Constipation And Homoeopathic Treatment - homeopathy360

Constipation And Homoeopathic Treatment

There are times when a person’s health actually suffers because he or she is too embarrassed to explain his or her symptoms to a doctor or pharmacist . This what usually happens in the case of constipation . In order to understand how constipation occurs , one must know how the bowels work normally . What we generally call bowel gut , GI tract or GIT is in fact , a long tube connecting our mouth and stomach at one end to the intestine and the anus at the other . When we eat food passes from the mouth into the stomach and the process of digestion takes place , during this food is broken down into smaller particles , after that all the compounds that our body needs (carbohydrates ,proteins ,fats, minerals ,vitamins ,water  etc.,)are absorbed . Once this process is complete , the waste products that are left continue on their journey , being pushed by muscular contractions of the bowel wall (peristalsis) towards the anus . Obviously it would be too embarrassing if we had to go to the toilet every time some waste material arrived at the lower end of the bowel . This does not happen because we have control over the muscles at the end of the bowels , this control is learnt and is not present in small babies .

One important thing to remember about the bowels is that they work best when they have a lot to do . That they work best when they have a lot to do . That is not an invitation to go and have plenty of food in your daily routine , but a timely reminder about the benefits of bulky fiber in your diet despite having little energy value , fiber is one of the important components of a balanced diet , dietary fiber or roughage is not digested or absorbed , but is no less important than other dietary essentials .

Bowel habits vary from person to person , which makes it very difficult to define what exactly constipation is . if every one went to the toilet once daily you could say that , if you had not been for 3 days you were constipated , but it is not so simple . for some people it is perfectly normal to go to the toilet 2 to 3 times a day , while for others it is once every 2-3 days . there fore it is once every 2-3 days , there fore is not the frequency of passing stools which matters . if a person normally goes to the toilet only 3 times a week and yet passes soft stool with out pain and discomfort , there is no problem . thus constipation is said to occur if one passes stools less frequently than normal and each stool is hard and difficult to pass there may be a number of causes of constipation and in a person a combination of reasons , may be to blame , lack of fiber in the diet is one of the most common causes , particularly in western countries where diet is high in processed foods containing little or no fiber . too little fluid intake is another problem , changes in daily routine can also upset bowel habits such as jet lag or when a shift worker moves from nights to days he may suffer from constipation . some medicines can cause constipation as a side effect , these include pain killers (which contain codeine) , iron tablets and indigestion remedies or antacids with alluminium salts (but not magnesium salts ) , other possible causes include emotional problems , lack of exercise and disuse conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disuse . it is also possible to self induce the constipation by neglecting the need to go to the toilet .


Some of the main symptoms that may be associated with constipation are : –

  1. changes in the bowel habit
  2. feeling of discomfort and/or pain while passing stools
  3. wind and bloating
  4. rectal bleeding (this can be a sign of haemorrhoids or even an anal tear )
  5. nausea , that is feeling of vomiting . this occurs , see your doctor immediately
  6. head ache and tiredness
  7. in elderly people constipation can even causes confusion

Certain groups of people are more prone to constipation than others , particularly the elderly in whom weak teeth may lead to low fiber  intake , and highly refined foods , at the other end of the age scale , bottle fed babies are also more likely to suffer from constipation than breast fed babies . constipation can also be a real problem during pregnancy .

To Prevent Constipation :- If you ask some one how to treat constipation , the answer most likely you get is “take a laxative” , while laxatives do bring relief , they are not the complete answer to the problem . Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet is a natural way to prevent constipation . dietary fiber is abundantly present in green , leafy vegetables (cabbage spinach etc) fruits and wheat bran . the value of fiber rich diet in easing constipation has been proved beyond doubt . fibre or roughage is very popular bowel movement .

The insoluble fraction of fiber acts as a laxative because it increases stool weight , stool texture and water content and reduces the transit time in the intestine ,correction of fiber deficiency in food is the natural way to ease constipation that especially bothers older people . But addition of fiber rich foods into the daily diet should be done gradually . those people who wish to eat more fiber perhaps because of the problem of constipation or are trying to lose weight –should be encouraged to do so by increasing their intake of fiber rich foods .

One should take about 30 gm of fiber per day for the bowel to work perfectly . those who find it difficult to maintain the recommended daily intake a fiber find it convenient to take a fiber supplement

Various fiber supplements are available at medical shops and these are recommended as laxatives . these comprise, isabgol (psyllium) husk wheat bran and agar . slimmers can also use fiber rich products . the importance of drinking sufficient amount of liquids with fiber intake should also be stressed . babies suffering from constipation should be given more fluid , such as boiled and cooled water between feeds , this is especially important in a hot climate . regular exercise can also help in preventing constipation . All sufferers should take walks or other exercises with in their capacity .

If constipation is making a person too uncomfortable obviously quick relief with a laxative is the answer , patients who have tried all the life style changes , but are still suffering from constipation may also try these products . there  are confusingly large number of laxatives available but explaining how they act , may help you work out which one to take . in general there are 4 main categories of laxatives ; stimulant , osmotic , bulking agents and lubricants and stool softeners .

Stimulant laxatives work by stimulating or irritating the gut nerves and muscles , this increases the peristaltic movement and leads to defecation , these laxatives tend to work quickly (with in 6-12 hours)and should be taken at time , long term use of of stimulant is not recommended .

HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES : Act by drawing water into the bowel , expanding the stool and there by encouraging the bowel movement . there fore it is important that they should be taken with adequate amounts of fluids . these also act quickly , provided that the patient takes plenty of fluids . correction of fiber deficiency in food is the natural way to ease constipation that bothers older people , but addition of fiber rich foods into the daily diet should be done gradually .

Symptoms and Homoeopathy medicines : homoeopaths would want to take a detailed medical history and prescribe according to the symptom picture . Remedies often used include “ bryonia , and plumbum metallicum

Stools are either soft and sticky or hard and dry , defecation is difficult and there is no desire to open the bowels , even a soft stool requires considerable straining —alumina .

Stools are hard , dry , dark and lumpy , defecation is difficult because of a lack of urge ——bryonia alba

Stools are smelly , large and lumpy and stuck together with mucus , stools are painful to pass and causes a smarting , sore and pain .—-graphites

Hard dry stools which are painful to pass , ineffectual urging , with rectum protruding , piles frequently develop —–lycopodium

Frequent ineffectual desire , incomplete stools , so the rectum feels unemptied , purgatives may have been taken for a long time —nux vomica

A complete lack of desire to pass stools , stool is composed of hard little balls which protrude and then recede , constipation affects the appetite , which is poor –opium

Frequent , unsuccessful urging , stools seem to adhere to the rectum like soft clay , often helpful if other homoeopathic medicines fail —platina

Stools are hard , dry lumpy and black and may become impacted , rectum seems paraysed , anus is in spasm and this produces great pain –plumbum metallicum

Stools are hard , dry , lumpy and are difficult to pass rectal pain during and after stools are passed .—-sepia

A hard stool is felt which may slip back when partially expelled –silica

Stools are hard , dry , black and smelly , anal irritation , pain and burning with defecation , reluctance to defecate because of the pain –sulphur

About the author

Dr B.S Suvarna

B.A, D.I.Hom[Lond.], M.I.H, PhD, PGDPC (Psychotherapy & Counselling, USA)
Jeevan Shanthi
Karnataka State, India