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9 Effective Ways to Overcome Constipation

There are ample reasons to be dissatisfied, but nothing beats the dissatisfaction of not experiencing complete stool clearance. Last week as I was suggesting medicines to one of my Kidney transplant patients, he happened to ask me for tips about dealing with constipation. His wife felt uncomfortable at the discussion which made me understand that it was about her. I asked her if she is willing to share. She had been to the hospital before in her life once when she was unable to go to the bathroom for 3 weeks.
The painful, traumatizing, and shameful experience continues to haunt her, making her reluctant to seek help from doctors at all. Her, concern was genuine, people really underestimate how difficult and debilitating the problem of constipation can be. I suggested her with home remedies that I would like to share with you too.

Constipation is a major problem. Almost 60 to 70% of the patients that I come across regularly are having the common problem of improper stool clearance. Studies show that women are more prone than men.

Constipation problems

As a healthcare professional specializing in kidney-related matters, I frequently encounter patients grappling with constipation, and it’s not an issue to be taken lightly. The connection between digestive health and various chronic conditions, including heart diseases, neurological disorders, and kidney disease itself, underscores the critical need to address constipation effectively.

Having a healthy stomach is a clear indicator of overall health. Proper digestion and the passage of food as normal stool are crucial signs of well-being. Do you know that our stomach is the source of most diseases? Our intestine is an extremely intelligent instrument. This instrument converts whatever we consume into various requirements of our body and, lastly, excretes the waste in the form of stool. Thus, if the separation of nutrients and waste from the food we consume does not occur properly, the effect is definite to be reflected in our body. In the case of constipation, the body usually stores the waste. Thus the bacteria in the gut slowly get along in the blood.

What are the diseases that begin in our stomach?

1. Heart diseases

2. Neurological diseases

3. Kidney Disease

4. Liver disease

5. Stomach disorder

6. Sleeping disorder

7. Skin problems

Not only that, the balance of diabetes, immunity, and health, in general, all change if a person is having constipation.

With age, the problem of constipation eventually increases. But for the patients that I deal with usually, say for those with renal failure on long standing diabetes, the opacity for constipation is much higher. Thus, we can assert that constipation indicates poor overall health. Those experiencing chronic constipation (lasting more than 3 months) must be aware that they are susceptible to chronic diseases.

Best ways to avoid constipation-

1. Improper diet and inadequate fluid

If an individual diet is high on protein or food that takes long to be digested then they have higher chances of constipation. On the contrary having a diet that is rich in fiber and roughage can highly help in resolving constipation.

You can also enrich yourself by joining our diet group:

fibre rich food to avoid Constipation

One is often suggested to consume Bananas if suffering from irregular stool, as it is high in fibre it.

Note- it is important to remember that among all the fruits and vegetables rich in fibre, there is also a portion which is rich in potassium. For those who are having kidney problems or have high content potassium in their blood, it is not advisable to increase your dietary fibre without consultation. In this case, it is advisable to consult a dietitian before taking any further steps.

2. Consumption of Brown rice-

Brown rice is rich in fibre. Thus consumption of brown rice automatically eradicate the problem of constipation. Switching a rice meal with multigrain Atta can also help in dealing with constipation.

3. Avoid going to sleep immediately after having a meal-

Having a walk of 15 minutes or 30 minutes after having dinner can be extremely helpful in terms of digestion and also avoiding constipation.

4. Chewing the food properly-

Do you know that 30% of a food’s digestion occurs in the mouth itself? Henceforth it is very important that we have a meal with all our attention and chew it properly so that it easily gets digested. Proper digestion is the key to avoiding constipation.

5. Less than 100% is beneficial-

When it comes to your stomach and digestion it is best if we don’t fill it 100%. The ratio must be 50% food, 1/3 water and the rest one third empty for air. For digestion it is important for the enzymes to properly mix with food, air and water. Thus it is always advisable to do not stuff oneself with food and keep some empty room to avoid constipation.

Habits one must practice to avoid constipation:

1. Have water in the morning when your stomach is still empty.

Water intake is important

Having 2 glasses of water can effectively help you reduce the problem of constipation.

Note: Kidney patients with restrictions on water drinking or undergoing dialysis should consult with their doctor before starting this practice.

2. Exercise and Yoga practices to get relief from constipation.

Yoga is important for avoid Constipation

Incorporating regular exercise and yoga into your routine can significantly alleviate constipation. Physical activity stimulates bowel movements by enhancing muscle contractions in the intestines, promoting smoother digestion.

You can join our “Mukti Program” yoga classes:

3. Medicines

Such as iron tablets, and calcium channel blockers (medicines for controlling blood pressure) usually have a common side effect of constipation. Similarly, iron is highly efficient to increase blood in the body, especially taken by pregnant women and renal failure patients suffering from anemia, but can also be a cause of constipation.

Medicines

Note- it is advisable to take injectable iron instead of consuming it orally under proper doctor consultation to avoid it.

4. Intake of antacids

Sucralfate or aluminum-containing antacids used to treat acidity is one of the reasons for constipation. There are a few other medicines such as anticholinergic drugs, few antidepressant medications might also lead to constipation.

Diseases that add up to constipation:

1. Diabetes- diabetic gastro paresis might be one of the reasons for constipation.

2. Thyroid- people suffering from Thyroid or hypothyroidism might also suffer from constipation due to the imbalance in the dosage of medicine

Another helpful procedure to get rid of constipation is using an Indian-style toilet. This is considered one of the best practices to prevent constipation. The manner in which is required to sit in the Indian-style toilet helps relax the anal muscles. Practicing this since childhood also prevents obesity. This natural posture is very much helpful to passing the stool normally and does prevent constipation.

Few exceptions need to be made for individuals experiencing knee or heel pain, as well as those dealing with obesity. If you are using a western-style toilet, consider using a toilet footstool, as it can be highly helpful in passing feces normally and preventing constipation.

Medicine such as Duphalac, Softovac, etc. are no doubt helpful but regular use of such medicine might also result in loose motion.

Constipation

The first few things that one must progress with to avoid constipation are changes in their diet and lifestyle, food habits, exercise and yoga, morning water drinking, followed by toilet modification. Even after all this if chronic constipation prevails then one might take the help of medications under proper doctor consultation. As water consumption is an issue for kidney patients or renal failure patients with restricted water intake they are prone to constipation. Often for them, medicine is the only solution. The safest for them would be dietary fiber (Isabgol), bulk-forming purgatives, but that too along with other medicines has to be taken under a doctor’s advice.

Constipation is not to be taken lightly since it is the source of many chronic diseases. Remember regular clear stool can prevent many diseases.


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Dr Pratim Sengupta's Team (Nephro)
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