How to Eliminate Constipation
Constipation is a painful condition
that affects almost 33% of the adult population. An average adult should experience at least five bowel movements per week. If the bowel movements reduce to between three and five then the individual is said to be suffering from acute constipation. If an adult experiences less than three bowel movement per week then the person is said to be suffering from chronic constipation
. Constipation unfortunately though not a chronic condition is often aggravated due to lack of proper and timely treatment.
Constipation takes on different connotations for different people. People with infrequent bowel movements
are also constipated and so are the individuals who find it extremely painful to pass stools
. Constipation does not allow the bowels to empty itself out as a natural process which usually completes the digestion process. Hence many people tend to think that constipation leads to the buildup of toxins in the body. This is just the beginning of the many myths that surround constipation. Constipation is a serious condition it is often neglected and timely treatment is not sought.
Lack of treatment and care lead to chronic constipation which becomes even more severe with fecal impaction; a condition in which the stool hardens in the rectum preventing further passage of stools
. Fecal impaction is accompanied by severe abdominal cramps, bloating, vomiting and severe headaches
. Pressure exerted in such times for defecation often results in tears in the colon walls which may lead to rectal bleeding
. One of the major causes of constipation is that constipation is caused by the sedentary lifestyle and food habits of the suffering individual.
The most common natural ‘cure’ to answer the question of ‘how to eliminate constipation’ is inclusion of fibers in the diet. The fact however is otherwise.Increased consumption of fiber may have no effect on the condition of constipation
, instead it initially leads to common side effects like flatulence, nausea and skin itching and later to more serious complications like intestinal blockage and hampering the absorption of nutrients
in the digestive tract leading to weakness and fatigue.
Fibers, though recommended by almost everyone who has experienced constipation only causes bulk formation
. Fibers have no contribution to softening the stool particles
. If the stool particles are not softened then while defecating the chances of damaging the colon walls increases leading to further discomfort and pain.
Independent studies conducted by the Society of General Medicine and the University of California, Irvine have found that fibers, though help forming bulk, have little or no effect in relieving the condition of constipation
. The bulk formation caused by ingesting fibers was also found to occur in a some of study subjects. Hence there is absolutely no evidence to support this popular fact that increased fiber consumption will be the elusive answer to the painful question of ‘how to eliminate constipation’.
Prolonged consumption of fiber not only has absolutely no effect on the condition of constipation, in certain individuals, it also irritates the lining of the bowel
. The bulk formation caused by the fibers also tends to damage the intestinal flora which is essential to maintain healthy intestines and digest the food we consume. Many fibers contain polysaccharides which are complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are used by body builders to lose fat before they start training to develop muscles. Hence increased consumption of fibers can lead to loss of fat content in the body.
This might sound like good news to many who want to lose weight but fast fat loss from the body causes irreparable damage to the muscles
and makes the individual weak, often unable to go through the regular activities due to depleted nutrients in the body.
The biggest disadvantage of fibers is that the individual has to increase the fluid intake along with the increased consumption of fibers to ensure easier defecation. The reason that many individuals suffer from constipation is that they tend to withhold defecation even when they have the urge to defecate. This usually happens because of lack of bathrooms or due to erratic lifestyles. Ingesting more fibers only worsens the problem. Fiber, along with increased fluid intake will then create urges to urinate, so now you will be suppressing the urges leading to further constipation accompanied by kidney problems
Laxatives are another over the counter answer to ‘how to eliminate constipation’. But if you want to purchase this product keep in mind that abuse of laxatives is the most common cause of constipation
. Laxatives these days are considered the most advanced treatments for constipation. Some laxatives also promise long term usage without any side effects however do not be fooled by such claims
Most of the laxatives contain mineral oils which help in lubricating the stool particles for easier defecation but these laxatives do not break down the stool particles
hence still causing painful defecation due to ruptured colon walls and may even cause rectal bleeding. Saline laxatives work in a way very similar to fibers. Saline laxatives are meant to treat constipation by irritating the colon walls to expel the contents of the bowel. But the most common side effect of saline laxatives is causing an imbalance in electrolyte levels in the body
Prolonged usage of saline laxatives leads to frequent urination which causes dehydration, decreased levels of potassium in the body and impaired emission of sodium from the body
. If these conditions are left untreated they can lead to severe kidney damage
. Common side effects like increased thirst, dizziness, weakness, abdominal cramps and skin itching are caused by long term usage of all laxatives.
There are several reasons why the common treatments to eliminate constipation do not work
and actually end up causing more damage than relief. There is absolutely no evidence supporting the effectiveness of other well known ‘natural cures’ like exercises, colon cleansing and natural laxatives like honey and molasses. These so called natural cures actually irritate the bowels
often leading to frequent diarrhea which can become more painful with each passing time. The gastrointestinal tract also produces more mucus than normal which causes chronic constipation. Hence it is best to think before you reach out for these damaging ‘relieving’ treatments.