Treatment depends on the cause, severity, and duration, in most
cases the best way is dietary and lifestyle changes. For most
people, dietary and lifestyle improvements can lessen the chances
of constipation. Above all, it is necessary to recognize that
a successful treatment program requires persistent effort and
time. Constipation does not occur overnight, and it is not reasonable
to expect that constipation can be relieved overnight.
The following will help relieve symptoms of constipation
and help prevent it:
· Add fibre in your diet
The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fiber found
in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and high in fats found
in cheese, eggs, and meats. People who eat plenty of high-fiber
foods are less likely to become constipated. So include more fibre
in your diet to treat constipation.
A well-balanced diet is recommended. fiber-rich
foods, include unprocessed bran, whole-grain bread, beans, whole
grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables such as
asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. For people
prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fiber,
such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods, is also
· Drink lots of water
Liquids like water and juice add fluid to the colon and bulk to
stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Avoid
taking drinks that contain caffeine, like coffee and cola drinks,
and alcohol have a dehydrating effect. People who have problems
with constipation should drink enough of these liquids every day,
about eight 8-ounce glasses.
· Adequate exercise
Lack of exercise can lead to constipation, although doctors do
not know precisely why. For example, constipation often occurs
after an accident or during an illness when one must stay in bed
and cannot exercise.
Keep your body active. Exercise or activities like
walking, cycling, swimming and even dancing are also good forms
of exercise. Exercising regularly will help to stimulate intestinal
activity. Special exercises may be necessary to tone up abdominal
muscles after pregnancy or whenever abdominal muscles are lax.
· Good bowel habits
Bowel habits are also important. Sufficient time should be set
aside to allow for undisturbed visits to the bathroom after breakfast
or dinner. In addition, don’t ignore the urge to defecate.
· Medical Treatment
If an underlying disorder is causing constipation, treatment will
be directed toward the specific cause. For example, if an underactive
thyroid is causing constipation, the doctor may prescribe thyroid
hormone replacement therapy. Or, the doctor may recommend discontinuing
medication or performing surgery to correct an anorectal problem
such as rectal prolapse.
In most cases, laxatives should be the last resort
and taken only under a doctor’s supervision. A doctor is
best qualified to determine when a laxative is needed and which
type is best. There are various types of oral laxatives, and they
work in different ways.
· For people who are dependent on laxatives,
need to slowly stop using them. Ask your doctor for medical assistance.
In most people, this restores the colon's natural ability to contract.
People with chronic constipation caused by anorectal
dysfunction can use biofeedback to retrain the muscles that control
release of bowel movements. Biofeedback involves using a sensor
to monitor muscle activity that at the same time can be displayed
on a computer screen, allowing for an accurate assessment of body
functions. A health care professional uses this information to
help the patient learn how to use these muscles.
Surgical removal of the colon may be an option for
people with severe symptoms caused by colonic inertia. However,
the benefits of this surgery must be weighed against possible
complications, which include abdominal pain and diarrhea.