The treatment for acute constipation depends on the cause. If certain medications are the cause for your acute constipation, then your doctor may recommend that you stop taking them. If a poor diet or lack of physical activity is the cause, then a high-fiber diet or exercise plan may be prescribed. If these treatments fail, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter laxative to facilitate regular bowel movements.
A Answers (2)
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates answered
David Hoffmann, Integrative Medicine, answered
There are many causes of acute constipation, including stress, diet, menstrual cycle, and traveling. Constipation itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom that may result from any of a range of underlying causes. It is important to discover and address the actual issue. Chronic constipation is a serious condition that should be treated by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
Lifestyle issues should be addressed first, but it may be necessary to use a laxative for relief. An herbal laxative is an herb that helps promote bowel movements relieving constipation. There are 3 classes of plant-based laxatives that are most commonly used to address sluggish digestion and constipation.
Bulk forming laxatives: These are fiber-rich foods and herbs that offer the only truly safe, long-term treatment possibilities. They act slowly and gently and are best used by gradually increasing the dose taken every morning and evening until a softer, bulkier stool is achieved. They bulk up in the intestines, expanding and pushing food out to promote a normal and healthy bowel movement. Bulk forming laxatives include herbs such as Psyllium Husk and Flax Seed.
Secretory laxatives: These actually promote a bowel movement through stimulation of bile production in the liver. Bile is essential to the proper function of the digestive system because it helps break down fats. Fats are particularly hard to digest (it’s a diet that is rich in fat and low in fiber that is commonly linked to constipation). Herbs with this property include burdock, dandelion root, aloe, fennel, gentian, lemon balm.
Stimulant laxatives: These are herbs that stimulate the muscle in your digestive tract that causes you to have a bowel movement. These are very effective for temporary or occasional constipation. Since these laxatives are so powerful, however, long term use is not recommended and can create a physical dependency within the body. Try to use the smallest recommended dose first and work your way up.
Senna is a common herbal stimulant laxative that can be used on its own or can be combined with other herbs to provide additional digestive support or to help complement its bitter taste. Senna is well paired with licorice, fennel, ginger, cinnamon and coriander, as well as other well known digestive herbs such as peppermint and chamomile. Senna can be drunk as a warm cup of tea, or taken in capsules or tincture.