At old age, you may not be as strong as you used to be in your youthful days. And when your bowel movements drop below three times a week, you have a condition called constipation. Constipation is quite common in old age. If you have constipation, you may also experience discomfort whenever you use the bathroom as well as abdominal bloating. In this article, we will talk about constipation in old age home remedy.
Amazingly, young people have issues with constipation too. Can you imagine that 1 of every 5 Americans would visit the hospital to treat constipation every year? That accounts for about 8 million visits to the doctor. Sadly, constipation sometimes affects a person’s quality of life negatively. It could also affect your physical health in lots of ways.
There are even people who suffer mental health challenges as an aftermath of constipation. So then, you should not shy away from learning the natural methods you can use to solve the problem of constipation. You can use these methods comfortably at home and do them all by yourself. More so, there is scientific evidence to support these natural methods.
What You Should Know About Constipation
When you ask different people about constipation, you ate likely to get different meanings. But in general, it simply has to do with infrequent stooling of less than thrice weekly.
However, for some people, constipation is when they pass hard stools (feces), such that it becomes difficult or pass. Doctors refer to this as straining. Others would describe it as a sense that you did not completely empty your bowel after stooling.
All of these are symptoms that usually come with constipation. Each of these symptoms is caused by varying factors. Therefore, the doctor’s treatment approach for constipation is usually determined by the symptoms. However, natural remedies can handle most of the symptoms at the same time.
Constipation sometimes alternates with diarrhea. Whenever you notice this pattern, it is most likely indicative of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Meanwhile, constipation has different levels of severity. The most severe form usually is when there is fecal impaction. This means that the stool has become so hard that it cannot move through the rectum. The hardened stool thus prevents passage.
In some cases, alternate episodes of diarrhea may come alongside fecal impaction. This usually happens because colonic fluid starts to leak around the stool that is impacted.
Generally, your bowel movements will reduce in number as you grow older. Most adults usually have anywhere between 3 to 21 bowel movements weekly. You can see that the range is very wide.
However, whenever this number falls below 3, then you can conclude that you have constipation. You have a very severe case of constipation if the number further drops to below once per week.
Aside from the physical discomfort, when some people don’t get to stool as often as they should, it causes them some mental distress. This is usually a cause for concern in elderly people who have chronic constipation.
But then, it is not true that toxins would accumulate in your body when you don’t pass feces. It is also not true that constipation can lead to cancer. However, colon cancers can cause chronic constipation.
Constipation in Old Age Home Remedy
Home remedies are very effective in the treatment of constipation. But it is important to issue a disclaimer before we talk about the home remedies for constipation.
You should not use home treatment if you have cramps, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unexplainable weight loss, and rectal bleeding. If you notice these symptoms, you should see the doctor for immediate evaluation.
If these symptoms are absent, then you can make use of home remedies and you can be assured of getting the much-needed relief. The home remedies for constipation in old age are as follows:
Drink lots of water
Dehydration usually causes constipation. It’s quite simple. Water helps the feces to move along your guts. So then, drinking lots of water is one of the ways to cure constipation, especially if the original cause of the constipation is dehydration.
Meanwhile, sparkling (carbonated) water seems to give better relief than common (tap) water. However, this doesn’t mean that other carbonated drinks such as sugary soda are good too. Those are bad health choices that may even worsen your constipation.
Eat lots of fiber
Even doctors usually advise those with constipation to increase their intake of fiber. Generally speaking, fibers help to add consistency and bulk to your stool. This makes it easier for you to pass them.
As much as 77 percent of chronic constipation cases would be relived just by taking fiber supplements. But then there are still conflicting results from other studies. They say more fiber can even worsen the problem.
If you look more closely, you would find that the results are not as conflicting as they seem. There are different types of dietary fibers. So the type that you are consuming matters a lot as to whether your symptoms will worsen or get better.
The different types of fibers can be grouped into soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. You can find insoluble fibers in vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran. This fiber can add some bulk to your stool. But it does not add consistency.
Soluble fibers, on the other hand, are abundant in barley, oat bran, beans, peas, and lentils. You can find them in some veggies and fruits too. This type of fiber can add consistency to your stool, but it does not add bulk.
This means you should mix insoluble and soluble fibers to get the best results. Thankfully, some supplements already have the right mix. You can just buy them and find relief.
Other Natural Methods for Constipation
- Do some mild exercise like taking a walk.
- Take an herbal laxative such as Senna, but only on a short-term basis. Extended use may not be safe.
- Probiotic foods or supplements are good too. Regular intake may even prevent constipation.
- Glucomannan, one of the different types of fiber helps a lot too. You can take supplements.
- Give magnesium citrate a try. It one of the well-known constipation home remedies.
When someone has constipation in old age, home remedy is usually very helpful. But if you notice any other symptoms like rectal bleeding and sudden loss of weight, you should immediately call your doctor.