Do you need information on constipation remedies? If so, I'm going to address this for you here.
To understand the options, you first need to know what constipation is.
The answer is really simple, it is when the sufferer is experiencing unduly infrequent bowel movements or difficult evacuation of the bowels causing abnormal bowel movements.
This results in bowel straining and can give rise to pain and discomfort.
There are numerous causes for symptoms. One very common cause is through the deliberate suppression of desire to defecate and this requires psychological management usually.
There are lots of reasons for this including fear of experiencing constipation pain e.g from problems associated such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures (tears in the anal lining).
Other reasons for suppressing bowel movements include social reluctance to open your bowels and fear from bad childhood experiences.
Diet is also an important factor in both creating and causing symptoms. It is almost unheard of in people that take a high fiber diet as part of their normal diet.
Yet in the western world diets are high in complex carbohydrate and low in fiber which results in constipation.
Knowing these factors will help with finding the constipation remedies you need.
If the above are not the cause then you might ask why are you constipated? Well, there are lots of other causes and these can be divided into primary or idiopathic (i.e. of unknown cause e.g. IBS) or secondary causes where the precipitant is clear.
I am going to concentrate on secondary causes here.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
Hypercalcaemia (high Calcium levels
Hypokalaemia (Low Potassium levels)
Motor Neuron disease
Myopathic conditions (muscle disorders)
Analgesics e.g. opiates such as Morphine
Anti depressants e.g. Amitriptyline
Blood pressure pills e.g. Amlodipine (calcium antagonist)
Plus many more!
The list above gives you an idea of the complex nature of this disorder,although the majority are of idiopathic (unknown cause).
Investigations are warranted particularly in people over the age of 55 years and also in sufferers with a strong family history of bowel cancer or when causes of rectal bleeding need to be excluded.
Knowing what is causing your symptoms will help in finding the right constipation remedies for you.
So, to get the constipation help you need, the main investigations you will need are blood tests, stool samples and large bowel investigations such as a flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure, a colonoscopy or a barium enema procedure.
Sometimes transit studies are performed using markers that show up on xray when swallowed, to determine the time it takes for the bowel to pass them.
The most important thing you need is constipation remedies. Treatment depends on the underlying cause for your symptoms such as an IBS attack or other bowel condition.
The most important thing is to treat the underlying cause, but if this is not possible then the treatment should be targeted at alleviating symptoms.
If it is due to IBS, you can read more on the treatment page.
For Idiopathic constipation the options may include:
It is important to have a good fluid intake and I normally advise at least 2 to 2 ½ litres a day unless you have a medical condition such as heart failure which may worsen with this. Get constipation help from your doctor if unsure if this could be an issue for you.
I would suggest that you avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as these can inadvertently dehydrate. Take fluid in the form of water and juices whenever possible.
Diet is very important to prevent bowel straining and constipation pain.
The most important constipation remedies are foods with high fiber content.
These include fruits with their skins on, potato jackets, granary bread, brown bread, cereals and grains as well as a balanced intake of protein with meat, fish and poultry.
Try to avoid white bread, white rice and pasta. If IBS is the underlying cause this is the best treatment option for you (you can read more about this on the diet page).
Also, probiotics may help particularly if wind and bloating are an issue.
One of the largely forgotten remedies, exercise such as swimming, jogging and sports in general do help to improve bowel movements, possibly by increased gut motility as well as increasing intra abdominal pressure.
Laxatives for constipation should be avoided whenever possible, but are often inevitable too! Natural laxatives such as prunes, grape juice and senna can be tried.
Senna is available in tablet and liquid formulations. Other laxatives such as Fybogel, Lactulose, Methylcellulose, Movicol and very strong laxatives such as Picolax and Fleet are sometimes used. These should be discussed with your doctor first.
I hope you have found this help useful. If you would like to leave advice for other sufferers, please do so below.
Some sufferers find a colonic irrigation helpful cleanse for their constipation. This can either be carried out by an experienced professional or you can use your own personal colonic irrigation equipment. The technique involves the infusion of a warmed colonic irrigation fluid through the anus or "back passage" in to the rectum and beyond. This results in expulsion of colonic debris. An oral bowel cleanse is another way of cleansing your bowel too.
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