Constipation means that a person has three or fewer bowel movement in a week. The stool can be hard and dry. Sometime it is painful to pass. At one time or another, almost everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts a short time and is not serious. It is not important that you have a bowel movement every day. If your bowel habits change, however, check with your doctor.
Symptoms of Constipation:
- Needing to open the bowels less often than usual.
- Hard, dry stools that may be painful to pass.
- Straining to pass the motion.
- Having to sit on the toilet for much longer than usual.
- The sensation afterwards that the bowel has not fully emptied.
- Bloated abdomen.
- Abdominal cramps.
Common causes of constipation:
- Inadequate fluid intake.
- Insufficient dietary fiber intake.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Side effects of medications.
- Obstruction by colorectal cancer.
Complications of chronic constipation :
Some of the complications of chronic constipation include:
- Faecal impaction- the lower bowel and rectum become so packed with faeces that the muscles of the bowel cannot push any of it out.
- Faecal incontinence- an overfull bowel can result in involuntary 'dribbling' of diarrhea.
- Hemorrhoids- constant straining to open the bowel can damage the blood vessels of the rectum.
- Rectal prolapse- the constant straining pushes a section of rectal lining out of the anus.
- Urinary incontinence- the constant straining weakens pelvic floor muscles, resulting in involuntary passing of urine during sneezing, coughing or laughing.
Ayurvedic View :
Constipation is called as Malabaddhata, vibandha in Ayurveda. It is due to vata imbalance and blockage of channels. Apana vata is responsible for the free flow/expulsion of stool. When the function of Apana vata are significantly affected, it results in constipation.
Causes of vibandha/ constipation :
- Excessive consumption of pungent, astringent and salt foods.
- Intake of food possessing dry, light, rough qualities. Any food that causes dryness of mouth, lightness in the body and roughness in skin.
- Night awakening.
- Less intake of water.
- Lack of sufficient fibers in diet.
- Working in strong sunlight, long walk, heavy travelling.
- Neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
- Excessive use of antacids.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Pregnancy- the fetus putting pressure on the intestines, causing lack of bowel movements.
- Colon cancer.
- Intestinal obstruction- structural problems such as twisting of intestines (volvulus).
Treatment of Constipation/ Vibandha in Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic treatment for constipation aims at lifestyle modifications such as scheduling regular meal times, responding to natural urges timely, high fluid and high fiber intake, exercise to stimulate and strengthen the muscles of the intestinal tract along with administration of carminatives and mild laxatives.
Long term sufferers might be advised to undergo specific Panchakarma Ayurvedic Treatment procedures like Sneha Vasti ( medicated oil enema) and/or Kashaya Vasti (medicated decoction enemas) after a course of snehana and swedana to correct the deranged apana vayu.
Ayurvedic formulations used for constipation are:
- Trivrit lehyam
- Triphala churna.
- Sukha virechani vati.
- Castor oil.
- Hareetaki choorna.
- Gandharvahastadi kashaya.
- Panchasakara churna.
- Kayam churna.
- Triphla ghritam.
Contact experienced Ayurvedic doctors at Life Line Ayurvedic Herbal Clinic to cure your bowel problems through natural remedies without any side effects.