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    How can chronic constipation be treated?

Posted on Tue, 18 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I have suffered with constipation all my life but now im 41 and its harder to have a bowel movement with out taking a laxative. I had to give myself a fleet enema and a small amount of stook came out and thin. Should i worry abouy colon cancer? What should i do?
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Long term constipation.Recipy of treatment is patience with medicine with drastic life style modification.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for choosing HealthcareMagic for your query,
Have gone through your details and i appreciate your concerns.
As per your query answers are-

Initially i would say that have a practical approach as there is no magical formula,Things will take time but they will help in long term.Go through each and every line carefully even if you know all these things.Remember when we deal with chronic problem even a small thing can make difference.

Start with a combination of laxative and life style modification initially.As things start improving taper off doses of laxatives and just follow life style changes.
Laxatives are very safe these days and you can take them sos for years(practically they are very safe don't google too much even if a side effect is seen in one in million person google shows it).
A drastic change in life style is required to cure or rather control constipation. Not exercising enough, not drinking enough water and delaying a bowel movement can worsen constipation symptoms.The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined food such as whole grain cereals, XXXXXXX honey and lentils; green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beans, lettuce, celery, asparagus, carrot. Adding some fat to meals or increasing the size of a meal such as breakfast can help create the urge to defecate. Individuals suffering from constipation should increase the amount of plant foods they consume to get more fiber in their diet. Constipation can be treated by changing diets.
Secondly human gastrointestinal tract is colonized by 1013-14 bacteria of 400 different species and subspecies.They are responsible for proper digestion of food.Depletion of this flora due to surgery can lead to severe constipation and digestive problems.
Intestinal flora are types of microorganisms known as probiotics that live normally as part of the intestinal tract. These organisms have several functions that help the body.The most plentiful and important bacteria in the small intestine is the Lactobacillus species. Lactobacillus helps ferment indigestible carbohydrates. It also helps to stimulate the digestive process and aid the absorption of nutrients,as well as increase the motility of the gastro intestinal tract.I would suggest her to start taking probiotics regularly.Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for digestion.As her gut flora will improve her constipation would be relieved and well formed stools will pass.

Apart from this other recommendations are-
-Linseed: is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. One teaspoon of linseed with warm water should be taken at night for bulk and lubrication.
-Proper chewing: The diet alone is not enough. Food should be properly chewed-each morsel for at least 20 times.
-Taking a short walk is a good way to get some light exercise. Walking time should be gradually increased until it reaches 20 minutes.
-She should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water helps push the food through the intestines and also helps lubricate intestinal tissues. When the body is dehydrated, the intestines absorb the fluids from the food waste, which in turn leads to hardened stools
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is also important as these substances contribute to dehydration.
-Use fish oil and castor oil-Fish oil is believed to encourage healthy digestion and castor oil produces a laxative effect when ingested
-Fruits and vegetables, which contain high amounts of fiber, aid in alleviating symptoms of constipation,Whole-grain bread, XXXXXXX oatmeal, beans and lentils can also relieve the problem so use it Instead of highly processed rice, eat brown rice, millet or bulgur.
-Eat 2 cups of fruit 3 cups of vegetables and about 35 grams of fiber per day
fruits: Generally all fruits, except banana and XXXXXXX fruit, are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.
Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation.
Guava fruit when eaten with seeds, gives roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels.
Grapes: have also proved highly beneficial in overcoming constipation. The grapes have the cellulose; natural sugar and organic acid make them a natural laxative fruit. Not only they clean the bowel, but also tones up the stomach and intestines to relieve the chronic constipation
All these things will increase the bulk of your stool,Will soften it and will clear your ileum of the compacted faecal material.
-While sitting on the toilet, support the feet on a small stool in order to achieve a normal position that aids in bowel movement.
Don't stop laxative,initially start following all these advices then gradually taper the doses of laxatives she is on.
Take Fybogel husk-Fybogel sachets and Fybogel Hi-Fibre sachets both contain the active ingredient ispaghula husk, which is a type of medicine called a bulk-forming laxative. Ispaghula is a type of fibre. It swells when it comes into contact with fluid in the gut and thus increases the volume of the faeces.It increases the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass. Psyllium, one type of bulk-forming laxative

Don't panic don't think that any magic will happen in few weeks,be hopeful remain patient and just follow all suggestions by heart.You would feel much relieved in a few months.

Apart from that can ask you gastroenterologist to prescribe you Polyethelene Glycol.Polyethylene glycol-electrolyte solution is used to empty the colon. PEG-ES is in a class of medications called osmotic laxatives. It works by causing watery diarrhea so that -the stool can be emptied from the colon. The medication also contains electrolytes to prevent dehydration and other serious side effects that may be caused by fluid loss as the colon is emptied.There can be days when laxative also does not help in that case use polyethylene glycol.

A lot of patience with proper use of medications and life style changes can be very helpful in long runs.

Query 2 about colon cancer-

Standard trials have shown that Patients with chronic constipation are associated with significantly higher prevalence and incidence of colorectal cancer and benign colorectal neoplasm than matched chronic constipation free patients.
It has been a laymans' concept that constipated patients may have higher risk of developing colorectal cancer owing to the accumulation of “toxic substances”. However, this has never been proved. Most of the trials are reporting a POSSIBLE link between constipation and the development of colorectal cancer however till date there is no evidence which is fully supportive to it.

Easiest solution whether to worry or not?- Go for these two tests once in every three year.
Fecal Occult Blood Test
Colonoscopy.(Covered by insurance)
If both are normal you need not to worry.

Hope i answered your query in details.
Please feel free to ask any doubt i would be happy to help.

Good luck and follow things have patience.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 18 hours later
Thanks for all this information, i also have tested positive for h pylori in the past, years. Does this bacteria cause cancer? What should i do?
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
H.pylori increases the chances of having gastric carcinoma.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Helicobacter pylori is now recognized as a primary cause of peptic ulcers and their recurrence. Evidence has been found linking the changes caused by H. pylori infection in the stomach lining as a strong risk factor for stomach cancer. H. pylori infection is treated with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medication if treatment is followed properly it is usually eradicated.

Get a breath test for H.pylori done if you are positive for it take-
Tab Amoxicillin 1000mg twice daily.
Tab clarithromycin 500mg once daily with
Capsule Omeprazole 40 mg once daily for 14 days after that repeat breath test again.

With proper therapy H.pylori is fully treatable.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 13 hours later
Is Metamucill good to use and can i use it for long term use is it safe?
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
its very safe.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,
Yes dear Metamucil is very safe. Psyllium, or ispaghula, is the common name used for several members of the plant genus Plantago whose seeds are used commercially for the production of mucilage.Basically its a natural husk.It has no side effect and can even be taken life long.
Best way is to soak two tsf in XXXXXXX warm water for 20 minutes and then take it before going to bed.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Ramesh Kumar


Practicing since :1986

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