What does constipation mean?
It means your bowel movements are less or they are tough and they happen less than normal. Almost everyone has faced it once atleast.
As I said earlier that though it is not a major issue but then you feel much better if your body is normal or back on track in terms of bowel movement. A feeling of freshness is associated with it and hence many people quote that when they go for stool that “I will get fresh and come.” They will never say I am going for poop they will always put it more formally that I will get fresh and come.
Medically speaking, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week.
What is the normal frequency then?
The normal frequency may vary from person to person. Some people have bowel movement three times a day and some may have it once in 2 days. Both are normal as long as it is not causing any difficulty to you.
Few bowel movements
Trouble having a bowel movement (straining to go)
Hard or small stools
Unsatisfactory stool which means you have a feeling that everything did not come out.
Swollen belly or belly pain
Psychological distress and/or obsession with having to go to the bathroom
Causes of constipation:
1.Changes in your usual diet or activities
2. Eating a lot of dairy products
3. Eating disorders
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
5. Not being active
6. Not drinking enough water
7. Less fibre in your diet
8. Overuse of laxatives
9. Pregnancy: As there are high levels of oestrogen and progesterone during pregnancy they cause constipation
10. Problems with the nerves and muscles in the digestive system
11. Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which some people do because of piles to avoid pain or bleeding.
12. Some medications (especially strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
13. Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminium.
16. Colon cancer
17. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis
18. Aging: As we get older, our metabolism slows down, resulting in less intestinal activity. The muscles in the digestive tract do not work as well as they used to.
Lets come to the most important section which everyone must be looking forward to:
Home remedies for constipation:
I always insist that for any condition the cause must be treated. Without treating the cause you are just palliating the symptoms. So with the help of above stated cause list if you have any of them, treat the cause first.
For example if you know if you are not drinking sufficient quantity of water and if you feel that is the cause of constipation, don’t try home remedies. Increase your water intake first. Observe for a few days that increase in intake of water has helped you or not. Then you are free to
try our home remedies.
1.Change in diet: You might be eating more greasy food than usual or may have started a new weight-loss program, any change in your diet could trigger the odd bout of constipation. There are certain foods that can also bring this on: high-fat or processed food, alcohol or even too much caffeine. We suggest a high on fibre diet for better roughage and hereby your constipation can be relieved.
2. Lack of exercise: It is a major cause of constipation as it slows down your digestion. So we recommend a 5 days a week schedule of exercise. It can be anything from walking to swimming whatever suits you. Any form of exercise helps you increase your metabolism which in turn aids to better digestion.
3.Green leafy vegetables: They are a rich source of fibre and are also magnesium rich. Both the factors help in relieving constipation. They are also rich in nutrients and have a high water content so they can be consumed daily as well.
4.Warm liquids: Liquids when consumed warm or at room temperature when taken as soon as you get up in the morning aid in digestion. They stimulate the digestive system and hence constipation is better by them.
5.Prunes and figs – These fruits are high in fibre and tend to have a laxative effect. Several a day can help relieve constipation, but in general be careful not to go overboard with dried fruit since it contains a decent amount of sugar given the small size.
6.Castor oil: It is a great laxative as it increases the movement of intestine and helps in cleaning them out.
7.Raisins: They are rich in fibre and have a wonderful laxative effect. You can use them by soaking 10 to 12 raisins overnight and taking them first thing in the morning.
8.Lemon juice: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Add a bit of salt to the solution. Drink this juice on an empty stomach to relieve constipation. It also acts as a good detox agent to your body. The salt helps in quick and easy passage of stool and overall lemon juice helps as a great cleaning agent for the intestines.
11. Flax seeds
13.Seed mixture: 2-3 sunflower seeds, a few flaxseeds, til or sesame seeds and almonds ground together to a fine powder can help relieve constipation.
14.Brown rice: These are great for constipation. Rich in fibre, brown rice draw large amounts of water, making the stool heavier and softer, allowing it to move quickly through the body.
15.Honey: Sugar in honey can stimulate bacteria in the intestines causing it to draw water which will aid in relieving the constipation. Have honey mixed with foods, salads, fruits or in warm milk.
16.Dates: Eating them with a glass of milk helps in relieving constipation effectively.
17.Yoghurt: There are a number of ways to go about helping your healthy gut bacteria flourish, but one simple method is to enjoy a cup of yogurt, which is filled with probiotics, with breakfast and during the day.
18.Mint or ginger tea: Mint and ginger are both proven home remedies to help alleviate digestive problems.
19.Aloe Vera juice is a popular home treatment for constipation. Dilute Aloe Vera juice in water and drink first thing in the morning and last thing at night for regular bowel movements. Some people may experience cramping or diarrhoea with aloe vera juice so proceed with caution.
20.Pears and pear juice if consumed at breakfast and dinner time can help relieve constipation symptoms. If the constipation is severe, a fruit only diet for a few days will go a long ways towards clearing up the condition.
21.Grapes contain organic acid and cellulose that makes them a natural laxative. Grape juice can help tone the internal muscles of the stomach and prevent chronic constipation.
22.Raw spinach helps cleanse the digestive tract and cures constipation. Drink raw spinach juice mixed with water twice a day for the most effective treatment.
23.Ripe banana: They are very high in soluble fibre, which in some cases can help to push waste through the bowels, so bananas can also be helpful in eliminating constipation issues.
These are just to name a few. Hereby 31 home remedies are listed to give you a conscise view:
Food to be avoided if you are constipated:
⦁ Products made of white flour
⦁ Cookies and biscuits
⦁ Dairy products like cheese, ice cream to name a few.
⦁ Fleshy foods
⦁ White sugar
⦁ Hard-boiled eggs
⦁ Frozen dinners
⦁ Unripen green bananas
⦁ Fried food
Suggestions for Constipation
The best way to treat constipation is to try and prevent it. To avoid constipation you must:
Include lots of fibre into your diet
Drink plenty of water daily but avoid too much caffeine and alcohol
Start a regular exercise routine
Do not delay a bowel movements if the urge occurs
Chew food slowly and well when eating
Do not eat on the go or at irregular times
Avoid foods that are high in fats and refined sugar
Avoid over processed and junk food
If you are pregnant and suffer from constipation stay away from laxatives and over-the-counter medications as these can cause premature contractions. Opt for natural remedies and dietary changes to prevent constipation instead.
YOGA and CONSTIPATION:
Yoga can help regularize bowel movements. Certain yoga poses and asanas stimulate the digestive tract and encourage bowel movements.
Top 7 Asanas In Yoga For Constipation Relief are:
Similarly Acupressure is also said to have a specific point for constipation.
So this was in short about constipation. Hope it was helpful to you.
Even homoeopathy has beautiful results in constipation. It has great results with chronic constipation. It helps in strenghtening your digestive system thereby helping in constipation.
Dr. Ankita Marjadi
ValsadMay 27, 2017