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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for severe constipation

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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 1961 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My sister-in-law, in Kenya, has just been diagnosed with blocked ileocecal sphincter. The crisis of severe constipation has been relieved for the present, but we would like to know if there is any long-term solution other than stool-softener medication. I have heard that this condition may be caused by overactive adrenal glands?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Details of long term solution are incoporated,Be patient it will take time.

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Firstly thanks for choosing HealthcareMagic for your query.

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.

A drastic change in life style is required to cure 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.


Overactive adrenals can precipitate the problem,But most likely its not her case.
Initially follow the above mentioned advice for 1 month,If not relieved a MRI abdomen can be done along with serum cortisol levels to see if adrenals are normal or not.

Don't panic,be hopeful and keep the patient motivated.
Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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