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Basic guidelines to shun Constipation
Complication of constipation
Neglected constipation results in the passage of hard stool. Straining during evacuation may lead to fissures, piles, prolapse of rectum or inguinal hernia. It is dangerous for a patient with heart disease to strain during defecation

   Treatment

The aim of treatment should be 
  Develop regularity of habits of evacuation
 
Follow a regular meal pattern 
Consume a high fiber diet  Ensure an adequate intake of fluids
Increase exercise and activity
 

  Beware
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
  • Refined flour
  • Fried foods
  • Washed Pulses
 
Shun Constipation

Constipate = Press together
Constipation
is characterized by infrequent, incomplete evacuation of hard dried stool. It is the most common physiological disorder of the intestine

Normal Bowel Habit

For most individuals one stool a day is necessary for good health and a feeling of well being. Some may evacuate twice a day while a few, despite being in perfect health, may move every second or third day.

Bowel movement depends on the autonomic nervous system and the type of diet. A vegetarian diet will increase roughage content producing bulkier stools. An individual who doesn't take adequate roughage and liquids may complain of constipation

Types of Constipation
There are three types of constipation

Atonic Constipation
Spastic Constipation ( Results from excessive tone of colonic muscles )
Obstructive Constipation ( Is due to cancer or stricture of colon )


Diet Management for constipation Patients
 

Calories and Proteins These are advised as per usual requirements . Fats stimulate the flow of bile and also lubricate the bowel. Butter, ghee and cooking oil are beneficial for lean patients. Fried foods should be avoided 

Carbohydrates Adequate bulk can be supplied, in the form of high fiber foods like whole cereals, green leafy vegetables, other fibrous vegetables which are rich in unabsorbable cellulose. In lean people banana and dried fruits like prunes, figs, raisins, dates and apricots provide fibers and are useful adjuncts. 

Vitamins of B group, preferably as brewers yeast, help some patients to regulate the bowel functions.

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.

Minerals Acutely ill or bedridden, semi-starved patients require potassium in the form of vegetable soup, fruit juice, or oral potassium salts to prevent constipation.

Fluid Patients are also advised to drink plenty of fluids as it helps to soften the stools. A liberal amount of fluids is advised, an intake of 8 to 10 glasses of water is desirable. Warm water or tea taken early in the morning on an empty stomach may help to evacuate the bowel, and helps to ease constipation.

In cases of chronic constipation, inert laxatives like Isabgol and agar agar may be helpful, because in the presence of water they swell up and increase faecal volume.

Sample Diet Plan for Shun Constipation patient


   Do you know?
Causes of constipation:
Atonic Constipation is most commonly due to the following factors-
 

Lack of fluids

Lack of roughage - Faulty food habits include irregular hours of meals taking inadequate bulk, fasting and avoiding foods containing unabsorbable cellulose in the form of vegetable fiber. This leaves little residue for evacuation.


Irregular bowel habits may be due to getting up late in the morning and rushing through the morning rituals with very little time for a visit to the toilet before going to the office or school.


Purgation or Enema - The constant use of artificial aids for evacuating the bowels result in the loss of natural reflexes and tone of the bowel.


Lack of Potassium either due to poor intake or due to loss with purgation can cause constipation

 

All fruits and vegetables with skin are rich in fiber like peas, beans, lotus stem, cabbage, cauliflower, apple, cherries, pears, peaches, plums and guavas.

Whole pulses (e.g. Rajma, chole, Mung), Whole wheat flour, Brown rice and millets are also rich in fiber.

Prunes and Prune juice are beneficial for constipation patients because they stimulate intestinal motility. The active laxative principle in them is dihydrophenylisatin.  

 


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