Constipation is a topic which usually one hesitates to discuss, yet it is an important medical condition. It is a painful condition which many individuals unknowingly suffer from. Proper bowel movement is very important in maintaining a healthy body. Very few individuals actually understand the true meaning of the term constipation and what it comprises of. Our bodies maybe same, yet they are different in some aspects. The interval at which a person normally passes stool or faeces differs from the other. On one hand while it is a routine for some people to visit the loo three times a day, yet on the other hand we have individuals whose bowel movements are at intervals of a few days. Hence keeping these individualistic traits in mind it becomes difficult to figure out if a person is suffering from constipation or not. The following points can be of help.

You are a constipated person if you have two or fewer bowel movements in a week, experience strain while passing faeces, pass hard stool or have incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time. The causes of constipation are wide ranging and may differ from person to person.

A well balanced diet is an important prevention from this painful condition, as inadequate water or fibre intake is a key cause for constipation. Changes in ones environment, as in when travelling, lack of exercise, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, depression, eating disorder and colon cancer can also be regarded as reasons of constipation.

Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can also lead to constipation.

Diagnosing a constipated person is not a difficult task, as its symptoms are easy to detect. In some cases the patient may experience occasional diarrhoea which results from hard stool obstructing the colon. A person suffering from constipation tends to experience severe pain or swelling in the abdominal region and passes hard or small stool.

Straining while excreting, having a sense of uncompleted bowel movement indicate towards constipation. In rare cases one may also tend to vomit. It has been observed that among the individuals suffering from constipation, only a small number of them have a more serious problem. In the case of colon cancer as the source of constipation, diagnoses at the earliest is very important.

Majority of patients without any serious ailments usually suffer from colonic inertia, a condition in which the colon contracts. As the symptoms of constipation are obvious, it is in very rare cases that the doctor shall prescribe tests. Colonoscopy and Barium studies in case of colon obstruction are advised. Blood test may also be done, if the doctor suspects a hormonal imbalance.

Healthy eating habits are the key to a happy life. It is important to watch what one eats and how a particular food is affecting one’s body. Intake of clean water at regular intervals, keeps you active and well hydrated. Water further helps in digestion which in turn aids in the smooth functioning of our excretory system.

A constipated patient is advised to eat prunes and bran cereal. Drinking warm liquid in the morning and including fruits and vegetables in ones diet helps in elimination of faeces.

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