There is a reason why constipation remedies are amongst the most popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications. It has been estimated that approximately 10-30% of the U.S. population suffers from this ailment, and most people do not see a physician. Those who do receive some help, but given that there is disagreement even among physicians as to what constitutes constipation, the efficacy of medical advice varies. Even effectiveness of medication is nonuniform from patient to patient.
The ROME foundation was set up to manage information and diagnoses related to gastrointestinal problems. One of the things the foundation tried to do is outline a specific set of criteria which defined idiopathic and chronic constipation. “Idiopathic” means without known cause. It is the main reason why the ROME criteria was formulated: idiopathic diseases are hard to define. Some of the sample criteria for constipation include hard or small feces, and less than one bowel movement every three days.
Even if a patient is diagnosed properly, there are no standard constipation treatments. This is because most constipation is of unknown origin. Diseases without known origin are known as “idiopathic”, and can be treated only in a general way which may not target the underlying problem. People with idiopathic constipation constitute about 70% of all patients.
For sufferers looking for natural relief, there exists a few options. Amongst the non-medication remedies, foremost is high-fiber therapy. Such a treatment strategy consists of emphasizing common foods that are fiber-rich or taking in nutritional supplements containing fiber.
Some may reach the conclusion that the time required to attain a sufficient fiber diet becomes overwhelming. One solution to this problem is to take a look at psyllium nutritional supplements. Psyllium comes in the form of powders that are mixed with water to make convenient drinks. Primary care givers suggest that the timing given to this sort of intense fiber therapy usually requires around ten to fourteen days for its complete effectiveness to kick in.
There are also a number of recommended laxatives for those with constipation. Among the most accepted are the well-recognized stimulant and osmotic laxatives. These medications are named for what is imagined to be the mechanism of action (i.e. how the medication works chemically in the body). For example, the compounds known as osmotic laxatives are given to the increased water content in the intestinal passageway which from small studies reports apparently is able to assist in movement of intestinal contents.