Understanding Constipation and its Treatment

 Sitting on the toilet first thing in the morning, you think about what food you ate the day before when you realise that your body is unable to pass stool. This situation is far too common and is often left untreated. Constipation is not just an uncomfortable feeling; it is a combination of feeling bloated the entire day, not wanting to eat anything and feeling nauseous every time you smell food. These symptoms are not normal and should not be neglected.


While everyone has a different bowel movement pattern, if you are having less than three bowel movements in a week, it is a matter of concern. But that isn’t the only factor that qualifies as constipation, the other key factors are hard and dry stools, strain, painful bowel movements and not being able to empty your bowels.


While most of us know what constipation feels like, how exactly does it happen? When the food moves through the digestive tract it absorbs nutrients. After the absorption of the good stuff, the waste moves slowly from the small intestine to the large intestine. Then the large intestine, also known as the colon, absorbs water from the waste, creating a solid matter called stool. But when the food moves too slowly through the digestive tract, it gives the colon a lot of time to absorb water from the waste. This procedure causes the stool to become dry and hard, making it difficult to push out from the body. This is how constipation happens. If not treated, constipation can lead to complications like haemorrhoids, anal fissures and diverticulitis, to name a few.


Constipation is a common disorder of the digestive system and can occur in all age groups. A survey conducted on gut estimated that 22% of Indians suffer from constipation with 13% of people complaining about chronic constipation. So how does one get rid of constipation and prevent it from occurring again? Here are a few treatments for constipation that work best depending on how severe your constipation is.


Lifestyle and Dietary Changes: We know waking up in the morning and gathering all your energy for a workout is in itself a workout but wouldn’t you rather deal with waking up in the morning than experience all those painful and uncomfortable effects of constipation? Start by regularly exercising. It can be as simple as brisk walking or intense like HIIT; whatever works for you. Switch to a high fibre diet such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that will help improve your gut function. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day; drink plenty of water and other fluids. Most importantly, go when you feel the urge.


Laxatives: Laxatives are substances that soften the stool, improving bowel function. There are many types of laxatives available in the market today. Your doctor will prescribe laxatives depending on the severity of your constipation. 


Training Your Pelvic Floor Muscles: Most people have a problem with the pelvic floor muscles that control bowel movements. In that case, your doctor will recommend biofeedback therapy to retrain your muscles. It is important to know when to relax your pelvic floor muscles during defecation to help pass stool with ease. This way, you will be able to change the way your muscles work and pass stool easily.


Surgery: For severe cases of constipation, these simpler remedies might not work. In such cases, your doctor will recommend surgery. One of the options is to surgically remove a part of the colon. This is the most effective chronic constipation relief treatment.


These are the topmost treatments for constipation that your doctor may recommend based on your condition. If you or a loved one is suffering from constipation, you should seek medical attention immediately as delaying the treatment will only worsen the condition. SMILES Gastroenterology is an integrated centre that provides the best-suited treatment for constipation as per your symptoms. We have highly experienced specialists, state-of-the-art equipment and advanced facilities. You are sure to get relief from constipation and any other gastrointestinal problems. Schedule your appointment today!