CONSTIPATION / VIBANDH and its Permanent Treatment in Ayurveda

Introduction: Constipation is an acute or chronic condition characterized by dry and hard infrequent stools that are painful or difficult to pass. The sedentary lifestyle and wrong eating habits are responsible for constipation. When one is facing difficulty to pass stools from several weeks or longer it leads to chronic constipation. Constipation can become a serious problem if not treated on the right time.
Constipation can be quite beyond a simple slow or obstructed bowel movement. Constipation can be secondary or as an associated symptom of other pathologies like depression, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, gastritis etc.

As per Ayurveda it can be co- related with vibandha which means blockage of channels (here excretory channels) . The waste products formed after the process of digestion / metabolism is removed from the body which is brought by process called excretion.
If it remains for longer time in the body have tendency to vitiate the normal doshas by causing sroto sanga called vibandha (constipation).


What are the causes of Constipation?

The pathophysiologies of constipation is multifactorial and of patient’s habits often reveal contributory and correctable causes, such as insufficient dietary roughage, lack of exercise, suppression of defecatory urges arising at inconvenient moments, inadequate time for full defecation and prolong travel.

Few common causes of constipation include:
• Low-fiber diet, particularly diets high in meat, dairy products, foods high in fat and sugar
• Lack of water and other fluids, dehydration
• Lack of exercise
• Travel or other changes in routine
• Ignoring the urge of defecation
• Overuse of laxatives
• Some medications like ,strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, and iron pills, antacid medicines that have calcium or aluminum
• Alcohol or caffeine
• Certain health conditions like Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Spinal cord injury, Hypothyroidism , Pregnancy Diabetes, Lupus etc.

What are the sign and symptoms of Constipation?

Each individual may experience symptoms of constipation differently. However, some of the most common symptoms include:
• The inability to have a bowel movement for several days or pass hard, dry stools.
• Abdominal bloating, cramps or pain.
• Decreased appetite.
• Lethargy.
• Loss of taste.
• Heaviness at the head.
• Feeling of blockage and heaviness in the rectum that prevents bowel movements.
• Feeling of incompletely emptying the stool from the rectum.

What are the risk factors associated with Constipation?

Constipation makes the sufferer very uncomfortable, but it is not life-threatening. However, it can become a cause or a trigging factor for other health issues if it starts to cause further damage.
Health issues that can arise as a result of severe constipation include:
• Rectal bleeding on habitual straining
• Anal fissure
• Hemorrhoids
• Fecal impaction, which occurs when dried stool stagnates and collects in the rectum and anus.
• Other possible complications include mental and physical stress, depression, reduced quality of life, etc.

What is the pathophysiology of Constipation?

Primary forms of constipation arise from intrinsic defects in colonic function or malfunction in the defecation process. These causes are typically considered after secondary causes of constipation are ruled out, often by history. The functions of the colon are to absorb fluid and transport waste to the rectum, where it is expelled or stored until defecation.

Movements in the colon achieve the absorptive and transport functions. Contractions or movement, move stool in a manner that bring stool forward in mass movements from the ascending colon down to the left colon. When stool enters the rectum, it causes distension and conscious perception of the urge to defecate.

If the time is not appropriate, the rectum accommodates to store the stool temporarily, resulting in the dissipation of the urge and propagating contractions. Normal colonic transit in adults ranges from 20 h to 72 h. When the movements of colon get slow due to any above said causes it results in constipation.

What is Ayurvedic view of Constipation ?

Ayurveda classifies constipation as a disorder arises due to the vitiation of vata dosha, because vata governs all movements and excretion is one of them. Therefore, anything that aggravates this dosha like stress, tension, travel, dehydration, cold wind, exhaustion, or dry, cold, rough foods—can vitiate vata and make you constipated.
Vata excess can produce some additional symptoms like spasms, especially in the colon, stiffness in the lower back and discomfort or pain in pelvis. Very hard and dry narrow stools or shaped like small pellets or balls .
When constipation appears as secondary or associated symptom of a disease it get resolve easily once the main pathology get treated. But in case of chronic constipation, it is not simpler vata vitiation or malabandha and it needs proper treatment.
In case of chronic constipation we can correlate sign and symptom to Pakvasayagata vata.

Pakvasayagata vata is a kind of vata disorder where the excessive aggravation followed by vitiation of vata dosha and finally it get lodged at the Pakvashaya (Intestine) and produce various sign and symptoms as below;
Antrakoojana (bowel sounds), Udara (abdominal pain), Atoop (flatulence), Mala Mutrakrchra (difficulties in passing urine and stool), Anaaha (abdominal distension) and Trikvedana (pain around sacral region) are the symptoms of Pakvasayagata vata.
It happens when person ignores the constipation and continue the causes of vata vitiation for a long time. Some of the most common causes are junk food consumption, alcohol drinking, smoking and over-eating.

Most people affected by this problem feel bloated and uneasy with the inability to pass stool easily. It leads to chronic condition which further lead to various risks as said above.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Constipation

Ayurvedic shodhna therapies are the only solution to correct the malfunctioning of the defections process. We opt different types of therapies that cleanse not only the colon but the whole GIT. Followed by restoring the physiology through shamana therapies. Panchakarma provides the good & effective treatment along with the oral medicines with rare chances of reoccurrence.

For the permanent solution for constipation, here at KAHP we follow specific approach
• We try to find the exact cause of it.
• Know the prakrity (constitution) of the person.
• Ahara (Food habits) and Vihara (life style) of the person.
• Rog bala (intensity of the disease) and Rogi bala (strength of the diseased)

After the proper understanding about the disease and diseased, we decide a set of suitable therapies as per all above considerations. The treatment plan includes various therapies as below;

• Therapies for the preparation of body for Shodhna.
• Purification therapies.
• Relaxation therapies.
• Rejuvenation therapies.
• Shamnoushdhies ( Oral Medicines )

A planed treatment for 15 to 20 days can relive the person from discomfort of constipation and can prevent its forth coming complications.

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