Times of India
19 November 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
One reason for many diseases is the suppression of natural urges which leads to constipation, piles, fissures and urinary infections.
"The human body has a number of ways to eliminate waste matter. The body is equipped with enough signs to facilitate their elimination," said Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA).
"If one holds the urge for defecation, it causes colic pain, headache, retention of faeces, distention of abdomen, gas formation, and cramps in the calf muscles. People, especially women in villages, often have a tough time as facilities are lacking," he added.
Physician Narendra Javadekar said the situation was equally grim in cities like Pune where there are few washroom facilities for women. "Most women refrain from drinking sufficient water during the day to avoid using the toilet. It may cause renal stones and constipation. Drinking three litres of water every day helps dissolve all the solutes in urine," said Javadekar.
Schoolgirls too avoid drinking sufficient water because the toilet facilities are either lacking or unclean. "Many schools do not keep hygienic toilets and public loos for women in big cities like Pune are lacking. So urban women suffer as much as their rural counterparts," said Javadekar. As 30 to 40 per cent of urban poor live in slums they are also prone to such diseases, he added.
Constipation can lead to piles and acquired megacolon which is an enlargement of the large intestine and one can suffer from nausea, vomiting, flatulence and indigestion.
"The enlargement of the large intestine can lead to encopresis (soiling of undergarments due to involuntary passage of stools). Chronic loading of colon causes pressure on the urinary bladder resulting in urinary tract infection. Besides, blood loss due to piles and fissures leads to anaemia," said Agarkhedkar.