Constipation is relatively a difficult term to define, to simplify the matter; constipation is regarded as delay and decrease in frequency of stool with difficulty while passing the stools. A person is said to be constipated when he passes hard stools less than three times in a week. Constipation is one of the commonest gastrointestinal tract problem faced by many people all over the world. Women and elderly individuals above the age of 60 are often constipated, though this is not hard and fast as many children and young individuals can equivalently suffer from this annoying condition.
Causes of Constipation in Adults
There are numerous causes of constipation in adults.
- By and large, when your daily diet contains fewer amounts of green leafy vegetable, grains and fruits (both are rich in fibers) and more of meat, eggs, cheese, milk and refined sugar it may lead to constipation.
- Inadequate amount of fluids and water: if you drink less amount of water, your stools turn dry. This is because water gets absorbed in the intestine. It is needed to keep the stool soft in the colon so that evacuation of waste becomes easy.
- Abuse of laxatives: daily purgation or enema is the most common cause of constipation.
- Lack of exercise and long distance traveling.
- A good tone of abdominal and pelvic muscles is needed for a normal bowel movement. Usually people who walk with protruding belly lose the tone of their abdomen muscles. It is an important factor of chronic constipation. Women with repeated child birth lose abdominal and pelvic muscle tone, unless they do abdominal exercise after delivery. These women are at a greater risk of constipation than their counter parts having a good abdominal muscle tone.
- Nowadays in fast life, people get up quickly in the toilet to save time.
- Sometime constipation results due to pain in the bottom (anus). There is severe pain when hard stool passes over fissure and piles.
- Carcinoma of colon, diverticulitis, strictures, hypothyroidism, hypercalcemia are few disease condition that can lead to constipation.
- Intake of certain drugs such as anticholinergic drugs, antidepressants, iron tablets, diuretics etc can cause constipation.
- Psychological disease and neurotic disorders.
- Injury to spinal cord, sacral nerve disorder, Parkinson’s disease and diabetic neuropathy.
- Acute cases of constipation can be due to acute intestinal obstruction, acute appendicitis, perforation of peptic ulcer etc.
- Gallstone is one of the leading causes of constipation.
How to Prevent Constipation Naturally
- Water: drink enough water. Drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of water in a day to keep the stool soft. Bulk of stool is due to water content.
- Exercise: exercise regularly to prevent constipation. Walking for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning is a simple natural solution to prevent constipation.
- Avoid drinking excess tea and coffee. They both have dehydrating effect on the body.
- Abdominal exercises and yoga help to prevent constipation.
- Tension and stress in modern society is cause for irritable colon. This in turn leads to constipation. Avoid stress and strain, practicing meditation helps to relieve stress.
- Keep enough privacy while defecating.
- Do not hold the urge too long as after some time the rectum becomes lazy and stops sending calls.
Home Remedies to Treat Constipation
- Psyllium Husk: Mix 2 tsp of Psyllium husk in a glass of water and drink the mixture regularly at night before retiring to bed when you suffer from chronic constipation.
- Spinach and Green Vegetables: both contain plenty of fibers and high fiber diet has wonderful effect on your bowel movement.
- Cabbage juice or eating raw cabbage contains enough fibers that can help to prevent and treat constipation.
- Drink a glass of warm water in the morning after getting up. Squeeze few drops of lemon in the glass before drinking it is an effective home treatment for constipation.
- Soak few figs in water and keep it overnight. Drink the water and eat soaked figs in morning. Figs have laxative action on the colon and facilitate easy bowel movements.