Understanding what is Constipation!
In the modern lifestyle, constipation has become quite common and affects nearly all of us at one time or the other. The symptoms of irregular bowel movement become more pronounced when we are travelling or in stressful situations. Generally, constipation quite commonly affects children and the elderly.
Chronic constipation is a symptom where a person has difficulty passing faeces or has an unusually dry stool. Basically, it is the irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels. It is determined in the colon, which is responsible for accumulating and eliminating the stool.
Causes of Chronic Constipation
Most common cause of constipation is a poor diet that is low in fibre and rich in processed foods such as white carbohydrates, sugar, and unsaturated fats. People consuming high-fibre foods are less likely to become constipated.
Water, herbal tea, and fruits hydrate our body and support regular bowel movements. Other liquids such as coffee and soft drinks that contain caffeine seem to have a dehydrating effect.
Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise can also lead to constipation. Fewer movements and inactivity increases the difficulty
Pain medications such as antacids, antispasmodic, antidepressant, iron supplements and diuretics can enhance this cause.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Also known as spastic colon, IBS causes spasms in the colon that affect the bowel movements. Other symptoms include abdominal cramping, gassiness, and bloating. Although IBS is a chronic condition, it is not life-threatening. It often worsens with stress.
Changes in Daily Routine
People get constipation when the normal lifestyle changes. For example, during pregnancy, women may be constipated because of hormonal changes or because the heavy uterus compresses the intestine. In addition, people often become constipated when travelling because of their normal diet and daily routines are disrupted.
Symptoms of Chronic Constipation
- Difficult bowel movement
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Feeling uncomfortable
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
Natural Remedies for a Sustained Constipation Relief
Considered to be the best natural position to help expel stool from your colon and reduce your risk of haemorrhoids. Try placing a stool near your toilet to raise your knees, purchasing a special squatting device to modify your toilet, or simply squatting on your own toilet to ease bowel movements.
Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods
You should aim to get about 50 grams of fibre per 1,000 calories consumed. Vegetables are phenomenal sources of fibre. Eat rainbow foods in their whole forms and with traditional recipes. Add flax seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds and various other seeds to give the required amount of fibre to your body.
Exercise stimulates circulation and intestinal function, causing your bowels to move properly. There are yoga asanas that would provide you relief from the symptoms and promote regular bowel. Here is a list.
Probiotics help to balance the good bacteria in your gut, which is essential for proper digestive function. Probiotics are also useful in fighting IBS, which contributes to constipation. Yoghurt, Fermented Foods, Cheese, Pickles, and fermented drinks are all great source of natural probiotics.
Prebiotics are the foods that act as food to our gut bacteria or our microbiome. Prebiotics feed our flora and hence support the digestive system. Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Roots such as Onions, Garlic, Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Chicory, and Yams are great sources of Prebiotics.
Good Night Sleep
A regular sleep cycle with minimum 7 hours per day significantly supports functioning of the body. It helps to bring our tired systems on track and helps to replenish the vital micronutrients that we need to support our digestive system. More often than not, lack of sleep directly leads to constipation, stress, blurredness, and triggers allergic reactions in the body.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Constipation Relief
Triphala is a revered Rasayana in Ayurveda that supports our digestive system, helps to assimilate nutrients from the food, and also promotes regular bowel movement. Consuming Triphala before the bed with lukewarm water for a month will help relieve the symptoms significantly and make a significant difference to your body.
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is rich in fibre, vitamins, and flavonoids that nourish the body inside out. It supports the digestive system. It also reduces the heat and dryness in the body, which are primary causes of constipation.
Bael Fruit or Wood Apple
A tropical plant that is widel available in the summer season in India. It has positive effect on the body, supports digestive system by promoting regular bowel movement, and lowers down blood sugar an cholesterol levels.
Ghee in Warm Milk
Adding a tablespoon of Cow’s ghee in warm milk along with 1 teaspoon sugar, when consumed on regular basis can help relieve from constipation.
Psyllium Husk or Isabgol is rich in soluble fibre and has multiple health benefits including lowering down of cholesterol and to help manage blood sugar levels. It has no side-effects on the body and can be taken on a regular basis with lukewarm water in the night to support bowel movement.