Constipation is a common problem that affects 16 per cent of the world’s population. It mostly affects the elderly and women and is in fact, the most common gastrointestinal issue faced by the world. It is important to apply the right constipation treatment to avoid any complications.
Contrary to popular belief, constipation is not just a medical issue. It also affects the daily life of people and can make them quite uncomfortable. Chronic constipation can take a toll on the quality of life of people. Constipation treatment is required to improve the quality of life of affected individuals.
Symptoms of Constipation
Some of the common symptoms of constipation are:
- fewer than three bowel movements per week
- hard and dry stool
- Straining with bowel movements
- difficulty or pain when passing stools
- sensation of stool in the rectum
Complications of Constipation
Chronic constipation and the associated straining can result in:
- Haemorrhoids due to straining that results in swelling of the veins
- Anal fissures due to hard stools
- Fecal impaction or stool that cannot be defecated
- Rectal prolapse or protrusion of the rectum due to straining.
Prevention & Treatment of Constipation
There are many methods for constipation treatment ranging from home remedies to medications and enemas. It is important to not only treat constipation but also prevent it from happening again, ad that is what the following tips aim to do.
Drink Lots of Water
Hard and dry stools are the most common symptom of constipation that, upon exit, can tear the gentle mucosa of the anal canal. This causes anal fissures and bleeding that is extremely painful to manage.
Drinking lots of water and preventing dehydration are key to solving the issue of dry stools. Water will keep your gut moving and your stools soft. It will also help treat constipation.
Increase Physical Activity
To help your gut move, you have to move. The gut is a muscle that needs to be worked out and even moderate exercise such as walking for 30 minutes a day can help keep your gut moving. This is crucial for the prevention of constipation.
Eat More Fibres
When fibres go missing from our diets, we end up with constipation. Incorporating fibres into the diet is crucial for the appropriate treatment of constipation and getting rid of all the symptoms of constipation.
The daily fibre requirement is 25 grams to 30 grams, although most people consume way less than this amount regularly. Fibres should be taken in the form of vegetables and fruits, to enjoy maximal benefits. The easiest way to ensure that you are having enough fibre is to make sure that you are eating 5 to 10 grams of fibre per meal, meaning, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The fibre content of different products is written on the side of the box, and you should read up on it to ensure that you are meeting the daily fibre requirement of your body.
Take Herbal Laxatives
Herbal laxatives are a great solution to constipation. They alleviate the symptoms of constipation and get your gut going. The glycosides found in herbal laxatives are nerve stimulants and they stimulate the nerves in the gut to help with gut motility.
It is important to note that herbal laxatives should not be used for a long time, especially if there is no resolution of constipation with them. Most doctors are in favour of herbal laxatives as far as it is for a short period of time. If you notice no change despite the laxatives, then you should consult a doctor and stop taking herbal laxatives.
Coffee is known for its ability to stimulate defecation and can help relieve mild cases of constipation. However, it is not recommended to use coffee as a constipation treatment. If you have severe constipation, then coffee might not be effective alone and you will need to look into alternative methods of treatment.
Prunes have always been considered a fool-proof constipation treatment. It has a high fibre content which is a definite plus in not only resolving the current symptoms of constipation but also in preventing future bouts of constipation. Prunes have also been found to have sorbitol, a type of alcohol that has a laxative effect.
Given the sugar levels of prunes, it is not advised to eat more than 14 medium-sized or 100g of prunes a day. Even these should not be taken at once and should be taken separately, so, 7 prunes twice a day. This is to ensure the best results without irritating the stomach.
Prebiotic foods are rich in fibres which have already been established to be the best solution and prevention for constipation. Some of the common prebiotic foods are:
Visit a Doctor
If none of the remedies is working against your constipation or you notice that the complications of constipation have started developing, then visiting a doctor might be the best choice. You should choose a specialist doctor for constipation treatment at the best hospital in Dubai, for best results.