Treating Constipation


 

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Note: If necessary, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter fiber supplement.

Constipation is a common and often uncomfortable problem. You have constipation if you have bowel movements less often than usual or strain to pass hard, dry stool. Constipation can be a temporary problem that lasts a short time. Or it can be a chronic problem that never seems to go away. Fortunately, it can often be controlled.

EAT MORE FIBER

  • One of the best ways to help treat constipation is to eat a high-fiber diet.

  • Fiber (in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) adds bulk and absorbs water to soften the stool. This helps the stool pass through the colon more easily.

  • Drinking more water can also help soften stool.

GET REGULAR EXERCISE

  • Regular exercise helps improve the working of your colon and helps ease constipation.

  • Ask your health care provider about starting a regular exercise program.

AVOID CHRONIC LAXATIVE USE

  • Laxatives stimulate the colon to work more rapidly. Continuous use of laxatives can cause the colon to stretch and weaken, and eventually the colon may not work right without them.

  • Your doctor can help you overcome a dependence on laxatives.

  • Never use laxatives without consulting your health care provider first.

Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County at 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form.

Back to Library Index

HIGH-FIBER HINTS

Eating more of the following foods can add fiber to your diet and help prevent constipation:

  • High-fiber cereals

  • Whole grains, bran, and brown rice

  • Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and greens

  • Fresh fruits (especially apples, pears, and dried fruits like raisins and apricots)

  • Nuts and legumes (especially beans such as lentils, kidney beans, and lima beans)

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location