First Aid for Constipation
About 80% of the world’s population experiences constipation at least once in their lives. Short periods of constipation are harmless and are hence not a cause of concern. It is diagnosed as colon movements which occur less than 3 times a week on a regular basis.
Bowel movements vary amongst individuals—some may experience it thrice a day, and some, 3 times a week. It should be noted that bowel movements only occur once a day is incorrect, and should not lead to the consumption of laxatives, as it is a normal condition.
Diet plays a major role in a person’s bowel movements. In order to regulate proper movements, you must consume a diet rich in fiber—fruits, vegetables, whole grains and bran. For proper functioning of your colon, you must consume at least 25-35g of fiber and 60-80 oz. of fluids per day with regular exercise. Constipation is common in North America because a typical diet consists of only 12-15g of fiber per day.
Constipation is not covered in regular first aid and CPR courses as they are not considered sudden or medical emergencies. The details posted on this page are for information purposes only and you should only follow the directions provided by your doctor.
- Not consuming enough fibers
- Drastic changes in diet
- Inadequate exercise
- Not going to the bathroom when needed
- Certain medications—such as painkillers
- Calcium and iron supplements
- Medications for blood pressure
- Disorders related to the nervous or endocrine system
- Antacids containing aluminum
- Can be an underlying cause of other medical conditions
- Decreased stool mass
- Irregular colon movements
- Urging while making colon movements
- Feeling as if you have to defecate, but unable to do so every time you try
When to see a doctor
- Change in bowel movements for last for at least 2 weeks—whether frequent or infrequent—or whether the mass of the feces is high or not
- Blood comes with your feces—can be a symptom of another serious condition
In normal cases, constipation is an easy condition to treat. Simply changing your diet and including exercise into your routine can also reverse the effects of constipation.
- Have bran cereal and whole grains such as brown bread and oatmeal for breakfast
- Have lots of fruits and vegetables
- Fiber supplements can also be taken—they also decrease the cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cancer, colon polyps and hemorrhoids. Fiber supplements may not lead to immediate relief, however, even if they take some time to bring positive effects, they are safer and healthier than laxatives that may cause certain unpleasant side effects and also lead to establishing a bad habit, every time a person suffers from constipations—which is not a healthy option as you may experience frequent bouts of constipation.
Laxatives are commonly abused by many users, and should only be taken under the consent of your doctor. Only in severe cases will you require surgical intervention to remedy your condition. However, constipation, about thrice a week is a harmless and normal condition experienced by many and should not cause any alarm.