Dealing with constipation
As we reach our golden years. Our loved ones are often burdened with various health issues. Of the several health issues that haunt our loved ones. Constipation or irregular bowel movement is the one that puts them in an uncomfortable situation. A disturbing and embarrassing problem that drives our loved ones crazy. Making them constantly obsessed with the situation.
The condition is not easy to handle. But we should know that constipation is not a disease in itself. It is a nothing but a symptom and we can easily control it. To understand constipation better. It is when individuals who take more than usual time to pass stools or is harder than usual. Also, when an individual passing stools less than 3 times a week. There are many reasons for constipation. Some of the reason are due to our aging loved one’s lifestyle. Constipation is more common in women that in men. The reason for this is that women and men are anatomically different and have different habits.
The various reasons for constipation include
Constipation can be overwhelming
Being constipated, often makes our loved ones cranky and upset about the problem. There have been cases, where the caregivers have had a hard time talking to their loved ones about it. The feeling of not being able to empty their bowels gets so overwhelming. That they want to see a doctor almost every day to solve the problem. In some cases, constipation may be a symptom of bowel impaction, a very serious condition in which feces are trapped in the lower part of the large intestine. A doctor should be called if our loved one is constipated for a week or more.
Quick fix is not the answer
The outcome is not very favorable. Laxatives and over the counter medications provide only temporary relief. And it only aggravates the problem even more. Strong enemas are even worse. They can induce diarrhea quickly. But making matters really difficult for your loved ones and their caregivers.
Comfort and patience can help
Even though our loved ones are miserable. The idea is to make them comfortable. Creating small lifestyle changes. And having the patients to overcome this problem, can help. The idea may not seem to be working well with our loved ones, as they would expect quick relief. But, keeping patience and working with them each day to solve the problem. Will make things a lot more cheery.
Tips for caregivers to help combat constipation
Being inactive, often slows down the intestinal motility, causing constipation. Encouraging our loved ones to move around at least a few minutes every hour of the day. However, in some cases of chronic illness. When our loved ones cannot get out of bed. The doctor will prescribe preventive medications for constipation.
Keeping our loved ones well hydrated, will help easy bowel emptying. Try to get them to drink six to eight glasses of water, tea, coffee, etc. each day. Drinking less water makes the stools hard. And gives our loved one a hard time during the bowel movement.
Give your aging loved ones flax seeds. They can be easily added to the milk, oatmeal, cereals, soups as well as yogurt. Your loved one can enjoy a tsp of olive oil each morning on an empty stomach. Furthermore, introducing fiber foods in their diet can also help them. With the problem of constipation. Even coconut milk can work wonders in such cases.
Six drops of rosemary oil and six drops of thyme oil diluted by 1 oz of almond oil, olive oil, or another carrier oil can relieve constipation when used to massage the abdomen.
A variety of herbal therapies can be useful in the treatment of constipation. Several herbs, including chamomile, dandelion, and burdock, act as bitters, stimulating the movement of the digestive systems.
Massaging the leg from knee to hip in the morning, or the abdomen area at night, and before trying to move the bowels is said to relieve constipation.
The knee-chest position, said to relieve gas and stimulate abdominal organs, involves:
- standing straight with arms at the sides
- lifting the right knee toward the chest
- grasping the right ankle with the left hand
- pulling the leg as close to the chest as possible
- holding the position for about eight seconds
The cobra position, which can be repeated as many as four times a day, involves:
- lying on the stomach with legs together
- placing the palms just below the shoulders, holding elbows close to the body
- inhaling, then lifting the head (face forward) and chest off the floor
- keeping the navel in contact with the floor
- looking as far upward as possible
- holding this position for three to six seconds
- exhaling and lowering the chest
Conclusion to constipation
Finally, these tips can certainly help the family caregivers effectively deal with the problem of constipation in their loved ones. However, the family caregivers also need to understand that old age is that phase of life. Where their loved ones are largely dependent on them. Family caregivers oversee most of their tasks. And more so if they are suffering from chronic illness. Therefore, it is pretty natural for your loved one to become obsessed with the problems of growing old. On the other hand, suffering from constipation is certainly not a pleasant feeling. As there is a buildup of toxins, which disturbs the entire system. So, the basic idea is to be patient with your loved one and help them deal with the problem in a comfortable manner. Everyone becomes constipated once in a while, but a doctor should be notified if significant changes in bowel patterns last for more than a week or if symptoms continue more than three weeks after increasing activity and fiber and fluid. For more information, check out this site on constipation. Also, I have used and recommended the following products for constipation.
Flax USA/Stober Farms Organic Golden Flax Cold Milled Golden Flax Seed, 48 Ounce
Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic Supplement – Primal Defense ULTRA Ultimate Probiotic Dietary Supplement for Digestive and Gut Health, 90 Vegetarian Capsules