Help, I am constipated …: One person in two suffers from this intestinal disorder at some point in his life. Three women overcome the taboo and tell how they manage these unpleasant moments.
“I suffer from travel constipation.”
Angele, 32 years old
I am a mountain guide, and I regularly accompany groups hiking in the Moroccan Atlas. At every beginning of the trek, many of us suffer from constipation. Much less known than tourists, this “constipation of travel” is related to the heat, to the change of eating habits, but also, much, to the difficulty of isolating oneself to make one’s needs in the open air … The recipe? It was given to me by a Berber guide: eating dry figs from waking up, fasting, and drinking immediately after hot tea. Guaranteed result … I have since learned that figs, like prunes, were very useful as a laxative and were even found in syrup in pharmacies.
“A side effect of stopping smoking.”
Juliette, 28 years old
After 14 years of smoking, I finally decided to stop smoking. I hold on and lastly, one of the most troublesome symptoms for me is constipation. I did not know at all that the cessation of tobacco consumption could cause this kind of phenomenon. However, since I have been prone to this type of problem for a long time, I have a miracle cure: aloe vera juice. This plant, which has, among other virtues, that of cleansing the digestive system, is also a laxative and has its effect! I buy it organic and always take great care that there is a high percentage in the juices mixed.
“I am constipated because of my treatment.”
Marion, 42 years old
I suffer from fibromyalgia. This chronic disease, which was diagnosed to me almost six years ago, causes diffuse and continuous pain throughout the body. It is unbearable. To relieve my pain and reduce my suffering, my doctor prescribed antidepressants. The dose is not strong, but since I have big problems to go to the toilet. It seems that it is a frequent phenomenon with this kind of medicine. To mitigate this disadvantage, I eat more fiber; I often drink during the day, I take homeopathic granules and, just before going to the toilet, I make a micropayment. It is not very fun, but it works.
The expert’s replies
Dr. Philippe Godeberge, gastroenterologist at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris (Paris)
What is constipation?
Constipation is characterized by an uncomfortable transit, either due to infrequent stools, drier or harder than average or by difficulty in evacuating them. It can be occasional (travel, pregnancy, etc.) or chronic. The symptoms are more or less marked from one moment to another and from one individual to another. A good lifestyle (eating fiber, regularly drinking, having physical activity) is usually enough to solve the problem in the majority of cases. Still, it must be done.
When to worry?
Constipation is a troublesome disease, but it is benign. In addition to general warning signs, which are not unique to constipation (loss of weight, alteration of the general state of fatigue , pallor, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc.), you should consult a doctor if you notice Mucus and, most importantly, blood in your stool, even if you are convinced of having hemorrhoids.
What are the risks of constipation?
Contrary to widespread belief, constipation does not cause colon cancer, nor is it responsible for headaches or asthma. However, it may promote hemorrhoid or anal fissure crises, and above all be responsible in the long term in women with incontinence. Chronic pushing efforts, in fact, weaken the perineum.