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Constipation Treatment: Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2019

What is the treatment?

Constipation is referred to as the digestive system’s condition in which the person is unable to expel the feces as they become hard. In most of the cases, this is caused due to excess absorption of water from the food by colon.

Constipation is not a risk to health and in most cases, even the treatment is not required. The treatment of constipation usually involves certain lifestyle changes such as exercising more, more water and fiber intake. The usage of laxatives is usually known to treat most cases of constipation under proper supervision and in limited proportions. The patient may require a medical prescription in difficult cases. It is very important that we understand the cause of constipation before actually treating the illness.

There may be an underlying medical condition leading to constipation problem. There are many treatment options for constipation, but they should only be used as a last resort in extreme cases. Stimulants are known to make the intestine muscles contract rhythmically. Lubricants make the bowel movements down the colon easier. These include fleet and mineral oil.

Stool softeners like Surfak and Colace moisten the stool. Fiber supplements like Konsyl, Serutan, Fibercon and Citrucel are perhaps the safest laxatives which should be taken with plenty of water.

How is the treatment done?

There are various types of laxatives that come in capsules, pills, enemas, liquids, and suppositories. Each type has its specific side effects and benefits. Although the usage of an enema or suppository is not pleasant or convenient as swallowing a pill, these laxatives manually squirted or inserted work much faster to relieve the indications.

Bulking agents or fiber is recommended by most doctors to relive from the symptoms of slow-transit or normal constipation. Bloating, gas, or abdominal cramps occur when the fiber intake in your body abruptly changes or increases. Fiber is normally found in whole grains (bran), fruits, vegetables, Fibercon and fiber-lax. Fiber is known to work by increasing the bulk and content of the stool, which directly helps it to pass quickly through the colon. During the intake of fiber supplements it is very important to drink enough water in order to avoid the possibility of an obstruction or the development of flatulence. Do not increase the intake of fiber suddenly. Take your time and gradually increase the amount of its intake. Also, fiber reduces the absorption of certain drugs in your body, so remember to take the medication at least an hour before or a couple of hours after fiber consumption.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person undergoing recurrent or severe constipation is eligible for the treatment. Also, if he has no manifestation of an underlying disease then he is eligible for receiving the treatment of constipation.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A patient is considered ineligible for taking laxatives if he has a blockage in his gut. He is also precluded from receiving the treatment if he has ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.


Are there any side effects?

The side effects of laxatives include diarrhea, bloating, cramping, gas, nausea, increased thirst, constipation if the laxatives are not taken with enough water. Side effects associated with oral stimulants include belching and urine discoloration with cascara derivatives and senna. Side effects of rectal suppositories involve cramping, diarrhea and rectal irritation.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

People who are suffering recurring constipation keep a diary with them to keep track of the characteristics of the stool, bowel movements, and many other factors. These factors may help the patient and the doctor to devise the best suited treatment option available. There are many people who still do not assign enough time for their problematic condition, as claimed by gastroenterologists. They suggest people to set aside sufficient time to let their toilet visit be uninterrupted and unstressed, and also to not ignore their urge to have a bowel movement when it arises. Regular exercise and proper diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending on the seriousness of your case the recovery period of your treatment can range from a week to 4 weeks. If your constipation is mainly due to indigestion you can also get better in a day provided you take the required medicine on time.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Medications or laxatives as prescribed by the doctor for treating constipation can range from something as low as Rs.50 to as high as Rs. 700. The price of a doctor’s consultation test could cost you Rs. 400 – Rs. 800.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

There is no treatment that will permanently cure the problem of constipation. The only way to keep your gastritis at bay is by avoiding spicy, greasy, dairy, fried foods, and foods which are rich in sugar. Eat meals small in portion and chew them well before swallowing. Do not stay on an empty stomach for a long time. Keep yourself hydrated at all times.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The alternative treatments of constipation are several home remedies that are readily available in the kitchen. These are potato juice (have potato juice pre-meal thrice a day to cure your problem of stomach gas), charcoal (having a charcoal tablet before and after your meals which will greatly help in reducing the issues of acidity and gas), turmeric (have turmeric mixed with milk everyday to get the desired results), ginger (good for treating gastric problem as well as indigestion), baking soda (it works as an effective antacid and gives instant relief when you have it mixed with water on an empty stomach), apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cardamom, and onion.


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Written ByDr. Akhilesh Singh Post Graduate Course In Diabetology,CCEBDM(DIABETOLOGY) & CCMH ( CARDIOLOGY)General Physician
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