To understand constipation, it helps to know how the lower part of the gut (colon, large bowel) works. As food moves through it, the colon absorbs water while forming waste products. The waste products are the ‘stool’ (faeces).
Muscle contractions in the colon push the stool towards the rectum, which is the last section of the bowel before the anus (back passage). By the time the stool reaches the rectum, it is almost solid because most of the water has been absorbed.
Constipation is a very common problem in infants and children and is frequently seen by both pediatricians and family doctors. Most of the time, reassurance, dietary changes, and laxatives are effective treatment for both the patient and family.
Constipation can occur at any age and the evaluation and treatment may be different depending on the child's age.
The newborn infant should have his/her first stool within the first 24 hours after birth. Failure to pass stool by 48 hours of life may signify a more serious condition such as Hirschsprung's disease; meconium ileus due to cystic fibrosis, or hypothyroidism and further evaluation of the infant is needed.
Many of us think "constipation" means stools that are not as soft as usual. This isn't quite true: stool consistency changes all the time, depending on what and when we eat and drink and when and how often we have bowel movements. Strictly speaking, "constipation" refers to infrequent or incomplete bowel movements.
We also use the term to refer to stools that are hard or difficult to pass. (Bear in mind that soft but bulky stools, like you have after eating high-fiber foods, can also be hard to pass.
Natural cures for constipation require a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes. Unlike medicinal and other treatment methods, natural cures are simple and easy to practice, and also have less negative side effects. Often these natural cures enable one to completely eliminate infrequent and mild constipation.
Dietary changes include consuming fibers which are present in raw fruit (like bananas, apples, papaya, grapes and oranges) and vegetables, whole grains and pulses, and drinking plenty of water (minimum 8 glasses per day).
Avoid alcohol, highly processed/junk foods and caffeine as they cause dehydration. Avoid drugs as much as you can.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Regular drinking of water is highly beneficial for cleaning the system. Normally 6-8 glasses of water are recommended for digesting and dissolving the food nutrients.
Eating chapatti made of wheat (two parts) and roasted black gram powder (one part) along with their husk is also beneficial and is good constipation remedy.
To make good home remedy for constipation take 2 tablespoons of Blackstrap molasses before going to sleep. Molasses are high in calories. It has a strong taste, though; you may want to add it to milk, fruit juice, or prune juice etc.
Walking 4-5 kms. After dinner is highly beneficial as it helps in the digestion of food.
Half cup cabbage juice taken twice-daily cures constipation. Mango is a natural reliever of constipation.
Dip 10-12 dry grapes without seeds in milk and boil the milk. Drink the milk separately and chew the grapes. This is more beneficial when taken at night. This is one of the useful home remedies for constipation.
Dip Spiegel seeds 5-10 grams in 200 grams of warm milk. Add sugar and take this during night. This is very useful diet for constipation.
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