Constipation Causes, Symptoms
One of the more common disturbances of the digestive tract is constipation. Your bowels fail to move or do not empty themselves completely when they move. It is one of the more common problems as you age. This is because as you age, your body burns up energy slowly, thus affecting the digestive processes. The bowel movements also become sluggish, thus leading to constipation. It is one of the prime causes of diseases as it leads to accumulation of toxins. This leads to the toxic matter seeping into the bloodstream, which is then carried away to all the parts of the body. This weakens the vital organs and lowers the body’s immunity. Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, cataract and cancer are some of the diseases caused by chronic constipation.
The total number of motion that you need for the normal health varies from person to person. For some people, one motion is essential, some others need two a day while for a few others one bowel movement every alternate day is normal. But for your comfort and health, a clear bowel movement a day is needed and is considered normal.
Causes of Constipation
- Wrong diet and faulty style of living. Eating foods in their natural state is always advisable as they contain a good amount of roughage, which plays an important role in maintaining natural balance and in helping peristalsis which is the natural rhythmic action by which the food is passed down the alimentary canal. But when you consume the modern day foods, much of the bulk or roughage has already been removed resulting in chronic constipation. When you take refined and rich foods which lack the necessary vitamins and minerals, drink insufficient amount of water but drink strong tea and coffee, insufficient chewing, overeating and combining wrong foods, irregular eating habits and drinking, you are faced with the problem of chronic constipation.
- Faulty and irregular defecation habits
- Dependence on purgatives
- Weak abdominal muscles due to sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of physical activity
- Emotional stress and strain
As you age, various other factors come into play in causing constipation. The movement of your intestines is in direct proportion to the movement of your legs. As you grow old, your physical activity gets limited due to stiffness in joints, arthritis and other physical and mental illnesses. Your appetite is reduced due to falling teeth, thus aggravating constipation. Old people also stop eating because of the erroneous notion that unless the food already consumed is digested, they should not eat further, thus escalating the problem. Taking drugs to treat certain ailments like insomnia, high blood pressure also affects the problem. Diabetes and cough can also cause constipation in the old age.
Symptoms of Constipation
- Infrequency, irregularity of difficulty of elimination due to hard fecal matter.
- Coated tongue
- Foul breath
- Loss of appetite
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Pimples on face
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Constant fullness in the abdomen
- Diarrhoea that alternates with constipation
- Varicose veins
- Pain in the lumbar region
Diet for Constipation
Go for natural and simple diet with plenty of unrefined foods like whole grain cereals, bran, honey, molasses, lentils, green leafy vegetables especially spinach, french beans, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, celery, turnip, pumpkin, peas, beets, asparagus, carrot, fresh fruits like pears, grapes, figs, papaya, mangoes, guava and oranges, dry fruits like figs, raisins, apricots and dates and milk products like butter, ghee and cream.
Chew the food properly, with each morsel being chewed at least 15 times. Avoid eating in hurry as well as meals at odd times. Do not eat sugar and sugary foods because sugar robs the B vitamins from your body, which prevents your intestines from functioning normally. Stay away from foods that constipate, which are the products of white flour, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fresh foods, preserves, white sugar and hard boiled eggs. Drinking water regularly will help the constipation, cleans the system, dilutes the blood and eliminates the poisons. Hence ensure that you drink about 8 glasses of water a day as it is essential for digesting and dissolving food nutrients to enable the body to digest and absorb them. But do not take it with meals as it dilutes the gastric juices needed for proper digestion. You can take it half an hour before the meals or an hour after meals.
Except bananas and jackfruit, all the other fruits can be used in treatment of constipation. Pears are the best laxative fruits. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, go on an exclusive diet by eating only this fruit or its juice for a few days, but in normal case, you can have this fruit after dinner or with breakfast to get the same effect. Guava eaten along with its seeds, adds roughage to the diet, thus helping in normal evacuation of the bowels.
Grapes are one of the best fruits in the natural cure for constipation. They have an excellent combination of cellulose, sugar and organic acid, making them an ideal laxative food. They not only clear the bowels but also tone up the stomach and the intestines and provide relief in most of the case of chronic constipation. Take at least 350 grams of grapes a day to get the desired results. If fresh grapes are not available, you can use raisins soaked in water. Soak raisins in a tumblerful of water for 24 to 48 hours, causing them to swell to the size of the original grapes and eat them early in the morning. Drink the water in which the raisins are soaked along with the raisins.
Drink hot water with sour lime juice and half a teaspoon of salt to cure constipation. Water kept overnight in copper vessel early in the morning will yield excellent results. You can use linseed in stubborn cases of constipation. Swallow a teaspoon of linseeds with water before each meal to provide bulk and lubrication