Even though it appears to be a simple question, what is constipation? The term can be used to describe a variety of different types of bowel problems. Constipation can manifest itself as hard, pellet-like stools or as stools with a reduced volume. This term can also be used to describe excessive straining, the absence of a daily bowel movement, or the sensation of being unable to pass the entire stool. Because these are all descriptions of constipation, the symptoms are different even though they all describe it.
What is Chronic Constipation?
Constipation becomes chronic when it persists for more than a few weeks to several months. The symptoms of constipation can be different for each person, and each person may need a different treatment. You should be very specific when talking to your doctor about your specific problems.
To dispel a common misconception among those who are used to having a bowel movement daily, it is perfectly normal not to have a bowel movement daily. As unpleasant as it can be to have too few bowel movements (usually two or fewer per week), there is no physiological reason to move your bowels every day.
Constipation Can Be Classified Into Two Categories:
For starters, there is a slow movement of contents throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The second type of constipation occurs closer to the exit, and it is characterized by difficulty passing bowel contents out due to problems with pelvic muscle contractions. Treatment for the first type of constipation can include the addition of fibre to your diet, either through supplements or by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. The second form may necessitate additional evaluation, such as imaging tests or surgical procedures.
Reasons for Constipation:
There are a variety of reasons why you may become constipated, and it is critical to first understand why. Fortunately, there are some reversible causes of constipation that can be treated to help with bowel movements. If constipation is a new complaint, you should consult with your primary care physician before incorporating more fibre into your diet to ensure that you do not require diagnostic testing such as abdominal x-rays or laboratory testing. If you are taking any new medications, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, and vomiting, consult your doctor immediately. These symptoms could mean that you need to be checked out for other, more serious illnesses.
How Can I Get Rid Of Constipation Without Resorting To Medication?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from patients, and it is one of the reasons why studies on incorporating fibre into the diet through fruits and vegetables are so appealing. Because there is limited good data to guide doctors in prescribing specific plants or fibre regimens, it is difficult to recommend specific treatment plans, just as it is difficult to recommend standardized doses of medications.
New research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, entitled “Exploratory comparative effectiveness trial of green kiwifruit, psyllium, or prunes in US patients with chronic constipation,” aims to directly compare the efficacy of three different, entirely natural approaches to treating chronic constipation in the United States. When it comes to treating chronic constipation, prunes (which contain dietary fibre derived from plants) and psyllium are well-known remedies. It should come as no surprise that all participants were successful in achieving the primary goal of increasing bowel movements.
It Looks Like Kiwifruit Was Able To Do This While Having Fewer Side Effects
However, there are some significant limitations to this investigation. There were a disproportionately large number of female patients, with an average age of 43, which is typical of patients suffering from chronic constipation. Patients were aware of the type of intervention they were receiving (kiwi, prunes, or psyllium) and were willing to participate. The study had a small sample size, consisting of approximately 80 participants. And it remains to be seen whether the relief from constipation provided by kiwifruit will last beyond four weeks (which was the length of the study). It does, however, provide another potential addition to the diet for individuals who are looking for natural remedies to address a persistent complaint. People who have constipation might benefit from kiwifruit, and new research shows that it can help. I would be comfortable recommending kiwifruit to my patients.
Let Us Suppose That The Natural Approach Is Unsuccessful: What Happens After That?
As with anything you try on your own if you have constipation that is new to you and is not responding to the remedies you have tried at home, consult your doctor to determine whether you require an evaluation to determine what is causing your problems. When it comes to eating enough fibre (aim for 5 grammes per meal), there is no shame in admitting that it can be difficult to do so with the modern Western diet at times. Apart from constipation, there are several good reasons to consume as much fibre as possible, including colon health and the development of healthy gut bacteria. If you are unable to consume enough fibre (or eat enough kiwis!) to alleviate your constipation, there are numerous over-the-counter and prescription-strength laxatives available that are effective in treating the condition. When in doubt, get in touch with someone! There is no reason to suffer when there are other, more effective, and less dangerous options available.
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