Proper digestion is the secret of healthy living. Our body absorbs all the nutrients from the food we eat and processes the remaining material into a 20 feet long intestine. It further moves to the colon where water is absorbed and the final waste material is stored before elimination.
The entire process of digestion is completed only when the waste is thoroughly eliminated from the body. This elimination process is known as bowel movements and the frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person. Some may pass bowel a couple of times a day while some may pass a few times in an entire week.
Considering the age, diet and lifestyle of a person, normal bowel movements may imply when a person passes stool 3 times a day to 3 times a week. This process must be effortless and the stool must not be very hard or very soft. Normal bowel movements are essential for a healthy living.
Constipation is irregular or difficult bowel movements. When we say irregular or difficult, it simply implies the following conditions:
- Hard and dry stool
- Unsatisfactory feeling after passing stool
- Pain while passing stool
- Applying too much pressure for the stool to come out of the anal passage
- Severe pain in the anal region and pelvic muscles
So if you undergo these conditions for more than 3 weeks, you are constipated and you need to see a doctor or get medical assistance.
CAUSES FOR CONSTIPATION
The basic reason for constipation is lack of Fiber in the food and inadequate water intake.
- Improper diet
- Odd meal timings
- Insufficient fruits and vegetables intake
- Sudden and drastic change in routine and lifestyle
- certain medication
- Stress , anxiety, depression
EFFECTS OF CONSTIPATION
What can constipation do to your body ?
Eliminating the waste is essential for a healthy living. Hard stools get stuck in the intestine and do not pass easily. They accumulate and turn out to be harmful. If such a condition prevails for more than 3 weeks then constipation becomes chronic. The effects of chronic constipation are
- Rectal prolapse- a part of the rectum or the entire rectum comes out of the Anus due to constant pressure.
- Anal fissures- tearing of the tissues around the anus
- Haemorrhoid– swollen veins around the rectum and Anus
- Fecal impaction – stools get hard and stick to walls of the intestine causing blockages
All these conditions can be extremely painful and can also lead to bleeding. If the conditions worsen, you may have to be admitted to the hospital for emergency treatment.
HOW TO AVOID CONSTIPATION- PREVENTIVE CARE
Chronic constipation is severely dangerous and a difficult situation to handle. A few steps and modifications in diet can help avoid developing chronic constipation
- Consuming plenty of high-fiber foods in your diet. ( fruits like papaya, vegetables like beans, sweet potato, adequate quantity of cereals etc)
- Drink adequate water after regular intervals. ..
- Avoid processed food
- Exercise regularly.
- Pass stool as soon as you feel the urge.
- Try to manage mental conditions like stress, anxiety, depression etc.
- Try to have a schedule for passing stool. Trying doing this in the morning everyday
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Constipation can affect anyone irrespective of age. Even babies and small kids suffer from constipation. But if this continues for more than 3 weeks then see a doctor. A planned medical treatment is far better than an emergency situation which can be painful and lengthy.
If you feel you are constipated, immediately make changes in the diet and follow the preventive measures. But if your condition is painful and you are experiencing bleeding too, then it’s time for medical assistance. You can call the NEOGENCARE experts and they will guide you with the further proceedings. They can arrange checkup and tele consultation as well. They can also set up appointments with the best gastroenterologist who is a specialist for such digestive disorders.
Constipation can worsen with time and can recur if not treated appropriately. But the simple way to avoid it is proper diet and plenty of fluids. So watch for any symptoms and make changes immediately to get rid of this lifestyle disease.