Although the frequency of defecation is individually different, constipation can quickly lead to health problems. If there is no bowel movement over a longer period of time, the feces are in extreme cases transported back to the stomach and vomited from there.

This is the case, for example, with an intestinal obstruction. If the intestinal wall can no longer withstand the pressure of the intestinal contents, the feces spill into the abdominal cavity and lead to life-threatening infections there.

What is the constipation prophylaxis?

The constipation prevention includes all measures that serve to prevent an intestinal blockage.

The constipation prevention includes all measures that serve to prevent an intestinal blockage. It is present if the evacuation does not take place every 3 days at the latest or if defecation requires excessive pressure.

It is also associated with a hard lower abdomen and pain when pressing on the lower abdomen. If the breath smells of excrement or if vomiting of stools occurs, immediate medical intervention is necessary (suspected intestinal obstruction!). The aim of constipation prevention is to promote the natural movement of the intestine and to ensure more frequent evacuation of the bowel to improve the general health of the patient / patient. Before initiating it should be checked what cause the constipation.

Some patients are at fault for certain medications. Sleep, tranquilizers and analgesics often have an effect on digestion. For those in need of care and hospital patients, shame is often added to killing in a bedpan or having to go to the bathroom next to the other patients. After a not performed by endoscope abdominal surgery and disturbed fluid and electrolyte balance, there is also often a limited bowel movement.

Also, diseases such as paralysis, Parkinson's, hemorrhoids, colon cancer and depression can cause constipation. The constipation prophylaxis includes a variety of measures. Only when natural remedies fail to achieve the desired results should laxatives be given.

Function, effect & goals

The aim of constipation prophylaxis is to counteract (chronic) constipation. Occasionally, a few measures are sufficient to promote defecation.

In general, the patient should take at least 2 liters of fluid daily to soften the stool. Sufficient exercise also promotes the natural intestinal movement. A fiber-rich diet leads to greater feces volume and stimulates peristalsis. These include whole-grain products, nuts, vegetables and fruits. A lot should be drunk on these foods as they swell up a lot. In addition, it is advisable to always have enough time for the bowel movement: If the person feels an abdominal pressure, should go immediately to the toilet, as a postponed defecation leads to hardening of the intestinal contents.

The best way to get used to a regular toilet time. Also a regular rhythm of life and meals, which are always taken at the same time, help. Flaxseed, Indian psyllium and wheat bran, which are taken with plenty of fluid, also have a supporting effect. If it is not possible for the congested patient to dispense with anti-digestive drugs, it is advisable to take a mild laxative in low doses. Special measures to induce defecation include moist, warm abdominal compresses, abdominal exercises, deep abdominal breathing and intestinal massages.

The abdominal press is performed 5 times in a row after waking up: the patient tightens the abdomen for 10 seconds and slowly expands it again. In the colon massage, the lying patient / carer massages the colon for 5 minutes, beginning on the right side of the lower abdomen. Even if these specific constipation preventive measures do not help, the patient / patient must be given oral laxatives or suppositories. Alternatively, a bowel enema or - in very severe cases - a gut clearance can be made.

Risks, side effects & dangers

If constipation occurs, if the person leads a regular life with a healthy diet and adequate exercise, it may be a symptom of a serious condition.

Therefore, the person concerned should consult a doctor of his trust as soon as possible. People with reduced mobility (disabled, bedridden) have a particularly high risk of chronic constipation. With them, the caregiver should make sure that the intestine is emptied as often as it was before the hospital or home admission. The stool should also be checked regularly for abnormalities in color, texture and possibly composition. An overflow incontinence - small faeces and mucus out of the intestine uncontrollably - should be avoided at all costs.

Other signs of a chronic constipation can be bad breath, a bad tongue and loss of appetite. It becomes particularly critical when the breath smells of faeces or feces are vomited. Then the emergency doctor should definitely be brought. For home residents who are still able to move around themselves, constipation prevention is usually to inform them about which foods they better avoid to prevent constipation and which foods they should eat. Caregivers should make sure that patients do not "forget" to consume a lot of fluids - which is common in older people - and encourage them to visit the restroom on a regular basis.

Daily toilet training at the same time helps to think about the necessary defecation. In immobile patients mobilization can be done in bed (abdominal training, bed gymnastics). People with limited mobility and patients who often "forget" to drink should not be given linseed, Indian psyllium and wheat bran, as they will otherwise promote constipation. Instead, it is recommended to add yoghurt, buttermilk, shredded prunes and lactose. This sweetens the food and at the same time has a laxative effect.

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