Constipation is a condition in which an individual experience uncomfortable or infrequent bowel movements. Generally, a person is considered to be constipated when bowel movements result in the passage of small amounts of hard and dry stool, usually fewer than three times a week. It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint all over the world resulting in over two million reported cases annually. Constipation is a common complaint often resulting from an inordinate expectation of regularity in bowel conscious individuals. A review of patient’s habits often reveals contributory and correctable causes, such as insufficient dietary roughage, lack of exercise, suppression of defecatory urges arising at inconvenient moments, inadequate time for full defecation and prolong travel. In spite of appropriate adjustment to these patterns and reassurance, patients often fail to relieve the problem of constipation. Most cases of chronic constipation arise from habitual neglect of afferent impulses, failure to initiate defecation and accumulation of large, dry fecal masses in the rectum.

The number of bowel movements generally decreases with age. 95% of adults have 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. Medically speaking, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. The bowel pattern of Indians is different from that of the Westerners. In India, 99% of normal subjects have a stool frequency of at least 1 or 2 times per day. This is in contrast to a normal stool frequency of three times per week to three times per day in the west. Population-based studies estimate the prevalence of constipation at 10-20% and the people with the incidence of constipation seek medical care at 1-2% per year.

Constipation – Causes from an Ayurvedic Point of View

Ayurveda treats constipation as a problem arising due to the predominance of the vata dosha. In fact, all people with the vata constitution have this problem to some extent or the other. From an Ayurvedic point of view, dietary bad habits are the main cause of constipation. The following are some of the dietary factors that lead to constipation – Eating at different times each day or eating later than the normal time. Alternately, eating food that is difficult to digest or food without roughage (fiber content), dry foods, excessive tea, and coffee or cold drinks, not drinking enough water are among the other points. Apart from these, Ayurveda has also pinpointed various environmental and behavioral factors that can lead to constipation. These include smoking, sleeplessness or insomnia, late sleeping hours, mental worries and tensions, guilt, fear and age-related factors.

Constipation – Symptoms from an Ayurvedic Point of View

Depending on the constitution of the person, there are different observed symptoms of constipation. The following are some of the symptoms:

1. Vata dosha symptoms – The first symptom is a browning of the tongue, which cannot be cleaned easily. These people also have occasional feelings of uneasiness in their stomachs with flatulence. Stools are hard to eliminate, and food takes a long time to get digested properly.

2. Pitta dosha symptoms – The person will observe slightly yellowish stools and there will be a burning sensation in the anal canal as they eliminate.

3. Kapha dosha symptoms – The colon feels heavy and there is low digestive fire. The person will feel lethargic most of the time. The person will also eliminate faint colored stools which are almost white in color. There is a strong feeling of gas and flatulence. Bad breath (halitosis) is also a common problem in this type.

 Constipation can be broadly classified into two types:

 a) Casual or temporary: can be caused by indigestion, overeating, contaminated food or bacterial infection.

 b) Chronic or habitual: Occurs largely in the elderly usually due to the loss of tonality in the sphincter muscles. It is also presented by persons suffering from piles or haemorrhoidal tissues.

Diagnosis and Tests for Constipation General medical inquiry including symptoms and causes.

2. Tests-Blood, urine, and stool.

3. Test for pelvic floor dysfunction and Irritable bowel syndrome

4. Sigmoidoscopy, rigid proctoscopy and colonoscopy to diagnose colon and rectum bleeding.

5. X-ray to detect rectum empty stool.

6. Abdominal and anal ultrasound.

7. GI transit test-radioactive markers traverse the digestive system.

8. Thyroid Test

9. Anorectal Testing-to knows the good functionality of rectum and pelvis.

10. Colonic Motility Test

11. Hydrogen Breath Test- to be acquainted with fructose intolerance.

Economical and Societal Impact:

1. People with constipation suffer from isolation and feel frustrated due to the lack of effective therapies and empathy from family and co-workers. 

2. Constipation is physically and mentally troublesome for many patients and can interfere with daily living and well-being. 

3. People with chronic constipation have a poorer health-related quality of life than the normal Indian population, and constipation is at a level seen in patients with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, chronic allergy, rheumatological conditions, heart disease and depression. People with constipation are more concerned about the quality of life and disability than longevity.

4. The quality of life of people with constipation improves significantly after relief of symptoms.

Almost 30% of people with chronic constipation believe they are less productive at work or at school, and 13% miss work or school days as result of it.

5. About 60% of people with constipation report impairment while at work resulting in a 21% decrease in productivity.

6. Constipation leads to approximately Ten million physician visits each year in India and the mean total annual cost of health care for each constipated patient is over Rs.5,000 – 7,500.

7. The annually estimated expenditure for laxatives is Rs. 135 Crores annually in India and Constipation testing costs in India amount to Rs. 25 Crores annually, which does not include treatment costs.


Home Remedy for Constipation Cure and Treatment

Home Remedy can cure constipation naturally. It means one can find natural constipation relief through the items that are present in the kitchen or at home. Here few constipation home remedies are mentioned to tackle constipation naturally and herbally. Home remedies for constipation

 1. Take warm milk before going to bed.

2. Bale fruit is excellent for constipation.

3.Guava provides roughage and gives relief from constipation.

4. 3 teaspoons of castor oil in milk may help in chronic constipation.

5. Drinking 3-4 glasses of water early morning helps in bowel movement and normal stool. 

6. Add more fibrous fruits and leafy green vegetables in your diet. 

7. Taking 2tsp of molasses is good to treat constipation.

8. Sleep at least 6-8 hours.

9. Properly cooked vegetables should consume.

10. Eat only whenever you are feeling hungry.

11. Use spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander, all helps to digest your food. 

12. Avoid non-veg, deep fried, junk food etc. 

13. Cabbage juice is beneficial in treating constipation. 

14. Heat some dry grapes in milk, drink it after straining, a natural remedy for constipation.

15. Spiegel seeds + warm milk + sugar good for constipation.

16. Water + Epsom salt in the ratio of 2: 1 helps to ease constipation.

17. Pear is helpful in chronic constipation.

18. More fibrous nature of orange easily digests the food and helps in bowel movement.

19. Fruits like papaya and figs act like as cleanser for the bowel.

20. Fennel seeds are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.

21. Food should be properly chewed and each morsel for at least 15 times.

 Yoga Treatment Cures Constipation

1.Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): Is extremely beneficial in dealing with constipation, gas and flatulence problem.

2. Trikonasana (triangular stretch pose) Helps in the process of easy defecation and therefore is recommended for constipation.

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist): Postures like Ardha Matsyendrasana helps in case of chronic constipation.

4. Supta Vajrasana (the sleeping pelvic pose): Aids in digestion and constipation relief.

5. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose): Improves the functioning of the whole digestive system.

6. Dhanurasana (Bow pose): Is helpful in case of constipation and easy defecation.

7. Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand): Improve digestion and relieves from the problem of constipation.

8. Mayurasana (Peacock Pose): This asana gives a very good massage to the digestive system and helps relieve indigestion.

9. Pavan Muktasana: Thereby corrects flatulence and constipation. It also helps reduce abdominal fat.

10. Naukasana (the boat poses): Improves and activates the digestive system and intestine.

11.Shalabhasana (Locust pose): Removes sluggishness in the abdominal region, strengthens abdominal muscles, helps in digestion and brings relief from constipation.

12. Mandukasana: Beneficial for constipation as well as other digestive disorders. 

13. Paschimottanasana (Head to knee pose): Practicing Paschimottanansa on a regular basis helps deal with even severe and chronic constipation.

14. Yogamudra: Improves metabolism and removes constipation.

15. Katichakrasana (waist rotating pose): remove constipation. 

16. Kriya: This yoga practice is excellent to ease from all forms of constipation.

17. Kapalbhati (frontal brain bellowing): Helps in abdominal movement and quite effective for constipation.


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