There is a large variety of treatments for constipation. Treatment types vary in cost, effectiveness and ramifications of use. Choosing the right constipation treatment should be done after knowing all other available choices, including each constipation treatment’s pros and cons list.
• High fiber foods diet – whole grain breads and pasta, raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits can soften the stool and improve bowel movement.
o Pros – a healthy constipation treatment, that is also likely to increase the body’s vitality
o Cons – Results take some time. It will take 3 to 5 days before constipation relief is felt. It is also important not to consume more than 50 grams of fiber per day, since too much fiber can cause gas and diarrhea
• Regular exercise –walking, swimming or talking an aerobics class helps muscles contract and speed up the food digestion process.
o Pros – a healthy and natural constipation treatment
o Cons – Requires adhering to an workout program
Bulk-forming laxatives – this constipation treatment works by absorbing water and thus making stool softer and bulkier.
o Pros – considered safer than other laxatives and can be used for longer periods of time. Also, results are usually achieved within 12 to 72 hours
o Cons – the possible side effects which include: swollen stomach, skin rash and rarely it can also cause intestine blockage
• Stool softeners – this constipation treatment works by adding water to the stool which makes it softer and thus easier to pass.
o Pros – almost immediate constipation treatment – results are usually achieved within 24 to 72 hours
o Cons – the possible side effect of this constipation treatment which include: stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Also, long term use might result in losing the ability to independently have bowel movement
• Stimulants – this constipation treatment works by stimulating the intestines
o Pros – immediate relief. This kind of laxative usually works within 8-12 hours.
o Cons – the possible side effects of this constipation treatment which include: stomach pain, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Also, long term or repetitive use of this kind of laxative may result in losing the ability to have independent bowel movement
• Biofeedback – a constipation treatment, designed to train the muscles that pass stool to work more effectively
o Pros – Risk free. Several Studies claim that the results of biofeedback constipation treatment matches the results of surgical procedures that are performed to relieve constipation
o Cons – High cost and is designed for one type of constipation only known as pelvic floor dysfunction
• Ayurvedic constipation treatment – Ayurveda –India’s traditional medicine practice, offers a couple of options for constipation treatment like changing your diet to include freshly cooked foods and seasoning like coriander and cumin seeds, or Herbal Ayurvedic remedies
o Pros – Ayurvedic constipation treatment is non invasive and include easy to prepare, homemade remedies
o Cons – The treatment, if done with an ayurvedic therapist, can be costly
• More fluids: warm water, herbal tea and prune juice
o Pros – A natural and tasty constipation treatment
o Cons – Usually ineffective if the problem is severe or consistent
• Enema – a colon wash up.
o Pros – immediate stool removal
o Cons – this is an invasive constipation treatment and like all medicines, enema might have unwanted and very unpleasant side effects such as stomach pain, fainting, skin rash and more