Constipation


Overview

Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. It may also be described as having a hard stool, difficulty in passing or straining and taking time to pass as well as having the feeling of incomplete emptying. Overtime, stool remain in the colon making it more difficult to pass leading to chronic condition and giving rise to complication like Hemorrhoids, Anal fissure, Fecal impaction, Rectal prolapse.

Symptoms

  • Having lumpy or hard stools
  • Passing fewer than three stools a week
  • Needing help to empty your rectum, such as using your hands to press on your abdomen and using a finger to remove stool from your rectum
  • Feeling as though you can't completely empty the stool from your rectum
  • Feeling as though there's a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements
  • Straining during bowel movements

 

Causes

  1. Not enough fluids and fiber
  2. Lack of physical activity and exercise
  3. Too many processed and fatty food
  4. Stress directly influence bowel movement and also indirectly affect the person eating habits and lifestyle
  5. Travelling due to change in routine, food, lack of hydration, etc.
  6. Constipation is common in all age but people above age 65 suffer most from it.
  7. Holding in stool for too long will lead to hard stool and make it difficult to pass
  8. Underlying medical conditions that can bring on constipation like colon and rectal problems, IBS, intestinal obstruction, hypothyroidism, stroke, diabetes, etc.
  9. Over-the-counter and prescription medicines like antacid, anti-histamines, aspirin, iron and calcium supplements, diuretic, anti psychotic drugs, beta-blockers, anti-hypertensive drugs, calcium channel blockers, etc.

 

According to Ayurveda, Constipation is of Vata origin with qualities like dryness and hardness. A balance among the tridosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) is necessary for health. Because of the above said causative factors the tridoshas get vitiated (predominantly vata) and this causes  low or deranged digestive fire and leads to constipation .

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at :

  • Maintain the normal digestive function and help to prevent future occurrence.
  • Stimulating digestion and bowel peristalsis.

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then should consider the following treatment protocol as given below: 

 1. Lumpy, mucus, sticky, hard stool: Low or deranged digestive fire results in improper digestion and stool formation. This also indicates ama(toxin) is abundant in the gut. Treating with Chitrakadi vati will ignite the digestive fire and do ama-pachana (removing toxin).

 2. Passing fewer stools, Straining, Feeling of blockage or incomplete evacuation:  Not enough fluids, fibers and other unhealthy habits makes the stool hard and difficult to push out of the body. Treating with Aragvadha, Sonamukhi, Gandharva haritaki, Amalaki and Haritaki are well known natural laxatives and normalize the intestinal transit time.

 3. When other treatments are not effective or you are suffering from chronic constipation (constipation lasting for more than three months): Trivrit is considered as the best drug having piercing and purgation action.

(The Ayurvedic drugs mentioned are Herbs and Herbo-mineral preparations)

Other therapies - Virechana(Purgation), Vasthi (Enema), Sarvanga abhyanga (Whole body ayurvedic massage), Pichu(local application of soaked cotton in oil)

Herbs

Aragvadha,Sonamukhi,Gandharva haritaki,Amalaki,Haritaki,Chitrakadi vati,Trivrit

When to see a doctor?

  1. If you don’t have a bowel movement despite trying home remedies for 4 to 5 days, you should see a doctor.
  2. People with abdominal pain and constipation should also see a doctor if they have
  • persistent fatigue
  • lower back pain
  • fever
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
  • Inability to pass gas

 


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