Retention of the faeces in the colon beyond the normal lenght of emptying time.It is the irregular,infrequent or difficult passage of faeces.Characterized by infrequent, incomplete evacuation of hard dried stool. It is the most common physiological disorder of the intestine.
Defecation takes place normally within 12-72 hours after the intake of food.Most people have daily bowel movements but for some evacuation on second or third day is normal.
Aim of the Treatment
- Develop regularity of habbits of constipation
- Follow a regular meal pattern
- Consume a high fiber diet
- Adequqte intake of fluids
- Exercise and activity
- Follow a normal dietary pattern with modifications in the fibre and fluid intake.
- High fiber foods like whole grain cereals(atta,oats,bran, whole wheat bread etc.),whole pulses(sabut dals,rajm,kala channa,safed channa etc.),green leafy vegetables.
- Raw fruits and vegetables.If the roughage provided by green vegetables and whole fresh fruits do not relieve constipation, extra wheat bran can be added to chapattis or bread to produce bulk.
- Prunes and prune juices are also beneficial as they stimulate intestinal motility.
- Foods containing fats also are useful for some as they have a lubricating effect. Butter, ghee and cooking oil are beneficial for lean patients.
- Intake of plenty of fluids as it helps to soften the stools. Around 8-10 glasses of water or fluids in a day is desirable.
- A hot glass of water, flavored with lemon juice taken early in the morning also helps to ease constipation.
- For people with chronic constipation, inert laxatives such as agar-agar, isabgol may be helpful, as in the presence of water they swell up and increase the faecal volume.
The use of mineral oils (liquid paraffin and castor oil) should be discouraged as they interfere seriously with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins i.e.. vitamin A and K
Foods to Avoid or used in restricted amounts
- Refined flour and its products
- Fried foods
- Washed Pulses