Americans are notorious for spending outrageous amounts on laxatives and other remedies in their battle against chronic constipation. Product producers estimated that at least $725 million is expended yearly on the problem that plagues so many people. Women are two to three times more likely than men to encounter more problems with constipation because we have a slower transit time through our digestive system. Our intestinal tract is also longer. And there seems to be a hormonal correlation because women who are pregnant or post-menopausal report more problems than others. Apparently, estrogen helps with regulation, but this is not scientifically verified. Regardless of what's been tried, the most effective answers lie in behavioral strategies - activity and foods. Let's just review the foods that work and the ones that remain largely unproven.
The most important answer is to build a higher percentage of one's daily intake of food from plant foods...
Constipation refers to the passage of less than three stools per week, often associated with abdominal bloating, pain, hard stool, and straining. In patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD), constipation is rare, and patients more commonly experience significant diarrhea. However, there are specific situations in which constipation can be a major symptom of IBD.
Ulcerative colitis and constipation
People with UC limited to the rectum, referred to as proctitis, can experience constipation during a flare of the disease. Management of constipation in this setting involves treating the active UC, rather than treating the constipation itself. Mesalamine enemas and suppositories are very effective in treating mild to moderate flares of proctitis. Steroid foam suppositories can also be used in more severe cases or in those who do not respond to mesalamine. A probiotic called VSL#3 has been shown t...
Spastic colon; Irritable colon; Mucous colitis; Spastic colitis
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms vary from person to person.
Abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 6 months are the main symptoms of IBS. The pain and other symptoms will often:
Occur after meals
Come and go
Be reduced or go away after a bowel movement
People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other.
People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which is difficult to control.
Those with constipation will have difficulty passing stool, as well as less frequent bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramping with a bowel movement. Often, they do not eliminate any stool, or only a small amount.
For some pe...
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