Constipation is a health condition that is characterized by irregular bowel movements. In this condition, the body waste is not eliminated properly from the body through regular waste elimination. It is a gastro intestinal problem that affects children and adults alike. In adults, elderly are affected more while in children the new born experience constipation more. It is often found that women suffer from constipation more than men.
Tips For curing Constipation
At times, constipation is a very painful condition resulting in loss of hunger and stomach bloating. The affected person will have the urge to pass stool but will be unable to do so. Sometimes constipation is accompanied by vomiting, stomach cramps, lethargy and haziness.
The definition for constipation varies from person to person. For some it might be incomplete waste elimination and for some no waste elimination at all. But if three days pass without waste elimination, it gains medical significance as the waste matter solidifies in the intestine.
The causes of constipation are many. Pregnancy, certain medications, inactive lifestyle, food that is devoid of fiber and inadequate fluid intake are some of the common causes. Colonic inertia and pelvic floor dysfunction will also cause constipation.
Foul Breath, white coating in the tongue, pimples on the face, dark circles under the eyes, nausea, loss of appetite are some on the symptoms. The conditions and the severity may vary from person to person.
The best way to find a solution for constipation is through dietary changes. Include more fiber in your diet in the forms of fruits and vegetables. Fruits like guavas, bananas, papaya, figs, gooseberries and grapes help in relieving constipation. Prunes and raisins that are soaked overnight can also be used to get relief.
Fiber binds the water in the intestine and retains the water so it is easy to pass stool and this cleanses the system. Foods that are rich in dietary fiber include whole wheat grain foods, oat bran, psyllium husk, honey, molasses, lentils and other green leafy vegetables. Fluid intake reduces constipation to a large extent. This aids the fiber in the food and helps intestinal movement.
Cut down on coffee and tea consumption. Try to drink water mixed with lemon juice at least twice or thrice a day. Licorice tea is known to bring constipation relief. Cut down on refined and processed foods like instant noodles, foods using white flour or Maida. Exercise is also found beneficial as they increase the bowel movement. Mild walking is found helpful to relieve constipation in pregnant women. Laxatives and other over the counter medications are often not advisable for them.
Constipation is usually treated by using laxatives, which come in different forms like tablets, tonics and powders. Laxatives fall in to 4 main categories ; Bulking agents or fiber supplements which retain the water in the stool and aids the elimination, lubricant laxatives with mineral oil that make stool slippery, stool softeners that soften the stool, and osmotic laxatives that draw water from the intestinal tissues and aid stool elimination. A combination of fiber rich diet and mild dose of laxatives will cure constipation.