problem in passing it. Therefore, as opposed to popular beliefs that constipation is the condition of not passing bowel motions at all, it can be rather defined as less frequency in passing bowel motion.
What Causes Constipation?
Speaking of bodily mechanism, constipation is caused by the slow passage of digesting food through intestine, particularly in the colon. When food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water from it and forms the waste products or stool. Stool is pushed towards the rectum through muscle contractions in the colon. By the time stool reaches rectum, it becomes solid as most of the water has been absorbed till then. However, when too much of water is absorbed by the colon than required, it results into constipation. Also when the muscle contractions in colon is slow or weak, constipation is caused as the stool moves through the colon very slowly. There are certain other internal as well as external causes of constipation.
1. Inadequate intake of water
2. Low fiber diet
3. Lack of physical activities or exercise
4. Having too much of dairy products
6. Resisting the urge of bowel movement frequently.
What are Constipation Symptoms?
Depending upon the severity and type of constipation, the symptoms of constipation might also differ from person to person.
1. Infrequent stools.
2. Hard stools
3. Straining or difficulty in passing stools
4. Sense of incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement.
Treatment of Constipation
The mainstay of treatment of constipation is a high-fiber diet. Bulking agents frequently are the next line of treatment. Enemas can be used to assist in entire stool evacuation. Avoid irritant or peristaltic stimulants (eg, senna).
Chronic use has been reported to make damage to the myenteric plexus, which may eventually impair bowel motility.
A number of newer agents have been urbanized and can be added to the armamentarium for treatment of this potentially debilitating disease such as prucalopride, a 5HT4 receptor agonist, and lubiprostone, a chloride channel activator.
Home Remedies for Constipation
1. Immerse 10 to 12 dry grapes without seeds in milk and heat the milk till it boils. Strain the milk. While you are drinking the milk, chew the grapes side by side. It is one of the useful remedy for treating constipation naturally.
2. An effective method would be to immerse 5-10 grams Spiegel seeds in 200 grams of warm milk. Add sugar to it and drink this before going to sleep. Another way of using Spiegel seeds would be to soak 2 tsp of them in water for about 6 hours. Add equal amount of sugar to the mixture. Before going to bed at night, have this mixture.
3. Keep water in a copper vessel overnight. Have this water first thing in the morning in an empty stomach. It is a useful remedy for constipation.
4. In ½ glass water, mix ¼ tsp of Epsom salt. Drink this combination to cure constipation.
5. A combination of orange juice and olive oil would also act beneficial to cure constipation. In ½ cup orange juice, add equal amount of olive oil. Drink this to get rid of constipation.
6. Mix equal quantities of carrot juice and spinach juice in a glass. Intake this combination at bedtime. It would cure constipation problem.
Diet for constipation
The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined foods such as wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, and milk products in the form of butter, clarified butter, and cream. The diet alone is not enough.
While you are advised to include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereals in your diet you should also be cautioned against the intake of certain foods. While it is not necessary to go on a restrictive diet it is important that you moderate your intake of low fiber and high fat foods like red meats, cheese, and other processed or refined foods. Likewise you need to keep yourself well hydrated with a good intake of water and fresh fruit juices, while steering clear of unhealthy artificial drinks and juices or alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
Food should be properly chewed. Hurried meals and meals at odd times should be avoided. Sugar and sugary foods should be strictly avoided. Foods which constipate are all products made of white flour, rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.