Constipation - Symptoms, Causes, Types of Stool, Treatment
What is Constipation?
Constipation is a disorder of the digestive system that reduces the frequency of bowel movement. Medically a person is said to be constipated if he passes less than three stools a week. Normal frequency can vary from three stools a day to three a week but it varies from person to person and what is normal for one person may not be so for the other.
Symptoms of Constipation
Common symptoms are:
- Passing hard stool three times a week or less.
- Unusual straining at stool. In certain cases even soft stool does not pass without unusual straining.
- Abdominal bloating or discomfort.
- Incomplete and unsatisfying expulsion.
Types of Stool
In constipation the stool can be of various types such as:
- Dry, hard, large and painful
- Hard covered with mucus
- Dry and crumbling
- Large, black, carrion like
- Slender, quill like
- Hard round balls likes sheep's dung
- Soft but still difficult to pass
- Soft but incomplete expulsion
Causes of Constipation
In most cases where the stool is hard, constipation is due to dryness of mucus membranes. Should that happen, usually the mouth also becomes dry with increased thirst. One factor that makes a person constipated may not have similar effect on the other. Common causes of constipation are:
- Excessive use of foodstuff that tends to dry up mucus membranes
- Frequent use of spicy food
- Insufficient fluid intake
- Pregnancy (not everyone is affected)
- Reduced physical activity
- Continuous bed rest due to sickness
- Intestinal obstruction
- Medication for certain diseases
- Over use of laxatives
- Aging (in some persons)
- Traveling (in some persons)
- Use of narcotics (including smoking)
Constipation is said to be the mother of most diseases because the body toxins that should naturally leave on time, stay in the body for much longer creating adverse health conditions. Persistent constipation can cause anal fissures and/or hemorrhoids that could be blind or bleeding and internal or external or both, which is a condition obviously more difficult to treat than constipation. If there is no bowel movement for several days, the stool may become very hard calling for mechanical/manual removal.
Prevention and Treatment of Constipation
Try to find the cause of your constipation and remove it if you can. Consulting a doctor is fine but in many cases, you are the best person to do so.
- Increase your intake of liquids other than acidic drinks
- Add fibrous food like whole-grain cereals, vegetables, and fruits to your meals
- Review your lifestyle and make necessary changes
- Avoid junk food
- Do not postpone your call to nature just because you are busy otherwise the stool will start becoming harder
- Do not use laxatives unnecessarily
Homeopathy has dozens of wonderful medicines to cure various conditions of constipation and stool types. Consider homeopathic treatment.