Constipation is a commonly seen problem these days. It means 3 or less than 3 stools in a week or passing hard or painful stools (faeces). Constipation may be caused by varied reasons like eating less fiber, or drinking lesser fluids, side-effect of certain medicines, or related to any underlying medical condition.
There are many cases in which, the cause is not clear. Laxatives are a group of medicines that can treat constipation. Ideally, laxatives should be used only for short periods of time until symptoms ease.
What is constipation?
Constipation is common. If you are constipated it causes one or more of the following:
- Hard stool which are difficult & painful to pass.
- The time between toilet trips increases. (Note: there is a large range of normal bowel habit. Some people normally go to the toilet to pass stools 2-3 times per day. For others, 2-3 times per week is normal.)
- Cramps & pains in the lower part of your tummy (abdomen).
- Bloated and sick feeling.
What are the causes of constipation?
Known causes include the following:
- Not eating enough fiber (roughage) is a common cause. The average person in the UK eats about 12 g of fiber each day. But, 18 g per day is recommended by the British Nutrition Foundation. Fiber is not digested. It remains in your gut and adds bulk to the stools (faeces) and helps in healthy bowel movement. Foods high in fiber include fruit, vegetables, cereals and wholemeal bread.
- Not drinking much may make constipation worse. Stools are usually soft and easily passed if you eat enough fiber and drink enough fluid.
- Some medicines can cause constipation as a side-effect. Examples are painkillers (particularly those with codeine, such as co-codamol, or very strong painkillers, such as morphine), some antacids, some antidepressants (including amitriptyline) and iron tablets; however, there are many others. See the list of possible side-effects on the leaflet that comes with any medicine that you may be taking. Tell a doctor if you suspect a medicine is making you constipated. A change of medication may be possible.
- Various medical conditions can cause constipation. For example, an underactive thyroid gland, irritable bowel syndrome, some gut disorders and conditions that cause poor mobility, particularly in the elderly.
- About 1 in 5 pregnant women will become constipated. It is due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy that slow down the gut movements. In later pregnancy, it can simply be due to the baby taking up a lot of room in the tummy and the bowels being pushed to one side.
Is there any test for Constipation?
Tests are not required to diagnose Constipation. Symptoms are themselves enough for it. However, tests may be advised if you have any of the following:
- If it lasts for more than about six weeks.
- If symptoms are very severe and not cured with laxative medication.
- If Constipation related symptoms develop. These symptoms include passing blood from your bowel; weight loss; diarrhea; a family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis); or other unexplained symptoms of indigestion.
What should I do to prevent Constipation?
- Eat foods that contain plenty of fiber
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain Toilet routine
- Ayurvedic solution for treating Constipation
What is the Natural treatment for Constipation?
Herbs existing in nature are the best solution for treating Constipation. This is the safest way to deal with constipation. Pet Saffa, Natural Laxative Granules & tablets is a blend of time tested herbs known for treating constipation without causing any side effect. It is the safest way to treat constipation & related Symptoms.