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Constipation or irregularity , is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to eliminate ; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases ( fecal impaction ) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction . For most people, it is normal for bowel movements to occur from three times a day to three times a week; other people may go a week or more without experiencing discomfort or harmful effects. It depends on the food you eat, how much you exercise, and other things. 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. In some cases you may also feel bloated or sluggish or experience discomfort or pain. Constipation may be diagnosed if bowel movements occur fewer than three times weekly on an ongoing basis. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that "toxins" accumulate when bowel movements are infrequent or that constipation leads to cancer . Treatment is with a change in dietary habits, laxatives , fiber therapy, enemas , and rarely surgery . Fortunately, a few common-sense lifestyle changes, including getting more exercise, eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of water, can go a long way toward preventing or alleviating many cases of constipation.

Constipation is a symptom rather than a disease and is the most common digestive complaint in the United States. There is no "right" number of bowel movements inability to pass a bowel movement after straining or pushing for more than 10 minutes, or no bowel movements after more than 3 days. The average American diet includes 12 to 15 grams of fiber per day, although 25 to 30 grams of fiber and about 60 to 80 ounces of fluid daily are recommended for proper bowel function. Some people have an underlying fear that they will be "poisoned" by their own intestinal wastes (feces) if they retain the waste in their bodies for more than a certain length of time. This pattern is more commonly considered as part of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In general, though, you're probably constipated if you pass hard and dry stools less than three times a week. Constipation also requires an immediate assessment if it is accompanied by worrisome symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting, and involuntary weight loss In most cases, it lasts for a short time and is not serious. Widespread beliefs, such as the assumption that everyone should have a movement at least once each day, have led to overuse and abuse of laxatives.

Causes of Constipation

The common causes of Constipation :

  • Stroke, Hirschsprung disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord lesion, Chagas disease, and familial dysautonomia
  • Hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and pregnancy
  • Eating foods rich in animal fats (dairy products, meats, and eggs) or refined sugar but low in fiber (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) may cause constipation.
  • After a period of time, you may stop feeling the desire for opening your bowel.
  • Other times, diseases of the bowel (such as irritable bowel syndrome ), pregnancy, certain medical conditions (like an underactive thyroid or cystic fibrosis ), mental health problems, neurological diseases, or medications may be the reason for your constipation
  • Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
  • Lack of dietary fibre
  • The lining of the colon (epithelium), which is affected by the immune and nervous systems, regulates the passage of fluids in and out of the colon.
  • Calcium channel blocking drugs such as diltiazem (Cardizem) and nifedipine (Procardia)
  • Antidepressants such as amitriptylene (Elavil) and imipramine (Tofranil)

Symptoms of Constipation

  • passing motions that are dry and hard, like rabbit pellets
  • pain when passing a motion
  • Passing hard stool after prolonged straining in the toilet
  • If you have intestinal obstruction, nausea, vomiting, no defecation, and inability to pass gas
  • Strain frequently during bowel movements
  • Have abdominal bloating or discomfort
  • Abdominal pain is typically crampy, varying in intensity, and located in the lower left abdomen.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with IBS, although this might reflect an increased willingness among women in the United States and other western countries to seek medical advice for this condition.
  • Slow colonic motility, particularly in patients with a history of chronic laxative abuse

Treatment of Constipation

  • Limit Foods with Little or No Fiber Like Ice Cream, Cheese, Meat and Processed Foods
  • Take the Time to Have a Bowel Movement When You Feel the Urge to Go
  • Slow transit constipation is characterized by prolonged delay in the transit of stool through the colon and is due to a neuromuscular dysfunction of the colon.
  • If you have heart failure or kidney failure, talk to your health professional about what amount of fluid is right for you.
  • Drink Plenty of Water
  • Have a bran muffin or some bran cereal for breakfast, and try eating a piece of fruit for a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Thus, with acute constipation or constipation that is worsening, it is necessary to assess for the cause early so as not to overlook a serious illness that should be treated urgently.

Home remedies / Remedy for Constipation

Constipation Home remedy #1. Normally six to eight glasses of water should be taken daily as it is essential for digesting and dissolving food nutrients so that they can be absorbed and utilized by the body.

Constipation Home remedy #2. Drinking hot water with sour lime juice and half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy for constipation.

Constipation Home remedy #3. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both bulk and lubrication. In all ordinary cases of constipation, an exclusive fruit diet for about seven days would be the best way to begin the treatment for constipation.

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