Stomach ache: if the intestine is constantly on strike

Stomach ache: if the intestine is constantly on strike

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Quick help for constipation
According to statistics, about one in five people in Germany regularly suffer from constipation. Especially when traveling, the intestine, which is up to seven meters long, refuses to work for many people due to the foreign environment and unfamiliar food. However, if digestion fails to work over a longer period of time, this creates a high level of suffering among those affected. Prof. (Univ. Chisinau) Dr. Dr. Stefan Hillejan, phlebologist and proctologist from the practice clinic for venous and rectal diseases in Hanover and chairman of the professional association of qualified medical experts in Germany, explains how indigestion is noticeable and what best alleviates the symptoms.

Detect bowel diseases
Usually, the digestive system is emptied about three times a week. If the frequency drops exceptionally, there is no need to worry. Experts speak of chronic constipation, also called constipation, if several of the following signs appear over a period of three months: If the bowel movements take four days or more, this indicates a disturbance in the bowel function. Even if the toilet is used regularly, but those affected have to press hard to achieve results, doctors speak of disturbed digestion.

Some patients also permanently experience a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. "If the above symptoms are accompanied by severe pain, a swollen stomach, fever or nausea, those affected should immediately consult a doctor to rule out an intestinal obstruction," warns Prof. Hillejan. There are many causes of constipation. They range from an unhealthy diet to stress or an underactive thyroid to various diseases of the intestine. The therapies for alleviating the symptoms also vary accordingly.

Stimulate digestion
First, doctors recommend that those affected change their diet. This includes sufficient hydration, which ensures that the contents of the intestine remain soft. Dietary fiber also supports digestion. These are found, for example, in whole grains, nuts and many types of fruit and vegetables. “These useful swelling and filling agents have a positive effect on the intestine because they are not digested and bind a lot of water. This increases the volume of stool, which in turn stimulates bowel activity and ensures faster passage of food, ”explains Prof. Hillejan.

Clockwise abdominal massages increase the activity of the digestive system. Anyone who suffers from complaints that are psychologically caused tries so-called toilet conditioning. Affected meals are eaten daily at the same times and also plan times for possible bowel movements. Because a regular daily routine has a positive effect on the intestine.

If these changes don't help, laxatives offer an alternative. Many laxative medications increase the stool volume through swelling substances, which stimulates the intestinal activity and leads to faster emptying. According to current knowledge, modern laxatives do not make you dependent, but a doctor should be consulted before using them. If necessary, a colonoscopy answers the question whether the constipation is due to physical causes such as adhesions, narrowing or polyps of the intestine. These can be remedied surgically. "If there are signs that indicate chronic constipation, those affected should in any case discuss the treatment with the proctologist they trust," the expert concludes. (sb)

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