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Constipation is Also a Serious Health Issue

Constipation is a certain physical condition when the feces become very hard, making the excretion very tough for the concerned patient. Sometimes, the ingested food moves too slowly within the colon or large intestine of the digestive tract. During this final stage of digestion, most the water from that digested food may be absorbed by the cells lining the colon walls. Thus, the resultant feces are likely to become dry and much harder than the normal situation.

Causes primarily responsible for constipation

  • An absence of fibers in food – When the foods included in the regular meals lack a sufficient quantity of fibers, there is a much higher risk of constipation. Fibers are instrumental in making the ingested foods move faster through the colon, preventing constipation to a great extent.
  • Lack of sufficient water – When the daily liquid intake is very less than required amounts, the feces become too hard in the colon and causes constipation. The habit of excess intake of caffeine and soda result in dehydration, which also makes the feces more solid. Milk and dairy products may cause bowel irritation in some people, resulting in hardening of feces.
  • Physically inactive body – When the body becomes more physically inactive, bowel movements become very slow, due to lower metabolic rates. Therefore, the aged and bedridden people suffer more from constipation. Even many pregnant women experience this problem, which is also caused due to the suppression of the colon by the expanded uterus.
  • Ill effects of medicines – There are many medicines that are known to cause constipation as a negative side effect. Several antidepressants, diuretics, antacids containing aluminum, narcotic pain-relieving medicines, and anticonvulsants are proved to be the reasons for this ailment. Too many uses of laxatives may also cause this problem in some patients.
  • Results of few diseases – The diseases affecting colon, rectum, and anus often slow down the bowel movements. Few neurological and endocrine diseases; like cerebral stroke, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and thyroid problems are found to be responsible for constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome is another ailment that paves way for constipation much easily.
  • Ignoring urge of excretion – If anyone suppresses the urge of going to the toilet for a long time, the feces lose the liquid part in the colon and may become harder. The person slowly loses that urge of excreting, if not responded to it immediately.
  • Changes in mealtime – If a person changes his mealtime and schedules of other daily works too frequently, he may experience digestive problems that finally cause constipation.  

Major symptoms noted in constipation

  • The person suffering from constipation expels out the feces less than thrice a week.
  • It becomes very difficult to excrete the hardened feces, which often take the form of large lumps.
  • The patient needs to put in lots of strain for bowel movements. He may need to use extra force to relieve himself.
  • Some patients feel stomach ache or cramps, due to blocking of the rectum with extremely hardened feces.
  • In the case of acute constipation, the patient feels nauseated and bloated. He may also lose appetite because of the unclear digestive tract.

Effective medical treatments for curing constipation

There are several laxatives available in the market, which are generally prescribed as a useful medicine for constipation. These laxatives act as lubricants for increasing bowel movements and also soften the feces by hydrating adequately. There are some supplements, known as bulk laxatives that supply extra fibers to the digestive system. Some laxatives also stimulate the contraction of the colon, making excretion easier and faster. However, the doctors analyze the actual cause of constipation in every patient and prescribe suitable medication accordingly.

Few useful home remedies applied to cure constipation

  • The patient suffering from constipation should drink lots of water throughout the day. It is seen that sparkling water is more effective than ordinary water available at all households.
  • It is best to add fiber-rich foods in the regular meals, to decrease the problems faced due to constipation. Various whole grains, like oats, wheat and barley contain large amounts of fibers. Patients suffering from constipation are also benefitted by eating lots of fibrous fruits, vegetables like peas and beans, nuts, and lentils, as good sources of fibers.
  •  The patients are advised to do some physical exercises to increase their body metabolism. Thus, the severity of constipation may be reduced to some extent, due to the effects of regular workouts.
  • Chronic constipation may be treated by the daily intake of probiotic supplements, mainly if the constipation is caused due to the lack of digestive bacteria in the colon. There are also some probiotic foods that can be eaten for a few weeks, for getting the desired result.
  • Banana, garlic, and onions contain lots of prebiotic fibers, which can restore the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract and also soften the feces.

Hence, constipation is not a very serious ailment and it should be treated at the earliest with appropriate medication or home remedies.

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