Constipation Ayurvedic Treatment

Difficulty or inability to pass the stools for some days (is termed as constipation, and when it continues for several weeks or more it is serious (chronic constipation). The people with constipation may pass stools in 2-3 times a week. Occasional constipation usually relieves within some time or days with or without medicines. Chronic cases will interfere with daily activities and mood. Common causes of chronic constipation are blockage in intestine, narrowing of large intestine, fissure-in-ano, rectocele (bulged rectum at the back wall of vagina), abdominal or rectal cancer, damage of nerves that helps in movements of intestinal muscles, spinal cord injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, weakness of muscles that involved in defecation, conditions like diabetes, hypo or hyperthyroidism etc. 

Signs and symptoms

 The common symptoms of chronic constipation are passing less than 3 stools per week, poor bowel movements, hard stools, straining to pass stool, feeling of incomplete voiding or blockage in rectum and trying to pass tools wit manual effort (like pressing belly, inserting finger in rectum etc). chronic constipation is diagnosed if the person has 2 or 3 of these symptoms for more than 3 months. 

Ayurvedic analysis

 Malasanga is the difficulty to pass stools or blocked rectum. Expulsion/ evacuation of any matter is the action of normal vata. Before the expulsion of waste materials (mala), they are supposed to be transformed from ama state (half processed) to nirama/ without ama state. In ama state, they are not ready for evacuation. These waste materials are losing their ama state by the action of agni (transforming power). When the vata is deranged, it causes blockage of channels (srotorodha) and non-expulsion of mala from body. Mala in ama state will cause srotorodha (here, blocked rectum), balabhramsha (weakness), gourava (heaviness in abdomen/ body), deranged activity of vata (here, reduced bowel movements/ evacuation), alasya (sluggishness), apakti (indigestion), nishteeva (excess salivation), malasanga (constipation) and aruchi (tastelessness/ loss of appetite). Malasanga may be a symptom of udara roga (diseases of intestine/ abdominal organs) also. 

Causative factors (Ayurveda)

 The common causes of malasanga are vitiation of vata, ama in mala (due to agnimandya) and udara roga. Vata is vitiated by intake of dry, hot, spicy food/ very small quantity of food, travelling a lot, sitting for prolonged periods etc. Agnimandya occurs due to skipping of meals, indigestion, unaccustomed food, very cold/ heavy food/ very dry food, change of geographical location or season, or suppression of urge for stool for long periods. 

Possible complications

Major complications of chronic constipation are anal fissure, haemorrhoids, faecal impaction and rectal prolapse. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

 Consider the medical history (eg: medicine for hypertension, mental stress etc) and health conditions like psychologic disorders before planning the treatment. 

Management

 The management of malasanga is determined based on the cause. Internal medications that bring about vatanulomana (normal functioning of vata), agnideepana (improve the power of digestion) and removing ama are given. Along with this, snehana (internal/ external/ both), swedana (eg: steam bath, hip bath), virechana (purgation therapy), vasthi (enema with decoction and medicated oil) etc are also provided. The treatment may vary depending on the cause of malasanga

Diet

 Take more whole grains, vegetables, fruits; and drink plenty of water. Avoid intake of spicy food, very cold food etc. 

Exercise

 Mild to moderate exercise giving a massaging effect on abdomen are beneficial. Yoga is also effective. 

Preventive aspects

 Stick on to a regular bowel habit. Drink one glass of plain water in empty stomach at morning. Indulge in regular exercise. Take more fibre containing diet (cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits) and plenty of water. Avoid sedentary habit, consumption of very spicy and cold food. Avoid suppression of urge for defecation for long periods continuously. 

Importance of diet

 Selection of right diet is very important in the prevention and management of constipation. Follow the instructions of physician. 

Lifestyle 

 Take easy to digest light warm food with less spices. Drink adequate water. Exercise regularly. Manage any disease that causes constipation.

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