If your stool is dry and hard, you will probably have troublesome morning time. You have cramps and pain in the rectum which worsens as you pass the stool. It becomes painful and strenuous to pass stool which often comes in lumps when you have constipation.
Everybody faces this problem at some point of their life time due to many factors like a change in regular diet, lack of taking enough fluids, lack of fiber rich diet and change in bowel movements. Lack of exercise, a habit of using laxatives or IBS can be other reasons. Some medicines also cause constipation. Some people, especially, have the habit of resisting the urge to go to toilet and end up having a constipation the next day. Anatomical causes include problems with the colon and rectum or with intestinal function (chronic idiopathic constipation).
If you are constipated you probably have very less of bowel movements. Constipation is usually accompanied with bloating, abdominal pain with a feeling of incomplete emptying. However, constipation is not a disease. But remember that it can lead to complications like hemorrhoids, chronic prolapse etc.
There are some things you can do at home to prevent constipation.
- Drink water! Intake of sufficient fluids will aid both your digestion process and also the bowel movements.
- Take control of your diet than let diet control you. Include a lot of fiber, whole grain foods and fresh vegetables in your meals. Eat 10 grams of bran cereal in one serving. But do not try to have a lot of fiber in one day. Increase the quantity of fiber intake slowly and gradually. Take less of sweets, animal fats and dairy products.
- Try not to depend on laxatives if the constipation is mild. Take warm milk or eat a banana before going to bed in the night. Orange is yet another fruit you can relish at this time.
- Now you have a better diet plan! Now it is time to get some physical activity. Get regular exercise and feel the difference. Even a 20 minute walk a day will do.
- Relax! Give some time off to your bowel movements and never resist the urge to go. Take care of your children if they have constipation and teach them to go when they feel like passing stools. Children mostly ignore their natural urges and get constipated.
- Try using mild laxatives like Magnesia for a few days. Some people like castor oil, fenugreek, flaxseed, or psyllium as laxative.
- Products containing bulk-forming agents should not do any harm. But always drink extra water to prevent bloating.
- Natural remedies like Triphala works well for most of the people. Tripahala is a herbal mix made of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) which serves as an internal cleanser. It not only helps you with constipation but also increases your appetite and promotes digestion.
- It is wise not to give laxatives or enemas to small children without your Doctor’s recommendation.
Consult your doctor without delay if your stool becomes extremely thin or is leaking, if you severe rectal pain while passing stool or if you have rectal bleeding.