About 20% of Americans suffer from chronic constipation. Alongside fiber and drinking lots of water, there is a method you should consider. It is called “biofeedback.”
Biofeedback is the intriguing self-therapy that begins with you in a doctor’s office actually witnessing visual and verbal feedback about your bodily functions. In the course of this, you begin to understand how you can control them yourself and that they may not be subconscious processes after all. In this case, biofeedback can help people with chronic constipation “relearn” the normal process of having a bowel movement.
Researchers have found that biofeedback was more effective than the standard treatment of laxatives, diet and exercise. It also bested a “sham” treatment that included muscle relaxation and coping strategies. Biofeedback in this case is great for people with “dyssynergic defecation,” who can’t sense stool in the bowels or have trouble expelling that stool.
Biofeedback makes you more aware of your unconscious or involuntary bodily functions. You start with guidance from a doctor or expert and when you learn how to effect change yourself, you can do it at any time.
The key study results were that 79% of those on biofeedback had corrected bowel function by the end. This stood in stark contrast to four percent in the sham group and eight percent in the standard treatment group.
Thus, it is possible that biofeedback can benefit 80% of people with serious constipation problems. It took six training sessions over the course of three months. If you’ve tried exercise and eating more fiber to no avail, then get started on biofeedback to ease the pain away.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Rao, S., et al., “Randomized Controlled Trial of Biofeedback, Sham Feedback, and Standard Therapy for Dyssynergic Defecation,” Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2007; 5: 331-338.