Sign and Symptoms of Constipation

Dictionary meaning of constipation is “Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of dry hardened feces from the bowels” which is exactly how Ayurveda defines constipation. It means a fellow is healthy only when he is having a proper bowel movement every day.

Opposite to this modern medicines define Constipation as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week – means on alternate day.  

Most of the food stuffs get digested and absorbed within 10-15 hours after eating i.e. after this time period there remains only the fecal matter in the digestive system. When you are not having bowel movement for two day what will be consequences? Stagnancy of the waste material for long period will result in harmful gases which get absorbed in the body and also kill the body friendly bacteria which are residing in the digestive tract.

It will lead to:

  • Irritability
  • Body Odor - fecal matter and bad bacteria in the body will produce foul odor coming from the skin.
  • Skin Eruptions – Because of the toxins in the body.
  • Headaches - Headaches can also be caused by constipation.
  • The growth of bad bacteria and fungus in the intestine can lead to Asthma‚ Allergies

Constipation Symptoms: the common symptoms of constipation include:

  • Difficulty in starting or completing a bowel movement
  • Infrequent and difficult passage of stool
  • Passing hard stool after prolonged straining in the toilet
  • Abdominal pain, cramps, excessive gas, bloating
  • Distended abdomen, headaches, and loss of appetite
  • Coated tongue, bad breath, and bad taste in mouth

Causes of Constipation:

As food moves through the large intestine; most of the fluid content gets absorbed and it turns in waste products, or stool. Muscle contractions in the colon then push the stool toward the rectum. By the time stool reaches the rectum it is solid. Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water or if the colon's muscle contractions are sluggish, causing the stool to move very slowly. Common causes of constipation are:

  • Not enough fiber in the diet
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Changes in routine such as pregnancy, aging, Menopause and menstruation  and travel
  • Lack of fluids: Requirement of fluid in daily diet varies from person to person. So we cannot say a fixed quantity of water a fellow should have. Low fluid intake as well as the excess of fluid both will result in infrequent bowel movements.
  • Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and hypokalemia may cause slow movement of the colon.
  • Specific diseases or conditions, such as stroke (most common) Paralysis of the colon or slow peristaltic movement
  • Abuse of laxatives
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stress: constipation can be caused by stress.
  • Medications
  • Injured anal sphincter

Complications of Constipation:

  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Anal fissures.
  • Rectal prolapse.
  • Fecal impaction.
  • Bowel perforation.

Articles you should read:

Ayurveda About Constipation
Ayurvedic Treatment of Constipation
Ayurvedic Supplements for Constipation
Recommendations for Constipation
Home Remedies for Constipation 


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