Constipation means different things to different people. For many people, it simply means infrequent stools. For others, however, constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. The cause of each of these “types” of constipation probably is different, and the approach to each should be tailored to the specific type of constipation. Constipation can also alternate with diarrhoea. This pattern is more commonly considered as part of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At the extreme end of the constipation spectrum is fecal impaction, a condition in which stool hardens in the rectum and prevents the passage of any stool. The number of bowel movements generally decreases with age. Ninety-five percent of adult shave bowel movements between three and 21 times per week, and this would be considered normal. The most common pattern is one bowel movement a day, but this pattern is seen in less than 50% of people. Moreover, most people are irregular and do not have bowel movements every day or the same number of bowel movements each day. Constipation results when waste material moves too slowly through the large bowel, resulting in infrequent and/or painful elimination. Constipation can give rise to many different ailments, including appendicitis, bad breath, body odour, coated tongue, depression, diverticulitis, fatigue, gas, headaches, haemorrhoids, hernia, indigestion, insomnia, malabsorption, obesity and varicosed veins.
In most cases, constipation arises from insufficient amount of fibre and fluids in the diet. Also from inadequate exercise or a poor diet, especially from the heavy consumption of junk food. It may be a side effect of drug taking.
DIET: This is very important. Eat high-fibre foods such as fresh fruits, raw green leafy vegetables and brown rice daily and avoid fried foods and dairy products. Drink plenty of water.
Mix two tablespoons crushed linseed, two tablespoons bran, one teaspoon one teaspoon molasses in hot water and take first thing in the morning. This aids to relieve constipation.
EXERCISE: Plough pose, contracting the abdomen with quick movements, bending slightly.
TREATMENT: Nat Mur 6X or Water Balance For distribution of water. Often this is all that is needed, especially in young children.