Constipation is a symptom rather than a disease. It may only last for a short or long time. The frequency or time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements several times a day while others only one to two times a week. However, constipation treatment are easy and usually at home with diet and exercise.
Constipation is a condition in which you may have
- fewer than three bowel movements a week
- stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy
- stools that are difficult or painful to pass
- a feeling that not all stool has passed
If you feel the same way when you don’t have a bowel movement everyday, you could be suffering from constipation. You should be aware that there is no ‘right’ number of bowel movements. Normal passing of stools can occur three times a day or three times a week. This depends on your system. It all depends on contributing factors that include the food that you eat and how much you exercise.
Every one experiences being constipated at some point in life due largely to a poor diet. Though it is usually temporary and not serious, understanding the causes can help in the treatment of constipation.
Constipation treatment at home
Most often treatment of your constipation can be at home by doing the following:
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults get 25 to 38 grams of dietary fiber each day. Eating a healthy diet with fiber and drinking plenty of fluids can usually treat constipation.
Fibre and fluids work together to help keep your bowel movements regular. Fibre-rich foods hold liquid in your stools to keep them soft. Fibre is found in most plant-based foods such as:
- Vegetables and fruit, including dried fruit. However, cooking, blending, or pureeing does not decrease the amount of fibre in fruits and vegetables. Whole fruits have more fibre than fruit juices.
- Whole grain and whole wheat products, such as breads, cereals, pasta, brown rice, oats, oat bran, barley and quinoa
- Legumes such as cooked dried peas, beans, and lentils.
- Nuts and seeds such as chia seeds, ground flax seeds.
Aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluid every day. Water is the best choice. Add fibre to your diet gradually. A sudden increase in fibre can cause cramps and gas. When you eat more fibre, remember to drink more fluids.
2. Fibre supplements
These may be helpful to treat constipation if the person is unable to include more wholegrain foods, fresh fruits or vegetables in their daily diet. As fibre supplements can aggravate or cause constipation, always check with your doctor or dietitian when using them.
This is over-the-counter medicine for the treatment of constipation. It helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives should only be used in rare instances. Do not use them on a regular basis. If you have to use a laxative, bulk-forming laxatives are best. These work naturally to add bulk and water to your stools so they can pass easily. Bulk-forming laxatives can cause some bloating (when your stomach feels full) and gas.
4. Exercise regularly
Aim for about half an hour every day. Exercise such as the knee-to-chest position may help activate bowel movements. Try to spend about 10-15 minutes in this position, breathing in and out deeply. Increasing activity is especially important in the elderly. You can also try going for a daily walk or run.
5. Bowel training
Try to train yourself to have a bowel movement at the same time each day. This to help you become more regular. For example, trying to have a bowel movement 15 to 45 minutes after breakfast may help. Because eating helps your colon move stool.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to have a bowel movement. Also use the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to go. Try to relax your muscles or put your feet on a footstool to make yourself more comfortable.
How do doctors treat constipation?
If self-care treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe a medicine to treat your constipation.
6. Biofeedback therapy
This is used when you have problems with the muscles that control bowel movements. This therapy helps to retrain your muscles. By using it, you can change how you make your muscles work.
7. Prescription medicines
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat the constipation.
He may prescribe a medicine to increase fluid in your digestive tract. This can help reduce pain in your abdomen. It also make your stool softer and increase how often you have bowel movements. For example lubiprostone. Lubricants, such as mineral oil, which grease the stool to allow it to move more easily through the intestines
This is a liquid medicine. It is inserted into your anus to help treat constipation. It is often used after a surgery or before some medical procedures.
This is rare. But surgery can be use to treat constipation in cases where part of the rectum sticks out of the anus. Because it further blocks your ability to empty your bowels. Surgery is often necessary to correct it.