Out of the variety of existing digestive problems, constipation is a particularly unpleasant phenomenon. Constipation in general indicates a change in bowel habits and can manifest as a complete or partial inability to bowel movements or a hard stool that requires a lot of effort
Constipation is usually defined when there are 2-3 bowel movements in one week, and when it occurs at least three weeks out of three months. According to estimates, one in five people from the entire world population will experience constipation at least once in their life. Even in mild cases, constipation causes significant discomfort and a great feeling of unpleasantness, especially in social situations. It can really disrupt the normal course of life. When it comes to particularly long constipation and especially in cases where constipation in some people is a chronic symptom, it is real harm to the quality of life and must be treated as soon as possible.
The good news is that constipation can be treated naturally and easily, thus preventing unnecessary suffering.
Reasons for constipation
The digestive system never rests. When we consume food, the essential substances for our body are absorbed through the small intestine, while the role of the large intestine is to process the waste and excrete it. In cases of damage to the muscles and nerves in the large intestine, unpleasant symptoms may appear such as heartburn, an early feeling of fullness, diarrhea, and also constipation for long periods.
Constipation caused by a fissure - a crack in the anus
Fissure and constipation are two phenomena that often appear together - many times it is not clear which of them preceded the other. A fissure is a crack in the anus that sometimes leads to bleeding, and pain and especially interferes with the passage of stool. Sometimes it is caused by a hard stool which is an expression of constipation, and when it occurs, the passage of stool is accompanied by severe pain. Those who suffer from this avoid visiting the bathroom and holding the stool in their stomach, which makes constipation even worse.
Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles
The muscles in the pelvic floor are the ones that actually form the base of the pelvic floor. These muscles are responsible for the contraction of the anus and thus also for the exit of feces. When there is any disturbance in the function of the pelvic floor, the coordination between the muscles of the pelvic floor and the muscles of the anus is impaired and thus the stool actually gets "stuck" on the way and it is difficult to get it out.
Constipation resulting from diseases
Diseases of the intestine
Inflammatory diseases of the intestines are serious diseases and not pleasant at all. The best-known and most common of these are Crohn's disease and colitis, which cause severe ulcers in the intestines that create a host of problems and symptoms. In many cases, these diseases will be accompanied by mucous or bloody diarrhea, but there are cases in which there will actually be severe and prolonged constipation.
Diseases affecting the functioning of the nervous system
Neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and dementia sometimes also damage the intestinal nerves, which may cause chronic constipation, among other things.
Deficiency of the thyroid gland
The role of the thyroid gland is to secrete various hormones that are essential for the functioning of the brain, heart, and muscles. Insufficient functioning of the thyroid gland, a common phenomenon among women and the elderly, results in a significant slowdown in metabolism, which may be reflected in constipation.
Constipation due to nutrition
Our diet is closely related to the phenomenon of constipation. There are foods that can help and relieve constipation, even particularly severe constipation, while other foods will actually cause constipation or worsen existing constipation.
Foods that aggravate constipation
White flour and foods made from it are significant causes of constipation. In a situation of constipation, it is recommended to avoid bread, pasta, and any food containing a high amount of white flour. Also, fatty food aggravates constipation and should be avoided. Fried and high-fat food takes longer to digest and "leave" the digestive system, which can cause constipation. Foods high in salt can cause or worsen the phenomenon of constipation since the salt absorbs fluids and dries the body, especially the feces, which makes it very difficult for the body to get rid of them.
Foods that help relieve constipation
Constipation relief is accompanied by eating foods rich in dietary fiber, which can be found in vegetables and fruits such as carrots, apples, and strawberries, or in legumes such as lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, or beans. Beans and fenugreek in particular contain a significant amount of resistant starch that improves the movement of stool in the large intestine and is a fertile ground for the good bacteria in the intestines whose proper activity is essential for bowel movements in particular, and in general for the functioning of the intestines. For those interested in consuming carbohydrates, it is always recommended to choose complex carbohydrates that are rich in dietary fiber, as opposed to simple carbohydrates such as white flour. Another recommendation that will lead to the relief and release of constipation is a combination of natural food supplements known for their positive effect in the fight against constipation, such as Chinese jujube, iris leaves, and aloe vera extract.
Reasons for constipation at different stages of life
Constipation in babies
Constipation in babies is a relatively well-known phenomenon that often results from a diet based on breast milk substitutes and their incompatibility with the baby's digestive system. Most substitutes are based on cow's milk protein, and sometimes their digestion may be difficult for babies. As a result, babies may experience difficulties with digestion and hard stools, causing them great suffering. Also, in many cases, constipation will appear during the transition to solid food around the age of four months with the sudden change in diet. Constipation may indicate a lack of dietary fiber and a low-fluid diet. Additional reasons for constipation in early childhood are cases where toddlers "hold" stool due to reluctance to go through the weaning stage, medications that babies and toddlers receive such as medications to prevent reflux, and in rarer cases, it is a manifestation of various anatomical problems and diseases.
Constipation in children
More than ninety percent of the cases of constipation in children are the result of psychological and mental rather than physiological events. Situations such as discomfort in defecating in certain places, pressure from parents to maintain cleanliness or dietary changes cause children, especially at younger ages, not to release their stools consciously, and this eventually leads to constipation. Each person has a different bowel movement and therefore it is sometimes difficult to define a condition of constipation, but when a child reports or expresses discomfort when it comes to the topic of emptying, there is a very reasonable chance that it is constipation to some degree. The best way to treat constipation in children is a diet to soften the stools (with the use of appropriate nutritional supplements if necessary) and education and conditions for regular bowel movements that will result in regular and normal bowel movements.
Constipation among women
Even when it comes to difficulty or a feeling of lack of emptying after visiting the bathroom, the situation can be defined as constipation. The phenomenon is common among many women, who report a great effort to defecate and a particularly hard stool. In many cases, women also report constipation during pregnancy.
Chronic constipation in women can cause various injuries to the pelvic floor, prolapse of the small intestine, and the formation of "pockets" between the vagina and the anus. In women, the most common reason for constipation is a mental state of daily stress and anxiety. Another common reason is a lack of synchronization between the muscles of the anal canal and the pelvic floor, as well as the use of certain drugs or supplements (such as iron, for example). In less common but still quite common cases, the causes of constipation in women are malignant diseases, thyroid problems, various metabolic diseases, or diabetes.
Constipation in adults and the elderly
Constipation is a real nuisance at any age, but at older ages, it may also become a chronic phenomenon that is difficult to overcome. For many adults, this is an embarrassing matter and therefore, unfortunately, they avoid sharing it with their relatives and even their doctor. This is a very dangerous situation because, among adults, constipation may develop and cause even more serious diseases and complications. Therefore, in cases of persistent constipation, the unequivocal recommendation is to contact the attending physician as soon as possible. One in four adults and the elderly suffer from constipation on a regular basis, with women usually suffering from it more than men. The reasons for constipation in adults are mental, such as despondency, stress, depression, and anxiety, a significant lack of physical activity, neurological diseases, and a stroke, or abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland that causes hormonal disruption.
Constipation due to genetics
In general, constipation is a phenomenon that is caused in most cases as a response to external factors and therefore there is no one by definition who may suffer from constipation more than the other as a hereditary matter. However, some of the causes of constipation may be due to genetic inheritance, such as thyroid dysfunction or a tendency to anxiety and mental disorders. All of these can cause constipation and neurological diseases that cause constipation.
Symptoms of constipation
The stools and their frequency vary naturally from person to person, and therefore a stool situation that is normal and routine for one person may be abnormal and indicate constipation for another. However, there is a general definition that works for most people, according to which constipation is considered less than three regular bowel movements in one week. Also, when there is significant difficulty in emptying and when the stool is harder than usual, this is also sometimes referred to as constipation. Constipation is defined as chronic when this condition lasts for at least three months out of six months.
Diagnosing a constipation problem
Despite the definition, even those who feel a decrease in the frequency of bowel movements in relation to themselves are considered to suffer from constipation. For example, someone who usually has a bowel movement three times a day and goes down to once a day may suffer from constipation. 50% of the complaints to family doctors diagnosed as constipation indicate difficulty and more effort than usual to pass and hard stool. In most cases, there is no need for a colonoscopy to diagnose a constipation problem, even though today it is a relatively simple and fairly safe test.
When should you see a doctor in cases of constipation?
Most of those who suffer from constipation do not consult a doctor and sometimes do not share the matter with anyone at all. Usually, this is fine, as long as it is a one-time phenomenon that occurs in young and healthy people. However, it is very important to remember that on the one hand, chronic constipation may cause more serious problems, and on the other hand sometimes constipation itself is an expression of more complex problems. Therefore, the recommendation is to consult a doctor in any situation where there is a radical change in bowel function or when the problem lasts for more than two weeks in a row. Please note that if the constipation is accompanied by other symptoms such as blood in the stool, severe pain in the stomach, pain in the anus, thin stool in the form of a pencil, or drastic and unexplained weight loss, you should contact your doctor immediately. Regarding people over the age of fifty, it is recommended to be examined as soon as possible to rule out diseases that may cause constipation such as colon cancer and other neurological diseases.
How to treat constipation
In general, in cases where constipation is a one-time phenomenon, the right way is to choose easier channels such as dietary changes and taking essential food supplements such as Aloe Ferrox, Iris domestica, Commiphora Myrrha, Rheum, Ziziphus Jojoba, which can be found, mainly in natural capsules. In most cases, these will bring relief and resolution without the need for further treatment. If this treatment is not helpful, other methods should be tried, like natural remedies for constipation such as Yobsalax NG.
The recommended sitting in the toilets
The western way is sitting, just like sitting on a chair. More and more studies indicate that "Western" sitting on a toilet plays a significant role in conditions such as constipation and even hemorrhoids and fissures. The natural and correct way is to squat, just like we used to do as children on the annual trips and camps of the youth movements. The question arises, how can it be done at home and not in nature? The truth is that it is very simple. A relatively high stool to put your feet on while sitting on the toilet will do an excellent job and help you clean your bowels effectively.
Nutrition for the prevention and treatment of constipation
As we mentioned, what the body needs in case of constipation is mainly dietary fiber and fluids. The best way to enrich the digestive system with dietary fiber is by eating fruits and vegetables, preferably in large quantities. Peaches, carrots, apples, and basically anything you like except bananas will do a good job. Kiwi is one of the fruits that excels in preventing constipation because it contains a lot of fluids.
Old-fashioned remedies for constipation - "Grandma's remedies" for constipation
The wisdom of natural materials and components passed down from generation to generation offers a number of interesting solutions that may certainly alleviate and even completely solve the problem of constipation.
Olive oil - in addition to its many virtues, olive oil is excellent for softening bowel movements. It is recommended to consume 2 tablespoons in the morning and in the evening and you can definitely take them with hot water or with half a squeezed lemon.
Natural juices - juices made from a variety of fruits are excellent against constipation, both because of the many dietary fibers they contain, and also due to the fact that they allow significant saturation of the body with fluids. Fruits that are recommended to combine in juices, especially against constipation, are kiwi, guava, figs, and plums. Likewise, tomatoes and beetroot will also do a good job, and they can be incorporated into the menu.
Flax - Flax oil and flax seeds do an excellent job of lining the digestive tract and easing bowel movements. and dietary fiber and little sugar. Additionally, legumes are a great way to consume a nice amount of dietary fiber. You should eat peas, beans, chickpeas, legumes, and lentils of various types. Oats, although it looks like something difficult to digest, are actually excellent and contain a lot of dietary fiber. In addition, you can eat flax seeds and chia seeds that will help the intestines to empty. Finally, it is impossible not to mention the plums, which are an excellent way to get dietary fiber and also fermentable sugars known as "laxatives". You can eat them that way, boil them in water and drink the cooking or buy ready-made plum juice.
Figs and prunes - as mentioned, figs and prunes contain a large amount of dietary fiber, so their consumption will help in many cases to release the "congestion". You can eat them as they are, but since it is recommended to consume a large amount, a more convenient way is to brew them or grind them in a smoothie. Those who drink a brew with a large amount of water and in addition eat the cooked fruits will receive an excellent dose of fluids and dietary fiber.
Regular physical activity - physical activity on a regular basis can help in cases of constipation on two levels. The first way is through better blood circulation, an action that improves the metabolic processes in the body. The second way is in the secretion of endorphins in the brain, which causes greater feelings of peace and general relaxation on a daily basis, which are essential for frequent and regular ejaculations.
Abdominal massage - most children are familiar with grandma's abdominal massage, which is designed to release the digestive system and especially the gases accompanying constipation. For the grandmothers of the eastern tribes, the massage is sometimes done with arak or another alcoholic drink.
Apple cider vinegar - contains magnesium and malic acid that help clean the digestive system. Although it's not the most delicious thing in the world, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar may do a great job and bring significant relief.
Types of medicines to treat constipation
There is a variety of medications to treat constipation, and some of them are accompanied by certain risks, and side effects:
Medicines to increase the volume of the stool - the most common and common medical treatment, which will often be offered as a first treatment in cases of constipation, are medicines and preparations to increase the volume of the stool in liquids. These substances lead to fluid retention in the digestive system and actually lead to the softening of the stool which makes it easier to pass. These drugs contain processed dietary fiber and require drinking a lot to avoid dehydration. Usually, they must be taken several days before registering any benefit in the condition.
Rectal suppository inserted through the anus - the best known is the glycerin rectal suppository inserted through the anus. Similar to drugs to increase the volume of stool, glycerin leads to fluid retention in the stomach which helps soften the stool and causes diarrhea.
Osmotic drugs - Osmotic drugs are a type of preparation that is used after drugs to increase the volume of stool did not do the job properly. They cause increased absorption of liquids into the intestine and one must be careful to drink plenty of water when taking them for fear of the risk of dehydration. The osmotic drugs known among them are lactulose and Bullac, which cause diarrhea within a few hours and are not safe for regular use, as they may create dependence on their use and the need to consume them to achieve regular bowel movements.
Laxative pills - Laxative pills are a solution chosen many times when there is no patience and desire to solve the problem in natural ways. Although they may bring rapid relief from constipation, they cause a serious risk of dehydration and when used on a regular basis there is a real danger of developing a dependence on them and the difficulty of emptying naturally without any use of them.
Natural remedies for constipation using herbal ingredients
There are certain plant components that have an excellent and good effect on the digestive system in general, and in particular in the treatment of constipation. Take for example the component called Zisyphus Jujube. It is a plant with properties that cause relaxation and deep mental peace and relieves problems related to the nervous system, two significant factors that can cause constipation. Aleo ferox (Aloe vera extract) calms the digestive system using polysaccharides and inhibits the digestive system, a significant action is needed when softening the intestines. Reum, better known as rhubarb or rhubarb, is saturated with vitamins and the mineral magnesium that helps regular bowel activity and is also rich in dietary fiber, so it is a perfect ingredient for significantly improving and accelerating metabolic processes.
These natural and healthy ingredients and other ingredients like myrrh, iris leaves, piperine extract, turmeric powder, dill seeds, and phosphatidyl chloride, do an especially great job when combined together. This can be done by purchasing them individually in natural stores and processing them at home in various foods and drinks, and in a simpler way in concentrated natural capsules such as Yobsalax NG (A natural constipation supplement), or Bio-Protective Curcumin. These are simple, natural, and pleasant ways to get rid of constipation, bloating, and gas in the digestive system.
How to relieve pain during constipation
There are several ways to relieve pain during constipation: Changing the diet, engaging in physical activity, taking nutritional supplements that help regulate bowel movements and relieve stomach pain, taking medication, and using rectal suppository meds. In addition, you can try traditional remedies such as consuming olive oil and linseed oil, drinking natural juices, stomach massages and eating apple cider vinegar, figs, and prunes.
What is the connection between constipation and gas?
Constipation and gas are some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. When the intestines are not working properly, the muscles in the intestine contract with a stronger force than usual. As a result, gas, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, mucous stools, and diarrhea appear.
When is a feeling of difficulty defecating defined as chronic constipation?
The frequency of bowel movements that occurs between two and three bowel movements per day and up to one bowel movement every few days is considered normal. If you are constipated at least 25 percent of the time over a three-month period, you may have chronic constipation.
Constipation – Summary
There is no doubt that constipation is an unpleasant phenomenon, and what makes it more problematic is the fact that many people do not try to treat it out of shame or embarrassment. It is very important to remember that most of the time, constipation is an expression of some problem that can cause serious situations if it is not treated properly, so if you experience it on a regular basis, you should treat it as soon as possible. There is a variety of different ways to treat constipation and before you get to significant drug treatments that are accompanied by side effects, there are definitely excellent natural nutrition channels in combination with appropriate supplements, along with massages and related methods.
If you suffer from constipation, treat it as soon as possible, preferably with natural means.