Chronic constipation is a common problem which is determined by difficult and/or rare passage of stool or both. As per the reports, globally 16% of the population is affected by constipation. Adults above 60yrs are reported to get affected more. The disease evolve due to multifactorial problems like poor diet habits, colonic motility, poor socio economic status, genetic factors and certain other biological factors.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is one of gastrointestinal tract disorders which is caused due to difficulty in passing motions. The bowel movements become difficult; either it causes less frequent motions or complete obstruction for passing motions.
Many times constipation occurs as a symptom to some underlying disease. It should be treated and cleared. Acute constipation is extremely dangerous which may lead to obstruction in the intestine and might require surgery to solve the issue.
What are the causes of Constipation?
- Lack of healthy diet often leads to constipation. Diet lacking dietary fibers, fluids etc. can lead to hard stools
- Stress – Stress is a major cause of constipation. Irregular routine like unhealthy diet, lifestyle changes, lack of sound sleep etc. may also lead to constipation.
- Poor mobility of colon muscles – The colon muscles promote the evacuation of the waste material from the body through rectum. Due to poor mobility if the stool remains too long in the colon, it becomes hard and difficult to pass.
- Other common causes for constipation include
- Lack of activity or exercise
- Less bowel movement
- Continuous travel or change in routine
- Intake of medication like antacids and analgesics
- Few medical conditions like Stroke, Parkinsonism, Irritable bowel syndrome, Diabetes, Underactive thyroid, excess intake of laxatives, Colon cancer etc. results in constipation
What are the symptoms of constipation?
- Less frequency of motions, less than 3 bowel movements in a week
- Difficulty in passing motion
- Evacuating hard or dry stools
- Pain during bowel movements
- Rectal blockage
- Bloating in the abdomen
The risk category includes:
- Elderly adults who are physically inactive or under diseased condition
- Medical condition such as major injuries who are confined to bed
- More cases are reported in woman
- Rapid hormonal changes in woman
- Pregnant ladies
Ayurvedic approach to constipation
According to Ayurveda, constipation is caused due to Vata imbalance which blocks the channels. It is termed as ‘vibhanda’ in Ayurveda. ‘Apana vata’ is responsible for down ward movement of vata and expulsion of stools. When its function gets afflicted this causes blockage in the large intestine and results in constipation. If not corrected, it can lead to complications like hemorrhoids, fissure-in-ano, abdominal distention etc.
Ayurveda has effective management of constipation through medication and treatments.
- Diet rich in fibers should be consumed more to prevent constipation.
- Plant based diets are considered to be the best for constipation
- Consider eating whole grains, fruits like apple, guava, berries, oranges etc. Include vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, green leafy items, mushrooms etc.
- Drink good quantity of fluids in the form of juices. Taking hot water sip by sip in the day time is much beneficial in solving constipation.
- Avoid excess usage of tea, caffeine and dairy products.
Bhujangasana, Arda matsyedryasana,Paschimothanasana, salabhasana, Janusheershana
Home Remedies for Constipation
- Soak 50g of dry raisins overnight and consume the juice of it next day early morning. This helps to relieve constipation
- Take cow’s ghee in empty stomach in the morning, followed by hot water. Regularly doing this can help to better the digestion and cure constipation.
- Use of aloe vera pulp in the diet can help to eradicate constipation
Drinking castor oil (25-50ml, depending upon the severity of the condition) in early morning helps to pass easy motion.