A gut-health survey revealed 14% of people in urban India suffer from chronic constipation. The six-city survey revealed the incidence is higher than the worldwide average of 10%. It studied over 3,500 individuals to determine the incidence of chronic constipation and with 1,015 people living with chronic constipation in urban India.
“Constipation is often considered a taboo in India and people are hesitant to talk about it. While it is a nagging issue is easy, people with constipation generally try out multiple self-medication options and come to a doctor only after it becomes chronic,” said Dr Rajesh Sainani, gastroenterologist, Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai.
How Mumbai fared
• The survey found 14% of people in urban India suffer from chronic constipation. The incidence was significantly higher in Mumbai with 19% of people suffering from the problem
• Three out of four people with chronic constipation said that it leads to other medical complications including piles and haemorrhoids, ulcers, abdominal pain and anal fissures. In Mumbai, 80% of those who complained of chronic constipation said it leads to other medical problems/complications
• Leading psychological issues connected with the issue were feeling irritable, lack of interest in work, mood swings and embarrassment. Irritation and anxiety were the biggest problems faced by people in Mumbai
• Two out of three people with chronic constipation were not concerned about it even when though it had affected their physical and psychological well-being. People were less concerned in fast-paced cities like Mumbai and Delhi. About 80% of people with chronic constipation in Mumbai were not concerned about their condition
• Nationally, 60% of people with chronic constipation opted for home remedies for relief. However, half the people, who self-medicate, eventually visited a doctor for cure. In Mumbai, 65% of people with chronic constipation opted for home remedies as the most preferred treatment option for relief.
How to keep it moving
• Drink adequate water (1.5-2 lit) per day
• Take adequate fibre in diet (25-30 grams per day) in form of raw vegetables and salads
• Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration
• Give adequate time for defecation and do not ignore nature’s call
• Adopt the right posture to defecate
• Exercise regularly