Constipation/Irritable Bowel

Constipation is defined as unsatisfactory or infrequent stool less than three times a week which is difficult to pass. It is a common gastrointestinal problem which is presented by the hard stool, abdominal bloating, pain in abdomen and rectum. It is usually caused by the poor lifestyle and poor dietary habits. Simple lifestyle changes, exercise, drinking lots of fluids, adding high fiber to diet can help in treating constipation and sometime over-the-counter laxatives helps in improving the conditions.

constipation
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Races affected by Constipation

Constipation is less common in Asians as compared to other races, but person who adopt a western diet be it be Asian or anybody else have this disorder.

Seen In ?

The disorder can occur in all ages, from newborn to elderly persons.
It is more common in females as compared to males; female to male ratio is approximately 3:1.

Poor Diet And Lifestyle Is The Major Cause Of Constipation

• Poor dietary habit, low fiber diet
• Poor lifestyle
• Not taking enough fluids which leads to dehydration
• Lack of physical activity
• Change in routine like travelling, illness or eating habit changes
• Frequently ignoring bowel urge
• Abuse of laxatives
• Prolong standing disease like Irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal obstruction etc.
• Stress
• Depression
• Hypothyroidism
• Pregnancy
• Aging
• Certain medicines like iron supplements, painkillers etc

How To Know About The Constipation?

• Long straining before and during bowel movement
• Hard stool
• Thin, pencil-like stools
• Constipation alternating with diarrhea
• Difficulty in passing stool
• Less than three bowel movements in a week
• Abdominal bloating
• Cramps in abdomen
• Nausea/vomiting
• Pain in rectum
• Sensation of incomplete emptying of rectum
• Fatigue and lethargy
• A headache
• Weight gain or unexpected weight loss
• Body odor and bad breath
• Depression
• Loss of appetite
• Colon cancer
• Mental health disorders
• Nervous system disorders

Which Examinations Should Be Done To Detect Constipation?

• Complete case history
• Physical examination
• Blood test for hormonal imbalance
• Barium enema
• Colonoscopy
• Proctosigmoidoscopy
• Stool test
• X-ray abdomen

How Constipation Can Be Corrected?

• Dietary changes
• Regular exercise
• Fluid therapy
• Fiber supplements
• Stool softeners
• Saline laxatives
• Surgical procedure is recommended in very chronic cases of constipation

Prognosis

Acute constipation is easy to treat, whereas chronic cases need a close observation and attention proper treatment and changes in diet and lifestyle helps in treating the disease.

How Constipation Can Cause Complications?

• Hemorrhoids or fissures in anus
• Rectal prolapse
• Lazy bowel syndrome
• Pain in rectum
• Bloating of abdomen
• Cramps in abdomen

Differential diagnosis of Constipation

• Intra-abdominal sepsis
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Large bowel syndrome
• Megacolon toxic
• Multiple endocrine neoplasia
• Ogilvie syndrome
• Chagas disease
• Colon cancer
• Colonic obstruction
• Crohn obstruction
• Abdominal hernias
• Anxiety disorders
• Appendicitis
• Diverticulitis
• Lleus
• Intestinal motility disorders
• Intestinal pseudo obstruction
• Large abdominal sepsis
• Multiple endocrine neoplasia

How Diet Management Helpful In treating Constipation?

• Yoga and meditation helps
• Eat a well balanced high fiber diet
• Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol
• Avoid processed and junk food
• Drink lots of water
• Don’t ignore bowel urge
• Avoid frequent use of laxatives
• Drink cup of prune juice or apricot juice daily
• Lemon, honey, guava and grapes help facilitate easy digestion and defecation
• Don’t use enema without doctors advice

Homeopathy Has Best Treatment For Constipation

Alumina:
• Constipation due to dryness and inactivity of the intestines
• No desire to evacuate the bowels till there is large accumulation of stool
• Even soft stool require much straining to be expelled
• Even softest stool adheres to rectum like clay
• Abnormal craving for indigestible things like chalk, charcoal etc.
• Aversion to meat and potatoes

Bryonia alba:
• Constipation due to extreme dryness of mucous membranes of the large intestine
• There is no desire to pass stools
• Stools hard and dry as if burnt
• Headache due to constipation become worse on moving the head
• Extreme thirst for large quantities of cold water
• Dislike for milk and fried food

Graphites:
• Constipation due to dryness of mucous membranes
• Stool are very hard, in the form of large lumps, which are joined together by slimy threads
• Constipation relieved by drinking hot milk
• Dry, cracking skin and a sad, weeping disposition are common

Nux vomica:
• Constipation from excess of tea-coffee and leading a sedentary life
• There is frequent, ineffectual desire to pass stools
• Small amount of stool are evacuated, the person never feels satisfied
• Sometimes constipation also occurs alternates with diarrhea
• Oversensitive nature and a tendency to catch cold

Senna:
• Severe constipation with pain in the abdomen, especially in the liver region
• Stools are often hard and dark
• There is flatulence and loss of appetite

Silicea terra:
• Obstinate constipation
• Stools are retained for long time in the intestines
• Stool pass out only after great straining
• Stools are partly expelled and then recede back, forcing the person to remove them mechanically with finger
• Intolerance from cold weather
• Wraps himself/herself with warm clothes even in summer
• However there is great liking for cold drinks and foods like ice cream

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