Take a bow, Bollywood is finally seeing some of it’s best off-beat, most fearlessly written Hindi Cinemas which has raised the bar & has garnered world-wide critical acclaim. One of which was Piku, which released in May 2015; it is a quirky comedy drama starring Deepika Padukone the 30-year old independent girl, her 70-year old father Amitabh Bachchan suffering with chronic constipation & Irrfan Khan in his ever charismatic role. No masala, no item-song, no non-sense or romantic escapades. Yet, Piku is one of those endearing narratives where the eccentric father-daughter relationship unfolds on screen.
The simple, humble film raised curtains from the ugly taboo called “Constipation”. It is about a cantankerous old man grumbling about his problems with bowel movements. An unconventional, sharp film, with nuanced details showing off wit and insightful writing.
We all grew up seeing our grand-parents take Gelusil or Isabgol after meals to ease digestion & pressure next day morning. As we grow older, our bowel movements become slower, infrequent & hard making it difficult & painful. It is recurrent & almost inevitable for all of us to experience this at some point in our life; and more periodic or even perpetual as we start aging. Yet why do people shy away from discussing problems related to constipation & indigestion? Why can’t we embrace the reality, reach out for guidance and avoid complications like piles, fissures, fistula or hemorrhoids?
Did you know?
FACT No #1 – Normal Bowel Routine can include defecation from 3 times a day to 3 time a week.
FACT No #2 – 1 in every 7 Indians suffer from Constipation. 14% of Indian Urban Population is hit by this problem. About 20% of the Indian population between 45-65 years suffer from chronic constipation.
FACT No #3 – If you consume 2-3 litres water every day, you will see a reduced risk of 20-25%.
FACT No #4 – Liquids like carbonated beverages (with overdose of sugar) & coffee can lead to dehydration & worsen the condition. Consumption of non-veg, fried, junk, spicy & processed food also aggravates the condition.
FACT No #5 – People living in poor hygienic conditions or those who travel a lot skip the urge to defecate, hence leading to constipation.
It is strange that constipation being such a common problem is still a forbidden subject matter. Fortunately, we will unfold some interesting know-hows of dealing with Constipation.
- Posture during ‘Da Businesses’ (pun intended) 🙂
Posture helps toning the bowel movements & release the pressure during defecation. Here are some positions that can normalize or expedite bowel movements.
- Health, Food & Lifestyle – You should resort to a high fibre diet like Oats, Nuts, Whole Wheat Grains, Quinoa by consuming around 30gms dietary fibre. Eating out frequently with foods loaded with sugar & oil/ghee only adds more pressure to your digestive system. A sedentary lifestyle will increase the chances of constipation by 35%. Ensure you work out atleast 3 times a week.
- Physical Fitness & Exercise – Exercise is an indispensable part of everyone’s life – infant or geriatric. Regular exercise promotes & regularizes muscle contractions & eases bowel movement. Obesity is linked to higher risk of constipation. Walking also helps to combat flatulence & belching.
It is funny how common this problem is and yet people feel awkward to talk about it undisguisedly. Most people suffer from these symptoms if left untreated early – Abdominal pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite leading to weight loss, urinary incontinence, dehydration, rectal bleeding or lose stools.
How can you treat it?
- Increase water & fluid intake
- Resort to a high-fibre diet
- Use laxatives (they cause the colon to contract more frequently) or lubricants
- Enemas (also used during delivery to clear the bowel) – Only sold with prescription
- Osmotic agents that help retain fluid in the stools thereby making them softer & preventing hard stools.
We are sure that every person reading this blog has experienced constipation at some point in your life, and possibly knows or stays with a family member suffering from chronic constipation. It could be your 63-year old Father or your 3-year old daughter. Yes, constipation has plagued even children at some point.
Constipation In Children
As an infant they may suffer due to transitioning from breast-milk to formula foods or solids after 6 months. Your child may resist the urge to defecate while being nervous about potty training or using the toilet at school which is not as hygienic as home. You should watch out for stool stains in the underwear or if he is sitting with legs crossed tight & stiff to refrain from letting the stools pass out thereby pushing it back into the colon/rectum.
While food & lifestyle helps in easing the problem, most importantly, teach your child that they should NEVER HOLD BACK or refrain from using the loo. Encourage them to regularize their pattern & this will only reward them & in-turn you as a parent in the long run.
Everytime I hear that India is developing, I snigger in my head. Being rooted & abiding by your culture is one thing, but keeping discussions like constipation, infertility & brain related disorders under wraps is way too illogical. In my opinion, we the youth & the generations to come should fight the big foes of our society.
These taboos are crippling impediments of our country. They should be uprooted & unshackled from the non-sensical beliefs of our society. As if it is better to suffer from a particular illness rather than discussing the remedies and treating for a better life. Unfortunately, not all have a ‘Piku’ in their life. Ironically, many don’t need ‘Piku’. They like to live with it & accept things the way they are. You choose how your life should be. If you shed your inhibitions & extend your hand & you will realize the world is not all that bad! 🙂