How to Treat Constipation?
The constipation treatment step aims to smooth the digestion so that people can defecate on a regular basis (at least once in 2-3 days and without straining) .The first priority for constipation that is often recommended is to improve diet and lifestyle, especially increased fiber consumption. The level of fiber sufficiency contained in food intake, such as fruits, vegetables, and wheat, will have an impact on the smoothness of the digestive system.
In addition to fiber, there are also some other steps that are useful in launching our body’s digestive system. These simple steps are:
- Increase water consumption to avoid dehydration.
- Avoid caffeine because it can trigger dehydration.
- Increase the frequency of exercise, such as a morning or afternoon run every day.
- Do not ignore the desire to defecate.
- Try putting your knees in a higher position than hips during defecation, for example when sitting on the toilet use a small bench to put your feet.
Handling with Purgatives
If the initial treatment step is less effective, doctors will generally advocate the use of laxatives. Keep in mind that while using this medication, you or your child is advised to consume plenty of water to avoid dehydration. These laxatives will launch a defecation process and are available in several types, namely:
- Osmotic laxatives. This laxative will increase the amount of fluid in the intestine so that the feces will become softer and stimulate the intestine to push the stool out. Examples of drugs commonly given by doctors are lactulose and macrogol.
- Stool-forming laxatives. This medicine will make your stools keep the fluid contained so it becomes soft and can be removed easily. Therefore, patients should drink plenty of water when using this type of laxative. The ispaghula and methylcellulose husk are two examples of fusion-forming laxatives often given by doctors.
- Stimulant laxatives. This drug will stimulate and help the gastrointestinal muscles to push the stool in the large intestine into the anus. A stimulant laxative is given if the stool remains difficult to get out, even if it is soft. Types often given are senna, bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate.
Duration of use of laxatives depends on the severity of constipation you are experiencing. If you have constipation from drugs or other diseases, you may have to take laxatives for longer periods like months or even years. The dosage should also be reduced gradually and one by one if you use a combination of several types of laxatives. But if constipation occurs suddenly and in the short term, the laxative can be stopped immediately when the stool is soft and easily removed.
Laxatives can also be used by pregnant women, because most of these drugs are not absorbed by the digestive system so that it will not affect the fetus. A safe laxative for pregnancy is a lactose osmotic laxative and macrogol laxative. If both are ineffective, the doctor will recommend bisacodyl or senna (stimulant laxative) low dose. But senna is not suitable for drinking during the third trimester of pregnancy, because some of these drugs will be absorbed by the digestive system.
Handling Constipation In Babies
Handling measures for babies depend on whether your baby has been eating solid foods or not.
Constipation in untreated infants or not yet consuming solid foods can be handled by providing water in between feeding schedules. If your baby is consuming formula, give it the appropriate dose and do not need to be reduced. Moving his legs like pedaling a bicycle or massaging his stomach with caution may be possible to stimulate his intestinal contractions.
While handling constipation in infants who have been eating solid foods can be done by giving water or fruit juice mixed with water. If possible, you can also give him a fruity that has been mashed or chopped. Fruits that are suitable consumed by babies who experience constipation include grapes, apples, avocados, kiwi, bananas, mango, strawberries, and papaya.
If dietary changes are ineffective or a baby with severe constipation, the doctor will usually give the osmotic laxative first before the stimulant laxative if necessary. While stool-forming laxatives are not recommended for infants.
Treatment Steps for Impaction Feces
Impaction of the stool occurs when there are hard and dry stools that accumulate and clog the rectum. Treatment for this complication is usually done by combining high doses of osmotic osmotic laxatives and stimulant laxatives.
However, if your body does not react to this laxative, your doctor will give you a small enema or suppository. Enema is a liquid drug injected into the large intestine through the anus. Docusate and sodium citrate can be given as an enema. While suppositories are capsules that are inserted through the anus. This drug will dissolve gradually, then absorbed into the bloodstream. An example is bisacodyl.
Constipation rarely causes complications, unless you experience it in the long term or chronic. Some of the possible complications are:
- Hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids – swelling of the anal wall due to dilation of blood vessels that are usually caused by an overgrowing process. These blood vessels can rupture causing bleeding.
- Fissures on the anus. Mengejan too long and hard or large stools can lead to fissures or tearing of the skin on the anal wall.
- Impaction of feces – accumulation of dry and hard stools in the rectum due to protracted constipation.
- Rectal prolapse Rectal- falls from its position inside the body and sticking out of the anus due to prolonged straining.