Constipation is one of the most common medical conditions and it is one of the most usual causes for seeking medical attention. It may affect all age groups but it affects the elderly and women much more than it affects adult men. Constipation does not always have to be characterized as an absence of bowel movement, it may also be associated with excessive straining, hard stool or infrequent stools. Constipation may be triggered by a large number of different factors and causes. In most cases, constipation should not be considered as a serious medical condition because it can be easily relieved and treated by an increased exercise regime, better fluid intake and a few changes in the everyday diet. If a person notices that constipation does not get resolved by utilizing such simple methods, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor. The same can be said for cases when constipation is accompanied by bloody stool, painful sensations in the abdomen and fever.
Steps to Get Rid of Constipation
One of the best ways of getting rid of constipation is to ingest plenty of dietary fiber on a regular daily basis. Dietary fiber can be taken in a supplemental form as well, as they are very efficient in making it much easier to pass stools. There are five main types of dietary fiber laxatives and those are bran powder, psyllium husk, methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil and guar gum. Some dietary fiber may also be purchased in the form of pills while some others can be mixed in water. There are also a large number of different types of stool softeners which may be used in most cases of constipation. The most common type of stool softener is called docusate, and there are three versions of it – docusate sodium, docusate potassium and docusate calcium. Stool softeners are commonly designed to be taken orally or rectally and they actually incorporate more liquid into the stool so that it can be passed much easier. One should not use stool softeners over prolonged periods of time. Another option for all those who suffer from constipation are osmotic laxatives. They are very efficient in increasing the amount of water in the intestines, softening the stool and encouraging the much wanted defecation. Stimulant laxatives may also be used in most cases of constipation because they are very efficient in stimulating the secretion of fluids and the contraction of the colon. They can be administered both orally and rectally. Various sorts of enemas are also available on the market as well.