Constipation is a condition when there is a difficulty in passing stool. It is either that the bowel movements are too hard to pass, or that the passing is too infrequent (once in 2 or 3 days). The stool is most often hard and lacks water content. Sometimes, it may be a lack of urge, or an ineffectual urge to pass stools. At other times, after passing stool, there may be a sensation of incomplete stools. Broadly, all of these can be termed constipation. Many factors can cause constipation. The most common cause nowadays is modern lifestyle itself, which prevents people from eating enough food and drinking enough water. Another related problem is the lack of sufficient exercise in people’s lives. Emotional and psychological problems and eating too much of meat or dairy products compound to this. Other major causes include the chronic abuse of laxatives, pregnancy, the use of certain drugs like antacids, iron, calcium, blood pressure medications, certain digestive tract disease. some cases of constipation also develop in bottle-fed babies as well as some school-going
children who, being shy to tell the teacher when they have the urge to pass stool, later develops a habit of ignoring the urge.
The major symptom is indeed the inability to pass stool or the terrible infrequency of bowel movements. Constipation entails hard stool and this makes it difficult for the rectum to expel feces from it. It thus makes the evacuation of feces a painful affair. Although constipation can cause blood in stool, it could also suggest fissure, fistula, or piles.
Do’s and Don’ts
Alterations in your diet and lifestyle alone can chart the course of prevention of and recovery from constipation. A high-fibre diet with regular infusion consumption of raw food is recommended. Lack of fibre content in your food can cause indigestion and in turn, constipation. Lots of fibre can be obtained from peas, beans, potatoes, raw vegetables, dried fruits and fresh fruits. Although taking bran is good for proper motions, you should not rely on bran as a long-term cure. As important as food is water. Your water intake should be constantly high. The occurrence of constipation depends not just on what you eat but also on how you eat what you eat. You should always chew your food well and should never be in a hurry while eating. Doing regular exercises can help condition your stomach and back muscles and this will improve bowel movement. So does the practicing of yoga regularly. It is also important to not suppress the urge to pass stools, however dire the situation may be. Make passing stool a regular habit; a priority in your daily routine. Make it a point to sit in the toilet every day at the same time for about 10 minutes, preferably after a meal, even if you do not have an urge to move your bowels at that time being. This, although time-consuming, will surely work. While constipation can be extremely irritating, one should avoid taking regular laxatives. Consulting a doctor is recommended if you have a fever and abdominal pain accompanying constipation, or when there is blood in your stool. Also, if constipation starts after taking a new treatment, you would do well to check with your doctor once more.