Constipation as such is not a disease but a symptom. It is defined as having hard, dry bowel movements, or going fewer than three times a week.
Normal length of time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person but when one has bowel movements fewer than three times per week, that individual may be constipated.
Constipation can happen for many reasons, such as when stool passes through the colon too slowly. The slower the food moves through the digestive tract, the more water the colon will absorb and the harder the faeces will become.
The common causes of constipation include
- Inadequate fibre intake.
- Physical inactivity.
- Increased age.
- Overuse of laxatives.
- Less water intake.
- Medical conditions - IBD, hypothyroidism, hypercalcaemia, neurological problems and diabetes.
- Certain medications.
Straining during bowel movement, incomplete evacuation, two or fewer bowel movements in a week.
According to Ayurveda, apana vata is responsible for the free flow/expulsion of stool. When the functions of apana vata are significantly affected, it results in constipation. Ayurveda mentions some additional factors that can result in constipation such as:
- Intake of foods that are dry and rough.
- Night awakening.
- Controlling natural urges.
- Sitting for long time and
Due to above said vata (basic element) imbalancing factors, apana vata (a type of vata) gets aggravated and gets blocked in the lower part of the large intestine, which results in constipation (vibandha). Depending on the grade of affliction, absolute constipation or hard stools are experienced by individuals.
Mild and acute constipation usually resolves by itself without the need of prescription or treatment. However chronic constipation requires interventions as complications such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures may arise if ignored. Ayurvedic line of treatment mainly aims at eradicating the cause and then treating the disease.
At Kooplicat Ayurveda Hospital, this is done through the use of specific drugs, drug combinations that correct the digestive system along with customised ayurvedic diet that is prepared based on constitution of each individual and their condition. We also recommend lifestyle changes that may help to prevent the recurrence of disease.