Ayurveda Self-Treatment

Constipation

    Last Updated by: Guruji Murugan Chillayah on 29 August 2017 (Fri) 01:00 AM (GMT+8)

Constipation Treatment

VIDEO - HOME REMEDIES

Constipation: • Constipation refers to trouble with passing stools • The condition occurs due to any disturbance in the digestive tract • Due to constipation, faecal material gets accumulated in the body. The toxins can lead to: o Arthritis o Rheumatism o Cataract o High blood pressure o Appendicitis Symptoms to look for: • Abdominal cramps • Excessive gas in stomach • Bloated sensation • Erratic bowel movements • Feeling of coating on the tongue • Bad taste in mouth • Bad breath Causes: • Lack of fibre in diet • Erratic meal timings • Excessive consumption of meat, tea or coffee • Inadequate water consumption • Inadequate mastication • Consuming alcohol • Stress • Anxiety • Depression

Natural home remedy using lemon and salt:

1. Take 1 glass lukewarm water
2. Squeeze ½ lemon in it
3. Add 1 tsp salt
4. Mix well
5. Drink every morning on an empty stomach

Natural home remedy using isabgol:

1. Take 1 glass warm water
2. Add 1 tbsp isabgol, an Áyurveédic herb
3. Mix well
4. Drink at bedtime

Natural home remedy using fennel seed powder:

1. Take 1 glass warm water
2. Add ½ tsp fennel seed powder
3. Mix well
4. Drink at bedtime

Tips: • Take a walk after dinner. It aids in proper digestion of food • Consume a couple of oranges before bedtime as it helps stimulate bowel movement

Constipation Home Remedies & Natural Treatment

Constipation 1

Referring to movements of bowel that are irregular and involves difficulty or hardness in passing, constipation is one of the indications pertaining to certain physiological conditions. The causes of constipation include obstruction in the digestive passage or 'hypo mobility' in the colonic transfer. While lower mobility in colonic transfer may be attributed diet, side effects of medication and other hormonal factors; constipation on account of obstruction is caused by the presence of mechanical resistance on the way to defection.

Home Remedies for Constipation through Natural Treatment

Constipation 2

Given below are some home remedies for constipation. Most of these constipation treatment tips given here are natural treatment methods are are found to be very effective in curing constipation.

■ With dietary causes being the most common factor with regard to constipation, a proper diet insisting on fiber intake can contribute to the hypo mobility in the colonic transfer. A healthy diet consisting of cereals, beans, peas and a substantial amount of green and leafy vegetable can help ease the troubles of constipation.

■ Regular intake of fruit juice or any other citrus fruits such as melon, oranges, sweet lime and even the non citrus one like cucumber help in clearing the bowel.

■ Sometimes the lack of water in the physiological system leads to constipation. So in order to cure the system sufficient amount of water intake is necessary so that the waste material may be flushed out of it.

■ At least twenty to thirty grams of fiber should be a part of regular diet in order to prevent constipation. Make sure to include salads and item based on sprouts in your daily diet.

■ Lack of physical activities also leads to constipation. Thus in case you are prone to a sedentary life style regular work outs and exercise are necessary to curb constipation.

■ Certain fruits such as pear, guava, orange, grapes and figs have distinctive benefits in aiding bowel movement.

■ It is also told that half a papaya eaten at breakfast acts as a suitable laxative.

■ As part of your early morning regime half a lime squeezed into a glass filled with warm water will work wonders for constipation.

■ Linseed swallowed with water before meals also serves to provide the required roughage in clearing constipation.

■ Drinking water stored in metallic container is known to influence the smooth passage of bowels.

■ Similarly regular intake of hot water at bedtime has been said to be similarly effective in cleaning bowels.

■ Rather than going for refined cereals whole grained ones and one with brans should be opted for as part of one's breakfast. Refined flour, non- brown bread, cakes and pastries should be strictly avoided because these aid constipation.

■ Food should be eaten with ease and irregular or meals taken in a hurry should be avoided.

■ Sometimes over dependence on purgative also leads to constipation in children. In pace of such chemical means natural means of cure should be resorted to. Banana helps to ease constipation. Fruit juices and banana can be included in their breakfast. Milk which aids excretory movements can also be included in ones diet.

■ Naturally extracted juice of half a cabbage is also useful for clearing bowels.

■ Molasses are also known to be similarly useful; but in order to avoid their strong flavor two spoons full may be added to milk.

■ Deseeded grapes boiled in milk serve to be doubly useful if taken at bedtime. While you may drink the cup or glass of milk, grapes may be chewed and consumed.

■ An amalgam of carrot and spinach juice works wonder for facilitating easy bowel movement. Besides their ease in preparation, regular intake of a glass filled with the same is nutritious as well.

■ Mango is another of your fruit options which facilitates easy movements of bowels. Similarly regular intake of more easily available guava is equally effective in adding to bowel movements.

■ An Indian herb by the name of 'triphala' is supposed to be equally helpful if two tablespoons of the said powder is added to be drunk with milk.

■ Similarly one teaspoons of dried peaches drunk with milk can also be similarly useful.

■ Combination of hot milk and honey taken either at bed time or early in the morning leads to easing of constipation.

■ Early dinner and moderate walk out followed by it also leads to similar benefits because walking helps to tone muscular functioning.

■ For a person chronically affected by constipation, homemade syrup prepared out of water and fennel seeds may prove to be handy. Regular intake of the resulting mixture will lead to the desired flush out.

Care should be taken to ascertain the underlying cause of constipation. Sometimes colitis, tumor, improper liver functioning and diabetes also contribute to constipation. Thus the underlying source should be given dire medical attention before taking recourse to natural means. Constipation on account of obstructive physiological conditions may not necessarily be cured by the natural mechanisms of herbs and diet.

    NOTE : The intention of this article is only for information. It is not a substitute to any other standard medical diagnosis. For proper treatment, always consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician.

Remedies

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Details

ICD-10 K59.0
ICD-9 564.0
DiseasesDB 3080
MedlinePlus 003125
eMedicine med/2833
MeSH D003248

Constipation (also known as costiveness or dyschezia) refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation. Severe constipation includes obstipation (failure to pass stools or gas) and fecal impaction, which can progress to bowel obstruction and become life-threatening.

Constipation is a symptom with many causes. These causes are of two types: obstructed defecation and colonic slow transit (or hypomobility). About 50% of patients evaluated for constipation at tertiary referral hospitals have obstructed defecation. This type of constipation has mechanical and functional causes. Causes of colonic slow transit constipation include diet, hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, side effects of medications, and rarely heavy metal toxicity. Because constipation is a symptom, not a disease, effective treatment of constipation may require first determining the cause. Treatments include changes in dietary habits, laxatives, enemas, biofeedback, and in particular situations surgery may be required.

Constipation is common; in the general population incidence of constipation varies from 2 to 30%.

Definition


Types 1 and 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart indicate constipation

The definition of constipation includes the following :

  • infrequent bowel movements (typically three times or fewer per week)
  • difficulty during defecation (straining during more than 25% of bowel movements or a subjective sensation of hard stools), or
  • the sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation

The Rome III criteria are widely used to diagnose chronic constipation, and are helpful in separating cases of chronic functional constipation from less-serious instances.

Children

Constipation in children usually occurs at three distinct points in time: after starting formula or processed foods (while an infant), during toilet training in toddlerhood, and soon after starting school (as in a kindergarten).

After birth, most infants pass 4-5 soft liquid bowel movements (BM) a day. Breast-fed infants usually tend to have more BM compared to formula-fed infants. Some breast-fed infants have a BM after each feed, whereas others have only one BM every 2–3 days. Infants who are breast-fed rarely develop constipation. By the age of two years, a child will usually have 1–2 bowel movements per day and by four years of age, a child will have one bowel movement per day.

Causes

The causes of constipation can be divided into congenital, primary, and secondary. The most common cause is primary and not life threatening. In the elderly, causes include: insufficient dietary fiber intake, inadequate fluid intake, decreased physical activity, side effects of medications, hypothyroidism, and obstruction by colorectal cancer.

Constipation with no known organic cause, i.e. no medical explanation, exhibits gender differences in prevalence: females are more often affected than males.

Primary

Primary or functional constipation is ongoing symptoms for greater than six months not due to any underlying cause such as medication side effects or an underlying medical condition. It is not associated with abdominal pain thus distinguishing it from irritable bowel syndrome. It is the most common cause of constipation.

Diet

Constipation can be caused or exacerbated by a low fiber diet, low liquid intake, or dieting.

Medication

Many medications have constipation as a side effect. Some include (but are not limited to); opioids (e.g. common pain killers), diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, antispasmodics, anticonvulsants, and aluminum antacids.

Metabolic and muscular

Metabolic and endocrine problems which may lead to constipation include: hypercalcemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease. Constipation is also common in individuals with muscular and myotonic dystrophy.

Structural and functional abnormalities

Constipation has a number of structural (mechanical, morphological, anatomical) causes, including: spinal cord lesions, Parkinsons, colon cancer, anal fissures, proctitis, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Constipation also has functional (neurological) causes, including anismus, descending perineum syndrome, and Hirschsprung's disease. In infants, Hirschsprung's disease is the most common medical disorder associated with constipation. Anismus occurs in a small minority of persons with chronic constipation or obstructed defecation.

Psychological

Voluntary withholding of the stool is a common cause of constipation. The choice to withhold can be due to factors such as fear of pain, fear of public restrooms, or laziness. When a child holds in the stool a combination of encouragement, fluids, fiber, and laxatives may be useful to overcome the problem.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is essentially made from the patient's description of the symptoms. Bowel movements that are difficult to pass, very firm, or made up of small hard pellets (like those excreted by rabbits) qualify as constipation, even if they occur every day. Other symptoms related to constipation can include bloating, distension, abdominal pain, headaches, a feeling of fatigue and nervous exhaustion, or a sense of incomplete emptying.

Inquiring about dietary habits will often reveal a low intake of dietary fiber, inadequate amounts of fluids, poor ambulation or immobility, or medications that are associated with constipation.

During physical examination, scybala (manually palpable lumps of stool) may be detected on palpation of the abdomen. Rectal examination gives an impression of the anal sphincter tone and whether the lower rectum contains any feces or not. Rectal examination also gives information on the consistency of the stool, presence of hemorrhoids, admixture of blood and whether any tumors, polyps or abnormalities are present. Physical examination may be done manually by the physician, or by using a colonoscope. X-rays of the abdomen, generally only performed if bowel obstruction is suspected, may reveal extensive impacted fecal matter in the colon, and confirm or rule out other causes of similar symptoms.

Chronic constipation (symptoms present at least three days per month for more than three months) associated with abdominal discomfort is often diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) when no obvious cause is found.

Colonic propagating pressure wave sequences (PSs) are responsible for discrete movements of the bowel contents and are vital for normal defecation. Deficiencies in PS frequency, amplitude and extent of propagation are all implicated in severe defecatory dysfunction (SDD). Mechanisms that can normalise these aberrant motor patterns may help rectify the problem. Recently the novel therapy of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) has been utilized for the treatment of severe constipation.

Criteria

The Rome II Criteria for constipation require at least two of the following symptoms for 12 weeks or more over the period of a year :

  • Straining with more than one-fourth of defecations
  • Hard stool with more than one-fourth of defecations
  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation with more than one-fourth of defecations
  • Sensation of anorectal obstruction with more than one-fourth of defecations
  • Manual maneuvers to facilitate more than one-fourth of defecations
  • Fewer than three bowel movements per week
  • Insufficient criteria for irritable bowel syndrome

Prevention

Constipation is usually easier to prevent than to treat. Following the relief of constipation, maintenance with adequate exercise, fluid intake, and high fiber diet is recommended. Children benefit from scheduled toilet breaks, once early in the morning and 30 minutes after meals.

Treatment

The main treatment of constipation involves the increased intake of water and fiber (either dietary or as supplements). The routine use of laxatives is discouraged, as having bowel movements may come to be dependent upon their use. Enemas can be used to provide a form of mechanical stimulation. However, enemas are generally useful only for stool in the rectum, not in the intestinal tract.

Laxatives

If laxatives are used, milk of magnesia is recommended as a first-line agent due to its low cost and safety. Stimulants should only be used if this is not effective. In cases of chronic constipation, polyethylene glycol appears superior to lactulose. prokinetics may be used to improve gastrointestinal motility. A number of new agents have shown positive outcomes in chronic constipation; these include prucalopride, and lubiprostone.

Physical intervention

Constipation that resists the above measures may require physical intervention such as manual disimpaction (the physical removal of impacted stool using the hands; see Fecal impaction). Regular exercise can help improve chronic constipation.

Pediatric

Lactulose and milk of magnesia have been compared with polyethylene glycol (PEG) in children. All had similar side effects, but PEG was more effective at treating constipation. Osmotic laxatives are recommended over stimulant laxatives.

Prognosis

Complications that can arise from constipation include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction. Straining to pass stool may lead to hemorrhoids. In later stages of constipation, the abdomen may become distended, hard and diffusely tender. Severe cases ("fecal impaction" or malignant constipation) may exhibit symptoms of bowel obstruction (vomiting, very tender abdomen) and encopresis, where soft stool from the small intestine bypasses the mass of impacted fecal matter in the colon.

Epidemiology

Constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the United States as per survey data. Depending on the definition employed, it occurs in 2% to 20% of the population. It is more common in women, the elderly and children. The reasons it occurs more frequently in the elderly is felt to be due to an increasing number of health problems as humans age and decreased physical activity.

  • 12% of the population worldwide reports having constipation.
  • Chronic constipation accounts for 3% of all visits annually to pediatric outpatient clinics.
  • Constipation-related healthcare costs total $6.9 billion in the US annually.
  • More than four million Americans have frequent constipation, accounting for 2.5 million physician visits a year.
  • Around $725 million is spent on laxative products each year in America.

References

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