Constipation is common in both children and adults. Occasional or chronic, it can quickly represent an embarrassment. Find out what this ailment really consists of and the various associated symptoms. You are also given the remedies to fight constipation immediately. Follow our advice to promote your transit and the evacuation of stools.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is manifested by:
- a stool frequency of less than three per week;
- difficulty passing stools and slower bowel movement than usual;
- hard and light stools (less than 50 grams per day);
- a feeling of discomfort in the abdominal area (cramps, bloating, etc.).
To note : the frequency of stools is a criterion to qualify. In fact, it varies a lot from person to person. Some pass few stools per week without being constipated, and others go to the toilet more than three times a day.
On the other hand, constipation can be temporary (travel abroad, pregnancy, etc.). Conversely, when it is long-term (between 6 months and 1 year), we speak of chronic constipation.
Transit constipation is manifested by rare and hard stools, less than three times a week.
And terminal constipation is characterized by a feeling of difficult defecation. Indeed, it requires pushing forces that are both significant and constant.
But in both cases, we observe in the subject suffering from constipation, bloating, stomach pain, intestinal discomfort, and possibly gas and loss of appetite.
Finally, pushing efforts during defecation can lead to bleeding.
Constipation can result from various causes:
- a disease (functional colopathy, hypothyroidism, etc.);
- a fiber deficiency in the diet;
- a lack of bowel movements following bed rest or a sedentary lifestyle;
- stress, anxiety…;
- taking medication (analgesics, neuroleptics, antidepressants, diuretics, etc.);
- lack of hydration;
- peristalsis, or contraction of the intestines. In the present case, the constipation is said to be functional;
- food allergies or intolerances (lactose, etc.);
- refraining from going to the toilet. When the stool stagnates too long in the colon, they then prove more difficult to evacuate;
- intestinal obstruction. In this case, the intestinal transit turns out to be blocked. Vomiting often accompanies this obstruction. Consult urgently.
Also Read: 11 Natural Constipation Treatments
Immediate remedies: natural laxatives
Rhubarb accelerates intestinal transit. In case of occasional constipation, consume it in the form of an infusion. Boil 200ml of water. Then add 1.5 g of dried crushed rhubarb roots. You can find it in pharmacies. Then let macerate for more than ten minutes. And drink the drink before going to bed.
Note: rhubarb tea is not recommended for children under ten and for pregnant women.
This plant also has laxative properties and facilitates defecation. Consume senna in the form of herbal tea. Bring 200 ml of water to a boil. Then add 2g of senna fruit. Ten minutes later, drink the drink, filtered or not. Ten hours after drinking it, you will notice the first effects.
Please note that senna should not be consumed by children. And its treatment will not exceed ten days. To rule out any risk of allergies, you can also call on a herbalist.
This plant from the humid forests promotes the arrival of stools in the colon as well as their expulsion.
Simply add 5 g of buckthorn in 200 ml of water. Then, bring to the boil and stir for about ten minutes. After letting stand for two hours, drink before the meal.
To know : buckthorn is not recommended for children and the treatment should not exceed ten days. To prevent any risk of allergies, seek advice from a plant professional.
Eating prunes is one of the most effective natural remedies. Consume it in different forms to fight constipation (jam, juice, etc.).
The aloe vera
Aloe vera gel is beneficial against constipation. Drink some to stimulate your digestive system.
Massage your belly at the level of the navel, rotating clockwise for about 30 seconds.
These laxatives combine lanolin and petroleum jelly. They lubricate and soften the stool. This is a remedy with a rapid onset of action (8 hours maximum).
Note: taking a lubricating laxative is rather recommended in the evening. But, it is not recommended to lie down within two hours of taking it.
These laxatives are also widely used because they are effective in less than ten hours. They act directly on the intestinal mucosa and accelerate transit.
However, their intake must remain occasional, and will only intervene as a last resort. Indeed, stimulant laxatives have many side effects such as abdominal pain or diarrhea.
Ask your pharmacist for advice before taking a stimulant laxative, specifying your usual treatment.
Suppositories and micro-enemas
Local laxatives are the fastest in terms of effectiveness in combating constipation. Suppositories and micro-enemas based on glycerol gels are introduced rectally. They then facilitate defecation within a maximum of one hour.
However, this type of remedy must be used on an ad hoc basis so as not to modify the stool expulsion reflex.
Read also: Diarrhea: 10 effective and natural remedies