Constipation is defined as the condition where a person has difficulty passing faeces or passes dry stool. The person has irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels. Colon in the large intestine is responsible for packaging and eliminating stool. As the food moves through the colon, it absorbs water while forming stool. The food is then pushed forward due to muscular contractions of the colon. When the stool reaches the rectum, it is in solid form and is expelled out of the body. But due to certain reasons the process does not go in the proper way and leads to constipation.
- The most common of cause of constipation is the intake of low fibre diet.
- Not taking enough liquids
- Due to lack of exercise
- Certain medications such as narcotics, antacids, antispasmodics, antidepressants, diuretics can cause slow passage of bowel movements
- During pregnancy in females
- Due to travelling long distances
- Due to intake of laxatives in a large quantity
- In some disorders such as neurological disorders, metabolic or endocrinal disorder, patients develop the problem of constipation
- In people who ignore the urge to have bowel movement
- Difficult, dry and painful bowel movement
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss in the patient
- Uncomfortable and sluggish feeling
- Loose motions
- Loss of appetite
Chronic constipation can cause haemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapsed, faecal incontinence and bloody stools.
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT ACCORDING TO CHANDIGARH AYURVED CENTRE
In Ayurveda, constipation is known as Koshtha baddhata. It is mainly caused due to vata dosha imbalance. Ayurveda believes that when the colon doe not function properly, the there is accumulation of offensive and highly poisonous wastes known as ‘ama’ in ayurveda. This not only contaminates the body but also disturbs the digestive process.
The causes of koshtha baddhata are:
- Prakriti of the person
- Vega Dhaarana
- Intake of vata dosha promoting food which is rooksha, pishtha, sheeta, kashaya, tikta or laghu
- Ati Vyayama
- Aantra avrodha
- Maansika karana such as chinta, shoka and dwesha
Ayurvedic formulations that helps in relieving constipation are:
- Triphala Churna
- Panchskar Churna
- Panchsam Churna
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Eat plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables
- Have papaya and sugarcane in your diet. This helps in relieving the constipation.
- Use whole meal flour in your diet
- Avoid taking fried foods as the body takes more time to digest them.
- Minimize the intake of rice in your diet. Wheat can be taken in place of rice.
- Exercise helps in relieving constipation.
- Drink carrot juice.
- Eat guavas. Seeds present in guava provide roughage to diet ad relieves the constipation.
- Ginger tea is beneficial in constipation
- Avoid heavy, dry and oily foods.
- Include oil or ghee in your diet as it provides lubrication the colon.
- Avoid beans, dry grains, cabbage family plants, mushrooms and other light and dry foods.
- Spices such as asafetida, ginger, cardamom and fennel should be taken. This helps to alleviate gas and promote the downward movement of vata dosha.
- Cut down your mental worries and anxieties.
- Avoid over exposure to severe heat or wind.
- Drink atleast three litres of water every day.
- Avoid taking tea, coffee and alcohol.
- Practice Pawanmuktasana, Vajrasana, Yoga mudra, Dhanurasana.
- Take one glass lukewarm water. Squeeze half lemon in it. To this add one teaspoon salt. Mix well and drink this every morning on an empty stomach.
- Take one glass warm water and add one teaspoon isabgol to it. Mix well and drink this at bed time.
- Add half teaspoon fennel seed powder to one glass of lukewarm water. Drink this at bed time.
- Soak 6-8 raisins in hot water. Crush and strain well to regulate the bowel movement.
- Mix one tablespoon honey in one cup of lukewarm water and drink this on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Boil few fresh and ripe figs in a glass of milk and drink this before going to bed.
- Take equal amounts of sunflower and sesame seeds. Prepare the mixture and have this once a day.
- Take in two teaspoonfuls of castor oil in the milk for relieving constipation.