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.


  • 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.


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

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


  • 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


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