Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Most commonly, constipation is thought of as infrequent bowel movements, usually less than 3 stools per week. 20% Indian suffers from constipation. Here are some facts about constipation and its cure.

1. COMMON CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION:

Sedentary life, low fibre & high protein diet (excessive red meat), Excess junk food, excess street food,  dehydration, anaemia, 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) Head ache, abdominal bloating, anorexia, lack of energy

b) Puffiness face

c) Bad breath

d) Acne & 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 with warm lemon water drink in the early morning.

b) Drink more water (preferably warm water)

c) Eat more soluble fibre 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: Home made yogurt

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, methyl cellulose 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 doctor for chronic constipation. Colonoscopy are required before going to specialised Gastro Centre for advance management of chronic intractable constipation.