Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Most commonly, constipation is thought of as infrequent bowel movements, usually less than 3 stools per week. With most Indians working from home for long hours daily, there is a sharp rise in the number of complaints of constipation. On average, 20% of Indian suffers from constipation. Here are some facts about constipation and its cure that will come in handy during this time.
1. COMMON CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION:
Sedentary life, low fiber & high protein diet (excessive red meat), excess junk food, excess street food, dehydration, anemia, psychiatric illnesses, antacid abuse, NSAID (pain killer), brain stroke, parkinsonism, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, gall bladder stone, irritable bowel syndrome, colonic cancer, diverticulitis, long term steroid intake, anti-hypertensive drugs, pregnancy and drug addiction.
2. SIDE EFFECTS OF CONSTIPATION:
a) Headache, abdominal bloating, anorexia, lack of energy
b) Puffiness in the face
c) Bad breath
d) Acne and dark circle around eyes
e) Skin rash
f) Faecal impaction
g) Rectal prolapse
h) Piles, Fissure, Perianal fistula, Anal Pruritus
i) Colorectal cancer and colonic diverticulosis
3. REMEDIES OF CONSTIPATION:
a) Ritualization of bowel habit by drinking warm lemon water, every morning on empty stomach
b) Drink plenty of water (preferably warm water)
c) Eat more soluble fiber eg. oat, barley, nuts, seeds, lentil, fruits, vegetables, psyllium
d) More exercise and morning walk and yoga( pawan muktasana, halasana, ardha matsyendrasana, mayurasana, balasana, baddha konasana
e) Drink black coffee and stop alcohol
f) Probiotics daily: Homemade yogurt is the best
g) Prebiotics: Garlic, onion, banana, raw vegetable juice, and amla juice
h) Prunes (Dried Plum) is very effective
i) Ayurvedic Trio: Amloki+Haritaki+Bahera Powder with water at night daily can be tried at home.
j) Over the counter medicine: Ishapgul husk in any form , magnesium citrate containing laxatives, methylcellulose bran, docusate sodium/calcium, senna, bisacodyl and liquid paraffin containing laxatives.
k) Recent drugs for chronic constipation: lubiprostone and prucalopride are being used in selective cases under medical supervision.
4. MEDICATIONS & MEDICAL ADVICE :
Always consult a doctor for chronic constipation. Colonoscopy is required before going to a specialised Gastro Centre for advanced management of chronic intractable constipation.