Constipation has become a common health problem these days. From children to elders, many are experiencing it. Constipation does not cause pain and, hence, often goes unnoticed in children. Parents need to observe the bowel movements of children to identify if they are suffering from constipation.
Constipation is a condition when there is difficulty in emptying bowels and is usually associated with hardened stools. It occurs when the colon absorbs more water from the waste. That makes the stool dry and it becomes difficult to pass it. A person, at times, has less than three bowel movements a week. Even after passing a stool, the person feels unsatisfied. In severe constipation, bleeding occurs with the passing of stool. Many individuals need a doctor's help to seek relief from constipation.
Eating food that is low on fibre
Drinking less water
Some neurological problems
Frequently controlling the urge to have a bowel movement
Damage caused by constipation
It damages muscles of the pelvis due to overstraining while passing stools
Muscles damage can lead to urine leakage with coughing, sneezing or laughing
Can cause anal fissures by tearing the lining of the anus
Toxins can get accumulated in the body that can make a person sick
It causes diverticulitis in extreme cases
Sometimes stool piles up in the colon, causing trouble
When to consult a doctor?
If constipation is severe, even after taking proper care
If you see blood in the stool
In case of haemorrhoids or fissures
Sudden weight loss
Severe cramps while passing stool
Self-care in constipation
Drink more water
Do yoga or floor exercise
Eat food rich in fibre
Eat whole fruits, with the skin
Consume leafy vegetables, chawli and amaranth bhaji
Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol
Avoid non-vegetarian food, mainly eggs, meat
Avoid food which causes constipation
Avoid reading or using while sitting on the toilet
Some Ayurvedic remedies like Triphala, isabgol (psyllium husk), harde, fresh amla etc. can help manage constipation
Sujok Therapy: Massage on the line (see the palm photo) or apply seeds.
(The author is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and a yoga therapist)