Alternative therapies for Constipation.

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Constipation and procrastination are similar. In both conditions you do not give a crap              

–James Johnson.

Introduction:

Constipation refers to a condition where bowel movements are infrequent or difficult to pass.   Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation. Severe constipation is referred to as Obstipation where there is fecal impaction and failure to pass stool and even gas. Constipation can lead to bowel obstruction and this can be very life threatening.

Constipation is one of the most common health complaints in the United States, and it affects men, women, and children. It is a bit more common in women than in men,

It is estimated that about 100 million people in the United States suffer from constipation and that these people spend $700 million yearly on constipation-relief products.

Nutritional Therapy for Constipation:

The mantra to avoid constipation is to avoid anything that is TINNED, CANNED OR PROCESSED.

A high fiber diet is useful to encourage regular bowel movements. , Water must be taken in adequate quantity so that the stool has a good constancy and is easy to pass. Vitamins and a supplementation of Vitamin C help prevention of constipation. Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Some of the ways they are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.  There is some preliminary evidence that probiotic supplements may improve constipation

 Some useful fruits to relieve constipation are:

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  • Apricots
  • Figs
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Prunes
  • Bananas.

Some useful vegetables to relieve constipation are:

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  • Beans of all kinds
  • Green such as kale and spinach
  • Vegetables such as, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans, peas

Whole Grains and a high fiber diet that help relieve constipation:

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  • High fiber breakfast cereals
  • Whole grain breads
  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Flax seeds are also very useful.

Ayurveda and constipation:

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According to Ayurveda, undigested food and occult stool slowly accumulate in the stomach and large intestines respectively and impair Vata Dosha, resulting in obstruction of the digestive tract. When the digestive tract is not clear, the body will not be able to facilitate proper bowel movement, thereby leading to constipation.

Castor oil is not only useful for bowel evacuation but also has therapeutic and curative values… 20-30 ml of this oil is to be taken with warm milk.

Triphala powder is very popularly used by the ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of chronic constipation. It contains three drugs namely—Hareetaki (harad), Vibheetaki (Beleric myrobalan), and Aamalaki (amla).  Triphala powder is to be taken at bedtime and its purgative effect is manifested early morning

Agastya rasaayana. Is another Ayurvedic medication of importance. Two teaspoonfuls of this drug should be taken regularly, twice a day, along with any hot drink of choice.

Other drugs include Pancha sakaara choorna, Abhayaadi modaka, Madhu yashtyaadi choorna etc. These should be taken under medical supervision only.

Ayurvedic detoxification procedures like Vasthi karma (enema therapy) Virechana karma (purgation therapy), Udvartana massage therapy to strengthen the abdominal organs are recommended.

Herbal Medicine for Constipation:

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Many herbs can effectively relieve the occasional bout with constipation. In fact, several laxatives used in conventional medicine contain ingredients derived from herbs, such as cascara and senna.

Other, milder laxative herbs include dandelion root and burdock root and leaves. Yellow dock can also be used to soften stools..

Psyllium seed husks can be used to make a homemade bulking agent   Psyllium adds form and softness to the stool. It is important to drink enough water with these products.

Although herbalists consider herbs to have fewer side effects than drugs, the plants still should only be used infrequently. If the bowels are repeatedly blocked, the cause should be investigated medically and corrected.

Other useful herbs are  aloe, dong quay and licorice

Chiropractic Medicine for Constipation:

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 Some cases of constipation can be relieved by realigning the spine.

Homeopathy for Constipation:

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Many people use Nux vomica for constipation and is a well known remedy for many lay persons. But there are many good remedies in Homeopathy to treat constipation. An expert Homeopath can take a good history and unravel the individual’s constitutional remedy and miracles can happen. Some of the useful homeopathic remedies are listed below.

Argentum nitricum treats constipation caused from the overuse of laxatives;

This remedy is very useful for dyspepsia and heartburn as well. 

 Baryta carbonica treats constipation in the elderly, where the stools difficult to expel.

 Bryonia treats constipation with indigestion. Here the stools are hard and stony.

 Berberis vulgaris stimulates liver and kidney function. It is indicated in constipation following jaundice.  

 Lycopodium treats chronic constipation in infants, constipation in children with a

Large appetite; an urge to stool without result in adults. It treats bloating after a meal;

Painful flatulence, person feels worse between 4 and 8 p.m. 

 Collinsonia is useful in constipation where there is abdominal pain, dry, hard stools which are difficult to expel and the person doubles up in pain and it is indicated in constipation in pregnant women.

Graphites This remedy is useful in chronic constipation associate with colic pains with  large stools that are difficult to expel.  Such persons may have a distended abdomen, anal fissure, and anal pain after stool, piles, and person may be overweight. 

 Nux vomica is recommended for spasmodic constipation, bloating, gas, stomach cramps, drug addiction, person is sensitive, anxious, and nervous. This remedy is very useful in digestive disturbances of stressed out executives.

 Chelidonium is indicated for pale discolored yellow stools with dyspepsia.

 Hepar sulfur is indicated for bowel obstruction; intestinal atony. 

 Detoxification, Fasting, and Colon Therapy for Constipation:

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Certain forms of enemas and colonic irrigation can be effective for constipation.

Yoga for Constipation:

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Several breathing exercises and poses can clear the body’s energy flow, encouraging movement of the bowels. Some useful asanas are Baddha Konasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana , Pavanamuktasana, Halasana, Uttanasana, Malasana, and Savasana. 

A note of caution; Yoga must be learn t from a teacher and should not be done without proper training.

 

Biofeedback Training for Constipation:

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Biofeedback training can give the person with constipation greater control over the digestive system. With the help of monitors that “feedback” certain biological levels, the therapy instructs people to alter involuntary functions of the body. These therapies are rarely used but do have their place in the management of constipation.

Conclusion:

Constipation is indeed a serious problem.  Constipation affects your quality of life, causes stress, and diminishes your overall sense of well-being.  Constipation is one of the symptoms of disbacteriosis — a condition where the normal, intestinal flora is dead and missing.  Constipation affects genitourinary health, particularly for women, because the large intestine and the female reproductive organs reside in close proximity.  Constipation predisposes you to all major colorectal disorders starting with enlarged hemorrhoids and ending up with colorectal cancer.

A note of warning: All elderly persons with constipation should visit the surgeon to rule out the colo-rectal cancer. There is an “Old Surgical Dictum for doctors”- If you do not put your finger into the rectum in time, you may have to put your foot into it.

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6 thoughts on “Alternative therapies for Constipation.

  1. Thanks Dr.Rajesh for the beautiful insights for the ailments explained not just thru medical treatment but also thru Ayurveda, homeopathy and Yoga asanas. Please also create a webpage on Facebook and other media so that many can benefit from the blog.
    Best Regards
    Bina Sheth
    Quest Foundation
    Sion, Mumbai, India

  2. This publish is really helpful. I am able to override author’, email’ and url’ default settings, but I am not able to override comment_field’, it is getting duplicated, i.e. the default textarea is also appearing with my custom comment textarea. Any help would be appreciated.

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