Medical definition of constipation is “fewer than three bowel movements a week.” Normal bowel movement pattern is one bowel movement per day. However less than 50% of people have this kind of perfect bowel movement. Most of the people have between 3 and 21 bowel movements per day which is quite a normal condition. Lesser than three bowel movements a week means the person is constipated. Constipation also differs in degree of severity- a person may suffer from occasional mild, severe, acute or chronic constipation. Causes of all these types of constipation differ from each other.
Symptoms of Constipation
The most common symptoms of constipation are infrequency, irregularity or difficulty in elimination of the hard faecal matter.
Coated tongue, Foul breath, headache, depression , insomnia etc
The other symptoms include a coated tongue, foul breath, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, dark circles under the eyes, depression, nausea, pimples on the face, ulcer in the mouth, constant fullness in the abdomen, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, varicose veins, pain in the lumbar region, acidity, heart burn, and insomnia.
What Causes Constipation?
Speaking of bodily mechanism, constipation is caused by the slow passage of digesting food through intestine, particularly in the colon. When food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water from it and forms the waste products or stool. Stool is pushed towards the rectum through muscle contractions in the colon. By the time stool reaches rectum, it becomes solid as most of the water has been absorbed till then. However, when too much of water is absorbed by the colon than required, it results into constipation. Also when the muscle contractions in colon is slow or weak, constipation is caused as the stool moves through the colon very slowly. There are certain other internal as well as external causes of constipation.
Diet for Constipation
The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined foods such as wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, and milk products in the form of butter, clarified butter, and cream. The diet alone is not enough.
Chew food properly, Avoid hurried meals and irregular meals
Food should be properly chewed. Hurried meals and meals at odd times should be avoided. Sugar and sugary foods should be strictly avoided. Foods which constipate are all products made of white flour, rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.
Home Remedies for Constipation
1. As soon as you get up drink 6-8 glasses of warm water. It is said to be a grandmother’s tip on good health. It moves the bowels and leads to normal stools.
2. Take a lemon or two to work and squeeze its juice in warm water and keep sipping on it. Do not add sugar or salt.
3. Tripala Churna, Balkadoo, and other ayurvedic medicines clean your bowels and are available at the ayurvedic store.
4. Besides these home remedies you have to alter your lifestyle too. Sleep for a minimum of 8 hours. Eat plenty of fruits. Only properly cooked vegetables should be consumed.
5. Eat only 3 times or a maximum of 4 times a day. Eat only when hungry and take food from home to office or an outing.
6. While cooking use asafoetida, cumin powder, turmeric powder and coriander which make the food easily digestible.
7. Give up non-veg, deep fried, dried fruits, cabbage, cauliflower and a few pulses like dal for some time as they lead to gas and toxins.
8. In one meal consume a common family of food. Like do not mix pulses, cereals, vegetables all at one time. Spread them out in different meals.
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