The rate of bowel movement can vary from three times a day to three times a week. This is an individual feature of the body. It is customary to talk about constipation in cases when defecation is difficult, the intestines are not completely empty, a person feels discomfort in the abdomen and general weakness. In this case, the chair can be daily. If a visit to the toilet occurs less than once every three days, then there can be no doubt about the presence of constipation.
With age, the risk of constipation increases. This problem cannot be ignored. Stagnation of feces leads to the reverse absorption into the body of substances that should have been eliminated from it, since they are no longer useful. This affects the general well-being of a person and ultimately leads to serious pathologies of the digestive system.
Causes of Constipation
Before you understand how to fix a chair with constipation, you need to determine what caused them. The main reasons include:
- Improper nutrition - a limited amount of fiber, monotonous malnutrition, reduced water intake, lack of regimen.
- Low physical activity. Weak muscles of the abdomen and pelvis are reflected in the digestive system.
- Some drugs taken for a long time are antidepressants, drugs containing iron, potassium or aluminum, oral contraceptives, antibiotics.
- Diseases of the digestive system - ulcer, hemorrhoids, cholecystitis, intestinal fissures and abnormalities of its development, a tumor.
Depending on the cause of constipation, it is necessary either to cure the concomitant disease, or to correct some aspects of the lifestyle.
General recommendations for combating constipation
It is very important to form the correct lifestyle, daily routine and psychological attitude. To do this, you must adhere to several rules:
- You can’t endure if you want to go to the toilet, restrain this urge. With repeated delayed response to body signals in the future, they weaken and completely disappear.
- You can not be distracted by reading and other things when visiting the toilet.
- You must try to use the toilet at the same time.
- If you need to push, it is better to do this while sitting upright, resting your feet on the floor.
- It is important to learn how to relax in any life situation, avoid stressful moments, look at everything with a smile.
Compliance with the drinking regime occupies a special place. The daily norm of water for an adult is 30 ml per 1 kg of body weight. It is useful to start the day with a glass of water, especially with frequent constipation. This must be done before the usual morning procedures, so that by breakfast she already has time to assimilate. Water expands the intestines, softens its contents and promotes emptying.
It is important that the food is varied and includes all types of products daily - vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, cereals, dairy products. It is necessary to try to take food at the same time in order to develop a habit in the body. Food will be better digested, and its remnants - regularly removed.
In the diet of a person suffering from constipation, there should be foods rich in dietary fiber. Such products are very useful. Their components undergo prolonged processing by intestinal microflora. This contributes to its purification, the formation of feces, and also reduces cholesterol. Nutrients are better absorbed by the body. Dietary fiber is rich in fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, and products from wholemeal flour. Bran has the maximum ability to absorb water. It is necessary that 30–40 g of dietary fiber is present daily in the diet.
Products that should be consumed by a person suffering from constipation:
- vegetables and fruits not subject to heat treatment - cabbage, spinach, cucumbers, radish, tomatoes, carrots, beets, squash, pumpkin, apples, grapes, melon, watermelon, bananas,
- dried fruits - dried apricots, figs, raisins, prunes,
- juices from plums, pumpkins, tomatoes, apricots, apples, cabbage, barberry,
- vegetable and butter,
- dairy products,
- greens - parsley, chives, cilantro, dill, salad.
At the same time, the amount of coffee, tea, chocolate, rice, blueberries, and white bread should be limited in the diet. It is better to avoid mashed meals - they negatively affect intestinal motility.
A prerequisite for the prevention and treatment of constipation is physical activity. Regular exercise in the morning, gymnastics and movement during the day improve intestinal motility. You can start the exercises without even getting out of bed:
- Lying on your back, with force to retract and protrude the stomach.
- Retract and protrude the stomach, lying on its side, pulling the knees to the chest. Do the exercise on the right and left side.
- “Bicycle” - lying on your back, make rotational movements with your legs.
- Make a few clicks on the abdomen under the belly button.
These exercises can be supplemented with massage. Perform it also lying:
- Circular massage of the abdomen in a clockwise direction.
- Spiral massage of the abdomen in a clockwise direction. You need to start from the navel, and finish by reaching the pubis from below and the solar plexus from above.
- Knead the left side of the abdomen, moving from top to bottom.
- Massage the little fingers alternately on both hands for several minutes.
You can complete the morning warm-up with more active exercises: squats, walking with squats, movements on the buttocks.
Treatment with special drugs should be contacted as a last resort. Frequent use of medicines for constipation can lead to the opposite effect. Medications are addictive and require a dosage increase. Therefore, over time, dysbacteriosis develops in the intestine, and the body loses important vitamins and minerals, as absorption is impaired. It is also typical for the frequent use of cleansing enemas.
Among existing drugs, it is better to give preference to agents based on lactulose. These include dufalac, export, normase, forlax. They are characterized by a mild effect on the intestines, retain water in it and soften feces. And although the effect is not immediately apparent, but it is quite long. These drugs are safe for children and pregnant women, they do not cause side effects from the intestines.
There are also more rapid remedies for constipation. These are drugs based on senna, bisacodyl, as well as drops of guttalax, weak and the like. Most of them can not be used for spastic constipation, which should be taken into account. They are not suitable for frequent use, as they are addictive.
In acute conditions, glycerin suppositories are used. They carefully act on the intestines and are safe. In extreme cases, you can use enemas, but do not abuse this procedure. It is best to do them with petroleum jelly, sunflower or olive oil. With spastic constipation, warming up the abdomen with a heating pad or bath helps well.
Folk recipes for constipation
The transition to the correct diet and physical activity will take some time before the intestines work back to normal. At the same time, recipes based on products that maximize the excretion of the digestive system can help with constipation:
- Tea based on carrot tops. Greens carrots are dried, frayed and sieved. 1 teaspoon of tops is brewed in a glass of water, you can add sugar. You need to drink tea with brewing on an empty stomach half an hour before breakfast. This greens can be seasoned first courses. Apply it for 1 month.
- Make a mixture of 250 g of dried apricots and prunes, 1 tablespoon of senna and vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of honey. There are 1–6 tablespoons at night. You can store the finished mixture in the refrigerator for a week, and it can be treated with it for up to 2 months.
- 3 teaspoons of wheat bran in water or milk overnight. For a child, the dose is 1 teaspoon.
- A mixture of dried fruits. Grind and mix 500 g of figs, prunes, dried apricots, dates, raisins with 5 tablespoons of honey. Consume 3 teaspoons per day.
- 1 cup of kefir an hour before bedtime. Sour-milk product must be fresh, yesterday's maximum. You can add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to it.
- Coriander, as a constant seasoning in the first dishes and cereals - half a teaspoon in a pan.
When constipation is the result of a disturbed lifestyle, it can be successfully cured by adjusting the diet and physical activity. But a doctor’s consultation is always necessary, since this digestive disorder can be a serious symptom of another disease.
How does it work and what is a normal chair like?
In short, in the large intestine, the remnants of food are mixed, water is absorbed, feces are formed and move on to the “exit” - the rectum, where the wall is stretched, a urge to defecate appears and feces are removed.
Why know this? To distinguish norm from non-norm. Regular stool is a sign of good digestion and promotes health and longevity.
For feces to completely pass through the intestines, a minimum of 20 hours and a maximum of 3 days are necessary. When the stool is in the colon longer - it becomes hard, like a "sheep". Therefore, if you visit the toilet less than once every 3 days, and the feces are similar to the first 2 pictures, this is constipation. See which feces are considered normal (types 3 and 4):
If you want to use the toilet at night, these are signs of illness. Because the contractions of the colon - peristalsis, appear in the morning, at night the intestine "rests". Consult a doctor, do not treat yourself if you have a feeling during bowel movements that:
- you have "something else left" in your gut, no sense of relief
- you need to push
- you want but can't go to the toilet
- everything is “blocked” in the stomach
- pisses you off
- need to help empty the intestines
- this condition lasts more than six months and the situation worsens.
What is the danger of "ordinary" constipation?
The delay in the chair is not so harmless. Constipation is the cause of many health problems:
- Hemorrhoids worsen, anal fissures appear, the risk of rectal prolapse is increased - in 7 out of every 10 patients.
- A functional disorder appears - irritable bowel syndrome.
- There are predisposing factors for the development of colitis, allergies.
- The body does not receive the necessary vitamins and minerals.
- The patient becomes irritable, suffering from depression and neurosis.
- Often worried about chronic fatigue syndrome.
Those who suffer from constipation are at increased risk:
- diverticulosis of the colon (protrusion and thinning of the intestinal wall) and its complications, up to perforation of the intestine and peritonitis - every fifth
- intestinal polyps are found in every tenth
- colon and rectal cancer - in every twenty.
Do not take it to extremes - treat constipation on time.
Tip number 2 - choose a diet
At the “exit” you get the consequences of what you received “at the entrance”. There are products that make the stool softer, and the intestines make you work more actively. Include in the diet: vegetable oils, freshly squeezed vegetable juices, sour-milk products - fresh kefir, friable cereals with dried fruits, soups, fruits, raw and processed vegetables, healthy fiber. Fried, fatty, smoked meats, preservatives and other “chemistry” in products are prohibited.
Tip # 3 - drink enough fluids
Of course, you heard that “you have to drink a lot.” But how much is enough? Scientists have established the norm - 30 ml per 1 kg of ideal body weight (in the network you can find a body mass calculator, and, substituting your data, calculate it). The liquid must be warm so that it can enter the intestines quickly, and honey can be added to the water.
Tip number 4 - do not lie on the couch
If you spend days in the office, and evenings - watching TV or “hang out” on the Internet - the intestines may well arrange a “strike". In order for the chair to be regular, physical activity at least an hour 3 times a week is the best way out. You can’t devote so much time, there is no way to visit the hall? Walk, climb stairs, use every minute to keep fit.
Tip number 5 - do not heal yourself, consult a doctor
When kefir, fasting prunes and warm water with honey will not help, but it's time to see a doctor:
- in the stool you noticed blood
- the appearance of feces has changed - thin or like a tape
- bowel failure appeared suddenly, especially after 50 years
- you suffer from constipation, lost a lot of weight, and your diet remains the same
- you have abdominal pain or discomfort before or after bowel movements
- constipation replaces diarrhea
- there were pains in the rectum
- appetite worsened, aversion to certain foods appeared
- you become tired faster
- you do not understand why the temperature rises
- you suffer from constipation, and there have been cases of colon and rectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease in the family.
Constipation and ... thyroid: where is the connection?
A young girl of 23 years turned to us. It turned out that she was worried about constipation for 1.5 years! Our doctor carefully interviewed the patient and found out that during pregnancy, 3 years ago, she had a thyroid dysfunction, but nothing bothered and no treatment was carried out.
We examined it more thoroughly and found out that autoimmune thyroiditis was the cause of constipation - a common situation in women, when the body “attacks” its own thyroid gland, it gradually breaks down and the level of hormones decreases. One of the symptoms of autoimmune thyroiditis is constipation. Our endocrinologist prescribed treatment, thyroid function returned to normal, and working with a gastroenterologist yielded results - the constipation was gone.
Constipation and something else
A 67-year-old patient came to us with complaints of constipation. Laxatives did not help. The doctor examined him, but found no significant deviations. However, the age and nature of the complaints were alarming, and the patient was sent for a detailed examination.
In the blood test, a decrease in hemoglobin, an increase in ESR, and occult blood in the stool were detected using an ultra-sensitive test for occult blood in the stool “Colon View”. We performed a colonoscopy - examination of the intestine using a flexible endoscope and revealed a tumor of the intestine. Fortunately, we managed on time.
The patient was successfully operated on, and he is under the supervision of a gastroenterologist and oncologist.
How and how can we help you?
- Consult a competent specialist - our gastroenterologist examines you in detail, if necessary, appoints additional consultations from related specialists and monitors the treatment process, from the first visit to the result.
- Identify the cause of constipation - we have all the necessary equipment of an expert class and highly qualified diagnosticians to conduct a detailed examination - analyzes, ultrasound, endoscopic examinations.
- Save your time and money - to find out why your intestines refuse to work regularly, we created a free conversation with a gastroenterologist to schedule an examination. If you are worried about symptoms, but don’t know where to start, you’ll be given the right research spectrum in the conversation.
Constipation is the cause and effect of many diseases. A competent doctor will help to understand them. You should not prescribe laxatives to yourself, get involved in enemas and “pull” a visit to a gastroenterologist. You can miss something important and lose valuable time. Do not take risks - consult a specialist.