Ways & How

how to treat constipation

how to treat constipation

Constipation, also called costiveness or dyssynergic defecation, refers to infrequent bowel movements. According to medicinenet.com, constipation occurs because of the unhurried movement of stool in the colon. In effect, a person suffering from this illness experiences less than three stool movements in a week or even no stool at all in a week if the condition is more severe. Before any serious complications can arise, let us find out how to treat constipation. Constipation has a number of causes. Voluntary withholding of stool is regarded as the most common cause of this illness. Many choose to withhold due to fear of pain, laziness or fright in public restrooms. In general, the two main causes of constipation are hypomobility (colonic slow transit) and obstructed defecation. Nearly 50 percent of patients diagnosed for constipation have obstructed defecation. As for hypomobility, it may be due to poor diet, heavy metal toxicity, hormones, and medication side effects. When constipation sets in, here are the things you are supposed to observe.

  1. Switch to a healthy diet.

    First, drink three to four extra glasses of water daily (unless liquid is restricted). Drinking warm fluid in the morning is advisable. Second, eat fibrous foods, such as fresh fruits (preferably citrus), legumes, prunes, vegetables, oat bran and wheat. Water and fiber aid the colon in releasing stool.

    Drinks containing caffeine, such as soft drinks and coffee, have a dehydrating effect; therefore, they should be avoided in the meantime. Dairy products like milk must also be dismissed since they can only aggravate constipation.

  2. Take fiber supplements. For a number of individuals, ingesting more fruits and vegetables may not be convenient or may not give adequate relief. In this case, taking fiber supplements is useful. Supplements, such as psyllium seed (Metamucil or Konsyl), polycarbophil (Konsyl Fiber or Equilactin) and synthetic methyl cellulose like Citrucel are recommended.

  3. Use lubricant laxatives. These laxatives have mineral oil (emulsion or plain oil) that stays in the intestines. It coats the stool particles and, in effect, keeps the water component in the stool. When liquid is retained, the stool becomes softer. In general, mineral oil is used for short-term relief only. Long-term use is not really advisable as it can cause potential complications.

  4. Use emollient laxatives. They have docusate content, a known wetting agent that can enhance the potential of water to mix up with the stool. In effect, the stool is softened. Unlike lubricant laxatives, emollient laxatives are often utilized as long-term constipation treatment since it may take a number of days for docusate to take effect. If no positive effects are noticed after 14 days, the dose is increased.

  5. Use products containing combined laxatives. You can buy products that mixed up different laxatives. For example, Perdiem contains psyllium and senna, Senokot-S contains docusate and senna, while FletcherÂ’s Castoria has glycerin and senna. Sof-lax overnight contains glycerin, docusate and senna-like casanthranol. Using any of these products is more effective and convenient.

  6. Try alternative remedies. Colonic irrigation (colon hydrotherapy) is a known alternative procedure in treating constipation. This is usually administered by a trained therapist. For the process, an amount of warm liquid, passing through a small tube, is pumped into your intestines. The water cleans your colon by loosening fecal items and other debris. Another hose is then used in removing the waste material.

If left unattended, constipation can cause a number of complications, such as hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, fecal impaction and anal fissures. Serious cases of constipation may present symptoms like vomiting, encopresis and bowel obstruction. The abdomen may be affected by becoming hard, diffusely tender and distended. Constipation can be prevented. Just perform regular exercises, maintain fluid intake, and observe a diet high in fiber. But, once your bowel movements become irregular, refer immediately to some of the health tips above on how to treat constipation.


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