Constipation is a condition where the stools are difficult and incomplete. The stools will be hard and dry and may take a longer time to evacuate. This could be coupled with abdominal pain, fullness and bloating of the tummy, and painful bowel movements. If this goes on for a few weeks or longer, we call it chronic constipation.
The constipation demographics can be pretty scary- it says that one in every six individuals is suffering from constipation. People in older age groups, females, and the ones who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to this health condition.
Constipation is divided into two based on its causes- primary and secondary. Primary constipation is the most common one, which is a result of everyday factors like diet and lifestyle choices, certain medications, etc. The dietary factors include not meeting fiber requirements, taking fewer fluids, improper dieting, and over-reliance on caffeinated beverages. Certain medicines like antidepressants, diuretics, and antidiarrheals also can trigger constipation. It is not chronic and is not often associated with abdominal pain.
Secondary constipation is a more serious condition with underlying pathology. Endocrinal (hormonal) issues like hypothyroidism, colorectal cancer, intestinal obstruction, gluten intolerance, diabetes, etc can cause secondary constipation. This will be associated with sharp or dull abdominal pain and severe bloating.
Some other causes of constipation can be psychological- that is, stress, anxiety, fear of using public toilets, laziness, etc. In children, constipation can occur for the reasons like weaning (stopping breastfeeding), starting toilet training, and on school going.
So, if you can’t move your bowels daily, does it imply constipation? Not essentially. ‘Regular’ is not synonymous with ‘daily’. Each body is unique, and we have to respect that fact. If you have been accustomed to going to toilet once in two or three days without any trouble, that is your regularity, and it won’t be an issue. But if it is less than twice a week, you might want to keep an eye.
Ayurveda defines constipation as Vibandha. It is not considered a disease, but a health condition. Vibandha is mentioned as a vatik condition, mostly caused by the aggravation of the Apana sub-type of the vata. According to Ayurveda, the bowel is classified into three and each individual will have one of these from birth. They are mridu, madhyama, and krura. The mridu type of bowel, which is moderated by pitta indicates easy elimination- even a glass of milk can make the stools eliminated. The stools will be watery in consistency and are eliminated more than once a day. Madhyama is the moderate bowels managed by kapha and the feces are soft and semi-solid. The third type, krura is the one that is prone to chronic constipation. It is mediated by vata as it dries up the moisture from the stool, leaving it dry and difficult to eliminate. Vata, with its qualities, can make the stools blocked inside the intestine. The vitiated vata can in turn spoil the agni or digestive fire, impairing the digestion process.
Ayurveda has a vast array of medicines for improving digestive health and maintaining healthy bowel movements. They also improve the digestive fire and alleviates the root cause of vibandha.
When managed appropriately, constipation is never a nightmare. Here at AyurVAID, we approach such conditions in a proper Ayurvedic means and help you recover completely. AyurVAID is a pristine institution that bears the virtue of Ayurveda. Our doctors, skilled and proficient in their field, are here to help you, by providing you with comfort and reassurance. In-depth assessment of the condition, precise diagnosis, thorough samprapti vighatana (breaking the disease pathway), properly planned prakriti-oriented treatment, quality procedures, safe and hygienic environment, etc are our peculiarities. We offer you complete care and cure for the conditions that ail you.
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With Ayurvedic treatment, the primary intention is to correct the course of vata, which is called vata anulomana. Such medicines facilitate easy movements of the stool through the intestines. Then laxatives like trivrit (Operculina turpethum), aragwadha (Cassia fistula), Avipatti churna, etc for removing the remaining impacted feces. All the herbs that are to be used should be unctuous in order to contradict the dryness of vata. Snehapana (ghee intake) with herbs that are potent against vata can be done if the patient has a strong digestive fire. Swedana (steam bath), and panchakarma procedures like Vasti (medicated enema), virechana (purgation), etc can be done according to the severity of the condition. After the treatment, the patient is expected to be having normal, healthy bowel movements, and relieved bloating with an enhanced digestive fire.