Constipation can be much more than just a slow bowel movement. According to Ayurveda, constipation is a signal of imbalanced Vata and blockage of channels. A patient with depression or rheumatoid arthritis usually has constipation as an associated symptom. A patient with migraine can also have constipation. Thus, in many cases, relieving constipation can contribute to relief of migraine and depression as well.
Even though constipation is a simple discomfort, if neglected and not treated in time, it may lead to a major problem. Digestion is like a highway. One wrong move, and everything gets backed up. Sometimes for years. So there is an immediate need to look into this health discomfort, seriously.
A common understanding with constipation, is that waste products are stuck in the intestines with complications arising because of those lodged or blocked waste products. However, the reason is much deeper than that. The large intestine is designed to store feces for a certain amount of time, thus, holding it for some more amount of time is not a big task for it. The real problem arises when the lack of bowel movements for a long period of time sends wrong signals to liver, brain, immune system etc, leading to migraine and such other complications.
Vata dosha is responsible for constipation. Apana vayu is responsible for both holding the stool until it is ready to be expelled, and for the free flow and expulsion of stool. When the functions of Apana vayu are significantly affected, it results in constipation.
The Ayurvedic terms for constipation can include: Vibandha, Vishtabdhata, Malabaddhata, Baddhavarchas, Stabdha Pureeshata, Varcho Vibandha etc.
The cause of constipation can include:
Allopathic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine, anticonvulsants such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, Iron supplements, Antacids with aluminium may cause constipation.
Ayurvedic medicines containing Guggulu and Sallaki as ingredients may contribute to constipation. In such patients, usually Triphala Churna is administered to nullify the side effect.
Arising from Vata imbalancing factors, Apana vata is aggravated and is blocked in the lower part of the large intestine, which results in constipation. Depending upon the grade of affliction, absolute constipation or hard stool are complained of by the patients.
If the complaint is neglected, and causative factors are continued, complications such as the following arise:
Overuse of laxatives for a long period of time eventually worsens constipation. Hence, when you are prescribed a medicine for constipation, be proactive to change your lifestyle and diet habits, as explained above, so as to prevent dependency on medications.
Herbs useful in severe constipation:
Ayurvedic Medicines for constipation: