Enema for Constipation

Constipation is the medial term given when an individual has very few bowel movements. This can happen from time to time for numerous reasons, but some people suffer from chronic constipation, which can impair their ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. In many cases, a change to diet and lifestyle is recommended and can be effecting in reinstating efficient bowl movements, such as eating sufficient amounts of the right fiber, and ensuring to exercise often. In some instances, this may still not be effective in easing the condition, which is when an enema for constipation is often administered.

Enema for Constipation Overview

An enema involves inserting a liquid solution via a tube through the anus into the bowel with the intention of stimulating the colon, helping to eradicate any hardened stool causing constipation. The solution is left within the bowel for around fifteen minutes, and is then expelled in the toilet by the individual, removing the effected feces and hopefully resolving the constipation.

Anyone who has suffered from constipation will be able to speak of the discomfort felt. For this reason, quick relief is often most sought after, and an enema provides quick relief for those who need it.

Types of Enema for Constipation

When treating constipation, most enemas are made up of a mixture of water and another substance which works to resolve the condition by loosening hardened stool. Some common enemas include:

1. Fleet's Phosphosoda Enema

This enema mixture uses sodium phosphate, a salt that helps to retain water within the intestines. This enema is thought to be one of the most effective available. It must, however, be given at the right dosage, as using too much will increase the likelihood of unwanted side effects.

2. Mineral Oil Enema

This can be a very effective enema for constipation, as it helps to lubricate the bowels and helps to pass fecal matter.

3. Saline Solution Enema

You can make your own enema at home, although you will require the purchase of an enema bag and tube. A common homemade enema mixture is to mix a quart distilled water, lukewarm with two teaspoons of table salt.

4. Milk and Molasses

You can also make a mixture of equal parts molasses and whole milk to use as an enema. The natural sugars in these ingredients will help to soften stool.

Administration of Enema for Constipation

If administering an enema, you should always pay close attention to the instructions provided with the product, or consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance. Below are steps to help guide you through the process:

  1. Ensure that you have all of the equipment you need and a clear understanding of the procedure.
  2. Find an appropriate place to administer the enema, preferably close to a toilet, and without carpet (just in case a leakage occurs).
  3. Get into the correct position for enema administration, and the best position involves lying face down on the floor, with your anus raised in the air, and your chest touching the ground. This position allows the solution to get into the deeper areas of the bowel and colon, making for a more effective treatment.
  4. The enema should be shielded to prevent any unwanted leaking before use. When ready, remove the shield and apply lubrication to the enema's tip.
  5. When using an enema for constipation, it is important not to apply too much force. Gently insert the enema's tip into the anus and squeeze the bottle until the liquid solution has emptied into the bowels.
  6. Stay in the same position, do not move, and try to remain there for ten to fifteen minutes, so as the solution can take effect, you should begin to feel cramping.
  7. After cramping has been felt, and you are unable to hold your position any longer, make way for the toilet with haste and release your bowels. You should expel the liquid solution as well as the stored stool.
  8. If the constipation clears as expected, it would be better to consider implementing preventative steps to avoid any instances of constipation in the future (such as a diet and lifestyle change).

Below is a video that tells a lady's experience of taking coffee enemas for constipation, you may learn something from her experience.

Precautions of Using Enema

As with most treatments, there are precautions to note before using an enema, which include the following:

  • Always be gentle when inserting an enema, as forceful insertion of the administrative nozzle can lead to rectal damage.
  • The use of an enema can lead to mild or severe abdominal cramps or discomfort. This is very common, but if the cramps and/or discomfort persist even after the solution has been expelled, you should speak with your health care professional as soon as you can.
  • Enemas should not be used on a consistent basis, as this can lead to an interference with your body's natural ability to expel feces.
  • Overuse of an enema can also lead to hypophosphatemia, a condition in which the levels of phosphates within an individual's blood become raised and can be really bad.
  • Overuse of an enema can also lead to a condition called hyponatremia, in which is there is a depletion in blood salt content. This condition can lead to many unwanted symptoms, such as spasms and brain swelling, causing cognitive harm.

If you are planning on using an enema for constipation, first ensure that you have exhausted all other options to ease the condition first, such as lifestyle and dietary changes, and try to consult a health care professional in advance. 

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