Treatment Options for Constipation
Before thinking of treating your constipation, you must first make sure that you are suffering from it.
The rule of thumb is this: If you have moved your bowel less then three times in a week, then you are constipated.
Remember, you do not have to have a bowel movement each day – skipping a day or two is not a problem. However, if you skip five days or more, you might be in trouble.
The first step to treating constipation is to find the underlying cause or causes.
The majority of cases are cause by a lack of fiber – fiber is the substance that regulates the consistency of the stool. However, more complex causes may surface, and it is important to see a doctor if you cannot deal with a bout of constipation after a week or two.
Treatment options for constipation include lifestyle changes (notably changes in diet), prescription or non-prescription laxatives, and fiber supplements. For most people, a combination of dietary changes and laxatives will often reverse constipation. However, in some of the more serious cases techniques such as biofeedback may be used. The most serious cases are resolved using surgery, but the incidence of this is very, very rare, considering that most people will experience constipation at one point of their life or another.
As mentioned before, most cases of constipation are caused by a simple lack of fiber. Most commonly, this occurs with people who eat a lot of meat and starch foods, but not enough fruits and vegetables. It is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber – especially when they are uncooked in any way. Taken in sufficient quantities and in proper regularity, fruits and vegetables will eliminate any need to take artificial laxatives.
In lieu of eating fruits and vegetables, one can also take fiber supplements. (Of course, eating of Nature’s bounty is a far healthier course; its benefits extend beyond just simply preventing or treating constipation.) Fiber supplements, such as those mad of bran, will bulk up your stool and soften its consistency, making it easier to pass. However, some people complain that bran causes them to bloat or have excessive gas, in which case a fiber substitute called psyllium can be used. Psyllium, which forms a gel in water, and acts as a bulking agent, will produce less gas.
Laxatives are cathartic medicines in the sense that they will force your bowels to relieve its contents. There are both prescription and non-prescription laxatives, with the former more powerful than the latter. As long as you can solve your constipation problems through changes in diet or fiber supplements, try not to use laxatives. They are not meant for continuous use.
Water plays a large role in maintaining balance throughout the human body. As might be expected, it plays a preeminent role in the digestive system. Proper digestion depends on the right amount of water in the body, as does proper waste disposal. If you do not have much water inside your body, you can expect your stools to be hard and difficult to pass.
If your water level is not balanced, the toxins stay in your body and your machine gets stuck, having constipation problems could be compared to driving a car with not enought oil in the motor, in the long run the machine gets damages.
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