Factors associated with diet, hormones, anatomical and medication side effects, or certain illnesses may affect the excretion process, resulting in hard feces that are difficult to expel. This condition is known as constipation. When the food moves through the gastrointestinal tract too slowly, it causes the colon to absorb more water from the food, which in turn makes the feces abnormally hard and dry. People suffering from this illness experience infrequent bowel movements and pass hard stools or strain during bowel movements. The prominent symptoms of constipation include passing hard stools, passing less than three stools a week, abdominal pain while passing stools, and experiencing a feeling of rectal blockage. The affected person usually feels a sense of incomplete evacuation even after having a bowel movement, and a feeling of fullness in the rectum.
Remedies for Constipation
Constipation is one of those medical problems that can be easily treated with a few self-care measures at home. The following lists some home remedies effective for treating the condition.
# The very first and the most important remedy is to drink plenty of water. Warm water, if taken throughout the day, does wonders in the treatment. Six to eight glasses of water is what is required by the body to flush out toxins, and keep itself clean and healthy. Do not take any kind of beverages as it will aggravate the condition, and delay the healing period.
# Take fruits such as banana, jack fruit and bael when you are suffering from constipation. Such fruits act as natural laxatives, and help in cleaning and toning up the intestines. These fruits are best effective when taken before meals. Other fruits which are equally effective for constipation relief are guava, pear, grapes, orange, papaya, figs, and lime.
# To get relief from constipation, go with a high fiber diet. Foods high in fiber aid the body to form soft and bulky stool which can be expelled without any strain. Beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. all come under high fiber foods. Cheese, meat or processed foods must be limited in their consumption as they have less or no fiber at all. Avoid taking rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs, as such products tend to aggravate constipation.
# Apart from following the above tips, here's another technique which may be followed to treat the condition. Keep both your hands flat against your stomach and using light pressure, move them up and down, and from left to right across your stomach. It should be like a massaging motion over your abdomen. This exercise helps in targeting a point in the large intestine which can ease constipation and aid in bowel movement without straining. This method however, may not be so effective if a person is suffering from severe constipation.
# In some cases, remedies such as the above ones may not help enough to manage the symptoms. In such cases, you can go for over-the-counter laxatives such as fiber supplements, stimulants, lubricants, and stool softeners. Although these medications do help in constipation, their frequent use is advised against by medical experts only because they might become habit-forming. That is why they should be considered only when home remedies fail to help.
Preventing constipation is easier than treating it. Keep a regular schedule of exercise in your daily routine and ensure that you follow it. Do not curb the urge to go for your bowel movement. The more it is delayed, the more water is lost from the feces and this makes them all the more harder. And as aforementioned, include high-fiber foods in your diet, increase the quantity of fluid (especially water), and reduce consumption of low-fiber food items.