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The ‘3 Fs’ of constipation

Article by Dr Manasa S, B.A.M.S

Constipation is a medical situation whereby an individual has issue in passing stools or there may be rare bowel motion. Usually an individual is claimed to be constipated when the bowel actions lead to dry stool, small quantities of onerous stools, often fewer than thrice every week.

Mechanism of how constipation is induced

Because the meals strikes via the big gut, the gut absorbs water whereas forming the stool. After the stool formation, the intestinal muscular tissues contract and push the stool in direction of the rectum for the ultimate evacuation via the anus. By the point the stool reaches the rectum a lot of the water is absorbed thus making the stool strong. When the motion of the big gut is slowed down or sluggish, the stool passes down the colon too slowly leading to an excessive amount of water being absorbed from the stool. This makes the stool onerous and dry.

Causes of constipation

There are many causative components for constipation. The frequent causative components are enlisted beneath –

  • Not sufficient fibres in eating regimen
  • Not sufficient liquids
  • Lack of train
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Sure medicines which alter the bowel motion and water absorption from the meals which passes via the colon
  • Modifications in habits or life-style
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel motion
  • Overuse or improper use of laxatives
  • Issues related to regular functioning of intestines

Frequent signs of Constipation

  • Passing of onerous stools
  • Discount within the stool frequency, fewer than thrice in every week
  • Issue in passing of stools
  • Pressure whereas passing the stools
  • Bowel actions could also be painful
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying after defecation
  • Feeling bloated
  • Belly ache

Persistent Constipation – If these signs of constipation persist for 3 months or longer, then it’s thought of as persistent constipation. Persistent constipation wants a radical analysis to establish the trigger and to place an insightful therapy line up in place.

Proper time to see the physician

Contemplate seeing your physician as quickly as attainable within the beneath talked about circumstances –

  • Signs lasting for 3 months or greater than three months
  • Signs makes it troublesome to hold out day at this time actions
  • Per rectal bleeding or blood on bathroom tissue
  • Stool color turning to black or traces of blood in stools
  • If there are any uncommon adjustments in form or scent of the stools
  • Belly ache that’s not subsiding
  • Unexplained weight reduction

Danger components concerned in persistent constipation

Elements that are concerned in chronicity of constipation embody:

  • Being an over grownup
  • Being a girls
  • Having little or no bodily exercise
  • Affected by psychological well being circumstances comparable to melancholy or an consuming dysfunction

Why constipation wants a immediate therapy protocol?

Although at a superficial degree the constipation seems like a easy situation, it may well result in many issues if not evaluated and handled correctly and promptly. The issues are as talked about beneath –

  • The tissues across the anus get swollen inflicting ‘haemorrhoids’
  • Tissues across the anal area could break or tear resulting in ‘anal fissure’
  • Arduous and dry stools backed up into the colon could result in faecal impaction
  • Rectal prolapse

Significance of 3Fs within the prevention and management of persistent constipation

The three Fs associated to persistent constipation is –

  1. Fluid,
  2. Fibre and
  3. Health

Within the reminder of this text allow us to perceive the relevance of every of those ‘Fs’ one after the other –


Regulation of the physique temperature, preserving the joints lubricated, ship of vitamins to every cell, correct functioning of organ system and correct bowel actions are among the vital capabilities of water. A superb hydration additionally improves sleep and lots of capabilities of mind and nervous system.

The human physique consists of 60% of water. It’s generally beneficial that ingesting of two to three litres of water is important for all important actions of the physique. Enough hydration varies from particular person to particular person and it additionally depends upon the geographical area of the individual and sure medical circumstances whereby there may be extreme elimination of water from the system.

Detailed description of significance of ‘nicely hydrated physique’

  1. Helps within the correct secretion of saliva – Water is the principle content material of saliva and saliva types an vital factor within the digestion of the meals. It helps in preserving the oral cavity moist and wholesome.
  2. Helps in correct digestion – Because the digestives enzymes, fluids and chemical compounds concerned within the technique of digestion, absorption and assimilation include water, and common hydration is required for them to operate correctly. If the digestive capabilities are correct then absorption of meals additionally takes place correctly and bowel actions too occur correctly. So, good digestion adopted by good absorption of digested meals helps within the prevention of constipation.  
  3. Regulation of the physique temperature – Staying hydrated is vital in sustaining the temperature of the physique.
  4. Safety of joints, spinal wire and tissues of the physique – Sufficient fluid in circulation helps within the lubrication of joints and spinal wire and likewise helps within the regular functioning of the cells and tissues.
  5. Helps within the excretion of physique wastes via perspiration, urination and defecation – Physique makes use of water to sweat, urinate and to defecate. Physique requires sufficient fluid steadiness to have an everyday bowel motion and thus prevents constipation.
  6. Helps to maximise bodily efficiency – Ingesting of water throughout bodily exercise is utmost vital and can also be a necessity since a lot of the fluid reserve is used up whereas in actions within the type of sweating. Bodily exercise particularly endurance coaching or excessive depth sports activities exercise wants a again up of satisfactory hydration as dehydration after rigorous exercise could trigger extreme medical emergencies.

Sensible suggestions for preserving adequately hydrated –

  • Ideally one ought to give a kick begin to his or her morning by ingesting a glass of heat water,
  • One ought to carry a water bottle every time going out and ensure to maintain it refilled as and when it empties,
  • One shall keep away from sugared and carbonated drinks to keep away from burdening the physique with empty energy,
  • Mother and father ought to be sure that their children additionally get satisfactory amount of water and different fluids as and when wanted

Ultimate circumstances and candidates whereby additional warning must be taken when it comes to preserving oneself hydrated –

  • One has to maintain oneself correctly hydrated throughout sizzling, humid and dry seasons
  • Aged individuals and kids ought to take extra warning and maintain themselves hydrated often since they have an inclination to lose their water shops within the physique shortly,
  • In sure medical circumstances like Diabetes Mellitus one have to be additional cautious in preserving a steadiness of hydration,
  • People who find themselves taking common laxatives and diuretics additionally must have a test on their hydration ranges and maintain taking good amount of water, commonly as a result of there are extra adjustments of getting dehydrated in these circumstances,

Different types of pure and wholesome hydration –

One can get pure and wholesome hydration by taking one of many beneath talked about issues –

  • Coconut water
  • Buttermilk
  • Lemon water
  • Kanji
  • Herbs infused water
  • Fruits infused water


Dietary fibre, often known as roughage or bulk, contains the components of the plant meals that our physique can’t digest or take up. Not like the carbohydrates, fat and proteins which kind the varieties of macronutrients which the physique breaks down and helps in absorption, the fibre shouldn’t be digested or absorbed. The fibres quite cross comparatively intact via the digestive canal and are thrown out of the physique.

Varieties of the fibre

Dietary fibre is split into soluble and insoluble

  • Soluble fibre – Any such fibre dissolves in water and gastrointestinal fluids when it enters the abdomen and intestines to kind a gel-like substance. Soluble fibre is present in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and many others. These soluble fibres are discovered to decrease blood ldl cholesterol and glucose ranges.
  • Insoluble fibre – Any such fibre shouldn’t be soluble in water. Insoluble fibre attracts water into the stool, making it softer and thus it’s simpler to cross via the rectum with much less pressure. Thus insoluble fibre promotes bowel well being and its regularity.

Well being advantages of meals wealthy in excessive fibre

  • Dietary fibre will increase the burden and measurement of the stool and softens it. A stool which is cumbersome is less complicated to cross via the colon thus decreases the possibilities of constipation.
  • A eating regimen wealthy in fibre could decrease the chance of creating haemorrhoids. Research have additionally proven {that a} excessive fibre eating regimen possible lowers the chance of colorectal most cancers.
  • Some soluble fibre wealthy meals feed intestine micro organism, as it’s fermentable within the colon and thus helps the great micro organism to thrive longer.

Finest fibre selections

  • Complete grain merchandise
  • Greens like carrot, beetroot, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli and inexperienced leafy greens like palak leaves, lettuce and many others
  • Fruits like avocado, berries, citrus fruits
  • Beans, peas and different legumes
  • Nuts and seeds like sunflower, melon, flax seeds, almonds, peanuts and many others
  • Different meals like coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water and inexperienced tea

Some sensible tricks to get sufficient fibres within the eating regimen

  • One ought to begin the day with excessive fibre breakfast and likewise go for complete grain with a number of greens
  • Change to complete grains
  • Embrace lot of legumes as they’re wonderful sources of fibre
  • Incorporating greens and fruits wealthy in fibre content material
  • Preserving a watch on consumption of junks or meals with excessive trans fatty acids and drinks and meals stuffs with empty energy


The workouts that are gentle to reasonable have proven a substantial impact on the well being of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s proved repeatedly that bodily exercise is without doubt one of the only life-style instruments for loosening bowels and preserving the intestine well being intact. Train helps constipation by lessening the time it takes for meals to maneuver via the intestines. This limits the quantity of water getting absorbed from the stool. Thus there are very much less possibilities of stool getting onerous and dry. Along with this, workouts hurries up respiratory and coronary heart price and this helps to stimulate the contractions of intestinal muscular tissues. Intestinal muscular tissues which have a pure intact mobility assist to maneuver the stools shortly out of the system.

Cardio workouts, operating, leaping, biking; dancing, Zumba and salsa enhance the center price, improves the circulation to the entire physique and stimulates bowel actions. Even when somebody doesn’t do rigorous train, only a brisk stroll of 30 to 40 minutes helps in bettering the intestine motility.


Working towards Yoga is useful to get the bowel actions correct and relieve constipation. These yoga postures that contain stretching and bending of again and pelvic ground muscular tissues relieve constipation.

Essential Yoga poses for constipation –

  • Bhujangasana – cobra pose
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana – half lord of fishes pose
  • Supta Matsyendrasana –
  • Halasana – plough pose
  • Malasana – garland pose or squat pose
  • Bharadvajasana – Bharadvaja’s twist
  • Dhanurasana – bow pose
  • Pawanamuktasana – the wind releasing / relieving pose
  • Vajrasana – thunderbolt / diamond pose
  • Paschimottanasana – seated ahead bend
  • Anjaneyasana / Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Crescent twist
  • Balasana – little one pose
  • Pranayama – Yogic respiratory strategies

Deep respiratory workouts.

Working towards deep respiratory strategies is one other good way to assist enhance intestine well being and bowel motion and thus helps in preserving the constipation away.

Ayurveda Perspective

Although 3 Fs can’t be defined strictly from Ayurveda perspective, here’s a small try to see if these components may be thought of when seen via Ayurveda lens.

1. Fluid issue and Ayurveda

In line with Ayurveda, vata, primarily apana vata helps in formation and excretion of faeces. The method of faeces formation really begins within the abdomen and small gut with the involvement of pachaka pitta and samana vata. When there may be excessive vata in situation, dryness and roughness prevails within the colon. In consequence there may be extreme dryness of faeces leading to constipation. So, vata is the principle dosha which causes constipation when it’s not balanced. Enhance in vata additionally depicts decreased kapha and kapha elements within the physique. Water is regulated by steadiness of kapha within the physique.

Elevated consumption of vata aggravating meals and indulgence in vata growing actions, extreme fasting or hunger, seasons beneficial for vata enhance, and fewer consumption of water – will all contribute to fluid imbalance within the physique resulting in elevated dryness and roughness. It will ultimately trigger vata aggravation and consequently trigger constipation. This additionally exhibits that correct and satisfactory hydration is required to maintain the doshas, vata on this case, in a state of steadiness.

2. Fibre issue and Ayurveda

Fibre wealthy meals are important inclusions in therapy of constipation within the modern-day. We don’t discover direct references of such meals and their utility in Ayurveda treatises. However we are able to take a leaf or two from the fashionable rationalization of those meals and attempt to perceive them from Ayurveda perspective.

Since soluble fibres act by forming gel like substances which resemble kapha, they are often thought of to extend kapha properties and antagonize the dryness and roughness of vata within the colon, thus easing constipation. Most of those fibre wealthy meals like carrots, apples and citrus fruits have candy and bitter tastes and candy after digestion results, which counteract vata and ease constipation.

Grasp Charaka recommends Pramathi Annapana in treating the illnesses brought on by forcible withholding of urge for defecation, together with constipation. Right here he was in all probability hinting in direction of fluid alternative and fibre wealthy meals that are antagonistic to vata and likewise relieve constipation.

Health issue and Ayurveda

Vyayama – bodily workouts have been talked about among the many dinacharya regimens in Ayurveda. Common workouts, amongst many advantages, will improve the digestive capability in a person leading to correct digestion of meals. When meals is correctly digested, faeces are correctly shaped. The vata too can be in a state of steadiness. Apana vata would excrete the faeces correctly and commonly and therefore constipation won’t happen. Common workouts may also allow correct peristalsis.

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