Constipation is a not a disease but a symptom of some underlying cause wherein the patient will have irregular bowel movement. The stools might get dry and hard accompanied with infrequent and difficult discharge. In ayurveda this condition is called as vibandh.[box type=”info” ]Approximately 1 in 61 or 1.62% or 4.4 million people in United States have constipation. Most of these people are women, children, and adults who are 65 and over.[/box]
Since this is not a disease but a symptom caused due to several causes, it is imperative to find the root cause and address it. The causes of constipation are classified as primary, secondary and congenital.
- Primary: also called as functional constipation is the most common form and is not life threatening. This form is not associated with abdominal pain therefore can be easily differentiated from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Diet: Single major reason for constipation is a low fiber diet along with low liquid intake, or dieting. Dietary fiber especially soluble fiber swells in the intestine and provides volume and softness to the stools thereby making it easy to discharge.
- Medication: Several medications will result in constipation (side effect). Some of the common medications that might lead to constipation are opioids (pain killers), diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, antispasmodics, anticonvulsants, and aluminum antacids.
- Metabolic and muscular: Hypothyrodism is one of the major reasons for constipation. Other metabolic and endocrine problems that may lead to constipation include: hypercalcemia, diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease.
Conventional Treatment for Constipation:
Constipation is always easier to prevent than to treat. A high fiber diet, good amount of water intake and adequate physical activity can prevent constipation. The primary treatment of constipation involves the increased intake of fiber (dietary or as a supplement) and fluids. One should avoid laxative as regular usage may result in complete dependence on laxatives for having bowel movements. Enemas are also used however, they are useful only for stool in the rectum and not in the intestinal tract.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Constipation
Fruits and vegetables are important in overcoming constipation. Fruits like apple, papaya and guava are very beneficial in treating Constipation as they have high fiber content. Dry figs and raisins are also good for constipation. Soaking them overnight and consuming in the morning cures constipation.
Drinking two glasses of warm water every morning in an empty stomach is advisable. It is better to add lime juice in the warm water.
Triphala Churna is an excellent medicine for constipation. Know more about Triphala Churna.
Haritaki (Termnalia chebula) is a natural stimulant and it helps with your bowel movements. This herb improves the digestive track, and normalize the functioning of the intestine. It is also a known detoxifying agent.
Flax seed cures constipation. Flax seeds can be used along with cooking or as a supplement. It is also highly nutritious and has numerous health benefits. Learn more about Flax seed nutrition.
Sesame seeds and sesame seed oil are excellent supplements for people with constipation. In addition to it health benefits, sesame is also a natural and safe laxative.
According to ayurveda dietary mineral copper aid in relieving constipation. Drinking water stored in copper vessels is advised.
Psyllium husk is an excellent medicine for constipation. One tsp psyllium husk mixed in a glass of water is sufficient to cure constipation. However one should drink ample amount of water after taking psyllium husk. Know more about psyllium husk.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, and kale aids in relieving constipation symptoms.
Avoid refined foods, refined sugar and fried foods; replace them with whole grains and high fiber grains like oats, quinoa and chia seeds. Dink lot of water and have raw food like fresh vegetables and fruits. Have some physical activity like walking or other physical exercises.
Yoga can act as a miracle cure for constipation. Asanas like Bhujanghasana, Trikonasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Supta Vajrasana when done regularly will completely cure constipation.