Consult for Constipation Treatment
Constipation is a condition in which the frequency of bowel movement is <3 times per week. It occurs when water in the colon gets absorbed too much.
Burden of Condition
Constipation is a common condition that affects the quality of life. 1 out of 5 individuals is affected by constipation accounting for 12% of the global population.
A recent survey reported that 22% of the adult Indian population suffers from constipation. Gender Prevalence and prevalence of constipation in the Indian population are shown in the below charts
Prevalence (Male vs Female) of Constipation in India
Prevalence of Constipation in Indian population
Causes of Constipation
Constipation occurs due to multiple causes which include slow transit of the stool, age, diet, physical inactivity, stress, hormonal, psychological, neurological, metabolic disorders, certain drugs, cancer, and pregnancy.
Symptoms of Constipation
- A sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Pain on defecation
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding on severe straining
- Psychological Symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue
Should the symptoms be neglected, constipation can lead to complications as well.
Constipation in Babies and Children
The prevalence of childhood constipation range from 0.7% to 29.6%.
Prevalence of constipation in Children in India
Children usually suffer from constipation due to dietary and lifestyle changes such as the transition from breast milk to formula etc.
Management of Constipation
The Bristol stool scale is used as a reliable tool designed to classify the stool in 7 types from hard lumps to entirely liquid.Bristol Stool scale
|Types||Bristol Stool Form||Bristol Stool Scale|
|Type 1||Separate hard lumps (hard to pass)||Severe Constipation|
|Type 2||Sausage-shaped, but lumpy||Mild Constipation|
|Type 3||Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface||Normal stool|
|Type 4||Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft||Normal stool|
|Type 5||Soft blobs with clear cut edges (easy to pass)||Normal (tending towards loose stool)|
|Type 6||Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool||Mild Diarrhoea|
|Type 7||Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid||Severe Diarrhoea|
Simple lifestyle changes can treat acute constipation. For chronic constipation, the underlying condition must be managed by a specialist.
Home Remedies for ConstipationDiet and Lifestyle modifications
- Consumption of fiber-rich foods helps in softening the stool and forms a bulky stool
- Add probiotics to the diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercising regularly aids in the movement of stool through the colon
- Natural laxatives such as aloe vera, senna , etc can be tried to relieve constipation
|Food to eat||Foods to limit|
|Fresh Fruits: Apple, Pear||Unripe Bananas|
|Vegetables: Spinach, Sprouts, etc.||Alcohol, Red Meat, Fish, Processed Foods|
|Pulses: Beans, lentils||Gluten-Containing Foods|
|Seeds: Chia seeds, Flax seeds||Dairy product|
|Prunes, Raisins, Apricots, Figs||Fried foods, fast food|
|Whole grain, oat bran||white bread, white pasta|
Discuss your symptoms with a GP online during an audio/video consultation, who will identify the cause and recommend treatment.
Add fresh fruits, vegetables, and probiotics to your diet and drink more water.
Passing hard stools, or excessive straining, having <3 bowel movements/week, and a sense of incomplete evacuation.
3 or more days is usually long
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