Constipation is a common problem that affects people of all ages. It is defined by the condition which is characterized by either a decrease in the frequency of bowel movement or painful passage of bowel movements. Constipation is considered to be the most common digestive complaint and it is referred to as disturbance in bowel movement. Constipation can be defined in numerous ways:
- An opening of bowel less than three times a week
- Need to strain to open the bowel
- Passing a hard stool
Constipation is often defined into two groups – organic and functional. Organic constipation means when constipation occurs due to some identifiable cause such as colon problem or some neurological disorder. Whereas, functional constipation means when constipation occurs with no identifiable cause. There are various medical conditions that can cause constipation such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and anal fissure.
Constipation causes major discomfort and pain but it can be treated by taking some simple measures. Here is the list of some of the ways to treat constipation. Other than medical conditions, there are certain medicines as well that can lead to the occurrence of the symptoms of constipation.
1. Eat fiber
Fiber belongs to the class of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin and fiber is associated with multiple health benefits. Fiber is primarily categorized into soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are known for their ability to lower low density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. Some of the rich sources of soluble fiber include fruits, legumes, and oats. Insoluble fibers are known to be linked to health benefits such as appetite control, reduced risk of developing diabetes and preventing constipation. Some of the rich sources of insoluble fiber include wheat, bran, fruits, and vegetables.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber contributes to the occurrence of constipation. Fiber helps to move waste through the intestine such that an individual has a regular bowel movement. Low fiber intake makes the bowel sluggish and leads to the occurrence of the symptoms of constipation. Fiber strengthens the consistency to food which forces an individual to chew properly and break the food.
2. Regular physical exercise
Regular physical exercise is considered to be one of the best ways to treat chronic constipation. We are familiar that regular physical exercise is beneficial for a healthy heart and reduces the risk of developing various health problems. It also improves the symptoms of an underlying disease. Exercise is also essential for regular bowel movements.
According to one of the studies, physical activity for only two to six times a week is associated with a reduced risk of constipation. Exercise lowers the total time that a body takes to decrease the time to move through the large intestine. Exercise has a direct impact on the gastrointestinal tract.
Doing regular physical exercise is the healthy lifestyle which should be adopted by all. It not only treats constipation but is associated with the overall wellbeing. Aerobic exercise is said to be one of the best exercises to relieve constipation. Aerobic exercises make the intestinal contraction strong and stronger the contraction, the more easily the food waste will move through the colon out of the body.
3. Increase the intake of fluid
Numerous studies have conducted to know the role of water and fluid intake in the prevention and treatment of chronic constipation in both adolescents and adults. They found out that there is a close relationship between low fluid intake and an increased risk of developing chronic constipation. It was observed that the fluid deficiency in the body decreases the frequency of bowel movements and fecal weight.
Increasing intake of fluid is one of the easiest ways to prevent and treat constipation. According to one of the studies that are carried out in adults, it was observed that when the patients who were suffering from constipation consumed two liters of water had a significant increase in the evacuation frequency and a decrease in the use of laxatives. Dehydration in the colon is one of the main cause of constipation and treating the problem of dehydration is extremely important for the treatment of constipation. Therefore, drinking a plenty of water is important and an effective measure to significantly decrease the symptoms of constipation.
4. Have Prunes
Prunes are traditionally thought to be an effective way to relieve constipation and to increase the functioning of the bowel. Prunes have long been recommended for the treatment of constipation. It softens the stools and relieves constipation. Prunes are known to have laxative action as it consists of relatively high fiber content and it consists of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Prune is a good source of sugar alcohols xylitol and sorbitol. Xylitol increases the gastric emptying and decreases intestinal transit time. Whereas, sorbitol has a laxative effect and brings the changes in the intestinal microbiota.
Tags: Constipation symptoms, Constipation medicine, How to get rid of constipation fast at home