Constipation - Symptoms, Treatment, Homeopathic Remedies
Using Homeopathy for Constipation
A common condition with millions in its grip, constipation is a frequently uncomfortable symptom of underlying imbalances or dietary problems. Someone is constipated when defecation is abnormally difficult or infrequent; frequently when this is the case stools are hard, pellet-like, or painful to pass. In medical terms, constipation generally means less than three bowel movements per week (95% of all adults have between three and 21 movements weekly). Constipation seems to be more common among the elderly, but a decrease in bowel movements.
While not usually dangerous in itself, constipation should be addressed before it becomes chronic so that the problem does not lead so complications such as hemorrhoids, formation of diverticula in the colon, rectal prolapse, fecal impaction, anal fissures, or other unpleasant or dangerous possibilities.
There is a widespread misconception, however, that constipation can "poison" one's own body by trapping wastes in the body longer than necessary. Retaining feces can contribute to a lowered energy level (as might the underlying cause of the constipation), but it takes more than constipation to severely toxify one's system. However, if diverticula trap food, then become infected and finally burst, that could release dangerous bacteria into the system.
There are many possible causes of constipation, including the following: lack of water in the diet, insufficient dietary fiber/roughage, side effects from prescription drugs, narcotic medications (such as codeine), antacids containing calcium or aluminum, lack of exercise, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and long-term laxative use. If the constipation is accompanied by fever, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, or bleeding from the anus, that could indicate an obstruction and is cause to contact a doctor right away.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Treatment for constipation starts with the simplest lifestyle remedies: drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, eat a bowl of high-bran cereal each morning, exercise more, eat leafy vegetables and fruit daily including prunes or prune juice, try a daily fiber supplement such as Metamucil. If these steps fail to correct the problem, a patient might want to try a laxative - but these medications should be used sparingly to avoid developing a dependency. Start with something gentle like a stool softener (emollients) like Colace or Milk of Magnesia. A stimulant laxative - such as Ex-Lax or other senna laxatives, castor oil, Bisacodyl (Feen-A-Mint, Correctol), and Cascara. There are numerous herbal laxative alternatives available as well.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
Homeopathic treatment for constipation focuses on the patient holistically, not just the immediate symptoms. Of course dietary and lifestyle considerations are taken into account - the patient's degree of exercise versus sedentary living, tendencies to respond immediately or not to nature's call, etc. Also, whether the patient has been using laxatives or other medications for the symptom will have strong bearing on what homeopathic remedy is prescribed. A trained homeopath will select a remedy that will alleviate the frequency and intensity of the symptoms of constipation while also addressing the constitutional factors that underlie the problem.
There are many homeopathic remedies for constipation. The one that is probably prescribed more than any other for the condition is Nux vomica. Sulphur is also frequently prescribed for the condition, often complementarily with Nux. Other apt remedies include Bryonia [Bry], Opium [Op], Alumina [Alum], Lycopodium [Lyc], Plumbum [Plumb], and Natrum muriaticum [Nat-m].