Most people suffer from constipation at one point or the other, and it generally lasts for a short time. The cause of this most common stomach ailment differs from one person to another, and there are quite a few ways to deal with it.
There are different types of constipation, which may range from infrequent stool to hard stool, difficulty in passing stool or even a feeling of incomplete bowel movement. The best way to deal with different types of constipation, is to deal with their causes. This common stomach ailment is considered similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which occurs with hardening of the stool. Constipation is a condition, in which, the stool hardens in the rectum and prevents its easy passage.
The main causes of constipation are:
- A poor diet with less fiber-rich foods and too much of indigestible foods
- Bad habits like alcohol consumption, smoking, and irregular sleeping habits
- Irregular passage of stools
- Use of laxatives
- Hormonal imbalance
- High use of painkillers
- Use of antidepressants.
The best way to treat constipation is to look for the causes by checking out the symptoms. These are some of the common signs that indicate the occurrence of hardened stools.
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Excessive strain while passing stool
- Muscle cramps in the stomach
- Heaviness in the stomach
- Gas formation
- Mucus coated tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in lower legs
Natural Ways of Relieving Constipation
The best and simplest way of curing any kind of illness is to go the natural way. If a person is aware of the process of treating constipation using natural remedies, it becomes easier to find relief. These are the natural ways of treating constipation.
- Drinking lots of water and fresh juices
- Eating a lot of fruits, like banana, guava, etc.
- Taking an enema or a colon hydrotherapy
- Eating oatmeal
- Regular physical exercises
- Taking psyllium husk
- Employing the process of colon cleanse
Constipation Relief During Pregnancy
Constipation is a common occurrence during and after pregnancy. It might prove to be highly uncomfortable for pregnant women. The best way to treat constipation during pregnancy, is to drink a lot of water and juices. A good diet consisting fruits and vegetables rich in dietary fiber should be introduced. Herbal remedies such as fenugreek, cascara sagrada, barberry, turkey rhubarb, dandelion, red raspberry, goldenseal, and cayenne, are helpful in aiding smooth bowel movements. However, they should be taken with caution, as some of them have shown to stimulate uterine contractions. Physical exercises, like pelvic floor exercises can be practiced, as they are also helpful in regulating bowel movements.
Relieving Constipation in Babies and Young Children
Infants suffering from constipation should not be treated with the remedies used for adults or older children, and a qualified doctor should be consulted for the same. Children who are in the age group of 2 - 4 months can be given fruit juices, such as, apple, pear, cherry, prune, or grape. Those who are in the age group of 4 months - 1 year, can be given high-fiber baby foods, such as, beans, prunes, plums, peaches, pears, apricots, and spinach. They should be given these foods twice a day. The children who are older than that, can have more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their diet.
Children should be made to consume enough water. They should also be provided with more fruit juices, like, prune, apple, cherry, or grape. For children of any age suffering from constipation, foods such as white rice, bananas, cooked carrots, white flour, and dairy products should be avoided. A few minor dietary adjustments, which can cause dehydration should be avoided. If there is no noticeable relief, a pediatrician should be consulted.
Laxatives which are used in treating constipation, ease the passage and elimination of stool from the colon and the rectum. The laxatives create a condition, wherein, the bowel movement which was blocked, eases out causing a smoother elimination of stools. Using laxatives is a very faster way of treatment. However, an overuse of laxatives has been known to cause damage to the body including the nerves, muscles, and tissues of the intestines. Laxatives, instead of curing, are capable of causing severe fluid losses and electrolytes from the body, which can lead to dehydration. There is also a chance of improper use of laxatives leading to a dependency on them to produce bowel movements.