Take A Fiber Supplement
Fiber supplements are readily available and at inducing bowel movements if a low fiber diet is the cause of your constipation. They work by adding bulk, or volume, to your stool. This helps push stool through your intestines and out of your body.
You can buy fiber supplements in stores or online. Here are a few common ones:
- calcium polycarbophil
Should I Take Laxatives And Are They Safe
Regular use of laxatives is generally not encouraged but occasional use is not harmful. Things to consider:
- The effects of laxatives are unpredictable a dose that works today may not produce an effect tomorrow.
- Laxatives can cause pain and result in the passage of loose stools especially if the dose is too high.
- Long term use can lead to the bowel becoming progressively less responsive in some people, and in these individuals it may be important to switch to a different agent.
- Certain laxatives will not work in some patients.
- While laxatives and suppositories may ease bowel opening, they dont often help the common problems of pain and bloating.
Nevertheless, the balance of scientific evidence suggests that laxatives do not cause any damage to the bowel and there is no evidence that using them puts you at risk of getting colon cancer. Sometimes doctors will advise people to take laxatives and some people do need them longer term, if your doctor has advised them, they are unlikely to be harmful in the long term. Suppositories or mini-enemas are more predictable than laxatives and tend to be very well tolerated and effective. They are especially useful for people who have difficulty with needing to strain to evacuate their bowel. It may be best to use laxatives only with proper guidance.
Taking laxatives does not result in weight loss, they work on the large bowel and most of the goodness from food is absorbed in the small bowel.
This Factsheet Is About Constipation
Constipation is a symptom that can mean different things to different people, but the usual meaning is that a person has difficulty or infrequency with opening their bowels. Constipation affects around 1 in 7 otherwise healthy people. The two groups of people most likely to be trouble by constipation are young women and the elderly especially those who need to take regular medicines.
There is a common belief that people need to open their bowels every day, but this is not the case. Opening the bowels can vary between three times a day to three times a week in healthy individuals. Symptoms can constantly fluctuate and 3 people in every 100 adults have persistent constipation over 20 years. It is a common problem and does not usually mean that anything is seriously wrong. Most cases are temporary and will clear up with simple lifestyle measures.
Recommended Reading: Is It Okay To Take Probiotics While Taking Xifaxan
When To See A Doctor
Even though most people experience occasional constipation, this condition is sometimes serious and may require medical attention.
It may be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as hypothyroidism, colorectal cancer, or bowel disease .
Constipation that passes quickly and isnt severe typically isnt a cause for concern.
However, if your constipation doesnt improve with dietary changes such as drinking more water and increasing your fiber intake, or if you have a family history of colon cancer, you should consult your doctor.
Additionally, if youre experiencing any of the following symptoms alongside constipation, you should see a doctor as soon as possible (
- unexplained weight loss
You may feel uncomfortable talking about constipation with your doctor, but its important to keep them informed of any health changes, including changes in your bowel movements, so they can provide you appropriate care.
Theyve likely heard it all before and want you to feel comfortable discussing any symptom with them, no matter what it is.
While occasional constipation isnt usually a cause for concern, chronic constipation requires professional treatment. If you also have symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloody stool, or lower back pain, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Check If It’s Constipation
It’s likely to be constipation if:
- you have not had a poo at least 3 times during the last week
- the poo is often large and dry, hard or lumpy
- you are straining or in pain when you have a poo
You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, constipation may be easily missed. Look out for any behaviour changes, as it might mean they are in pain or discomfort.
You May Like: Can A High Protein Diet Cause Constipation
Consider A Stool Softener
If youve tried adding fiber and still havent been able to poop, you could try a stool softener.
You may see a stool softener and a laxative stimulant paired together, says Dr. Garg.
You can find stool softeners over-the-counter online or at the store. Options include docusate sodium and docusate calcium .
The 17 Best Foods To Relieve Constipation
About 14% of people experience chronic constipation at some point .
Symptoms include passing stools less than three times per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked, or being unable to pass a stool.
The type and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people experience constipation only rarely, while its a chronic condition for others.
Constipation has a variety of causes, but its often the result of the slow movement of food through the digestive system.
This may be due to dehydration, a poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system, or mental disorders.
Fortunately, certain foods can help relieve constipation by adding bulk, softening stool, decreasing gut transit time, and increasing stool frequency.
Here are 17 foods that can help relieve constipation and keep you regular.
Read Also: What Can You Take For Heartburn If Pregnant
What Causes Constipation In A Child
Stool gets hard and dry when the large intestine takes in too much water.
Normally, as food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water while it makes stool. Muscle movements push the stool toward the rectum. When the stool gets to the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up. The stool is now solid.
If your child has constipation, the colon’s muscle movements are too slow. This makes the stool move through the colon too slowly. The colon absorbs too much water. The stool gets very hard and dry.
Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out. So the child may stop using the bathroom because it hurts. Over time, the colon will not be able to sense that stool is there.
There are many reasons why a child may become constipated. Some common diet and lifestyle causes include:
What Is The Difference Between Diarrhea And Constipation In Dogs
Diarrhea in dogs is the production of large and frequent amounts of soft stool. Diarrhea results in liquid or semiliquid stool, often containing mucus and undigested food particles. The exact stool volume varies from one episode to another.
Constipation is the opposite of diarrhea. Instead, the dog produces small amounts of firm stool, typically straining to do so. The feces can cause pain as the dog tries to eliminate them.
Also Check: Can Anxiety Make Ibs Worse
Further Information On Constipation Relief
If you dont notice a change and your constipation problem continues for an extended period of time despite dietary changes, you should see your GP or healthcare professional to find out if there is anything they can suggest to help relieve your constipation.
You may also find it helpful to read the resources below to help you manage your bowel movements.
Being Constipated Is Downright Uncomfortable Heres How To Get Relief
Some people think if they don’t have a bowel movement every day, they’re constipated, but this isnt the case. Officially, being constipated means having two or fewer bowel movements a week.
You may also be constipated if you experience straining, hard stools, a feeling of being blocked up or a feeling that you don’t completely empty your bowels.
“If you’re constipated, you may also feel cramping, bloating, nausea or pain in the rectum from straining,” says Dr. Amitpal Johal, division chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Geisinger Medical Center.
If any of these feelings last for several weeks or longer, youre likely looking for a constipation remedy. Here’s what you can do at home to unblock yourself and feel relief.
You May Like: What Does It Mean When You Have Diarrhea Every Day
Can Drinking Water Relieve Constipation
Drinking more water may help you facilitate bowel movements and make the stool easier to pass. This may help relieve constipation. Drinking water may be an effective way to manage your symptoms and avoid dehydration.5 However, if your symptoms do not improve and you experience constipation for three days straight, dont hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.1
Rely On Processed Foods
Not only are processed foods high in fat and sugar and harmful to your health they are also low in fiber and should especially be avoided when you are constipated, says De Latour. They wont make things worse, but they certainly wont help. And a diet that relies on too many pretzels, cold cuts, and other processed foods may lead to constipation to begin with, so reach for an apple or orange instead.
Recommended Reading: Does Suboxone Make You Constipated
What Is Constipation In Dogs
Constipation in dogs is a common health problem that occurs when the stools become hard and dry, making them difficult to pass. Constipated dogs strain to defecate and typically produce small, firm stools.
Sometimes, the feces are so dry that they break into pieces as the dog attempts to pass them. Occasionally, constipation can occur due to obstruction within the rectum or neurologic conditions that make defecation difficult.
Constipation is uncomfortable or even painful for your dog and can lead to other problems. It is important to work with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the dry stools to provide proper treatment and prevention.
Can Supplements Cause Constipation
While numerous supplements may relieve constipation, a few may also cause or worsen it. The following supplements have been associated with an increased risk of constipation:
- Iron. Iron supplements may cause digestive side effects, including constipation. Some forms, including ferrous sulfate, are more likely to cause constipation than other forms, such as iron bisglycinate chelate (
Keep in mind that other supplements may cause constipation in some people. If you suddenly develop constipation after starting a new supplement, discontinue the supplement and get advice from your doctor.
Recommended Reading: Can A Heating Pad Help With Constipation
What Are The Home Remedies For Constipation
There are many herbs and ingredients that may be used as a constipation cure at home. For example, you may use ingredients like betel leaves, bay leaves, dates, black grams and castor at home to relieve constipation and facilitate bowel movement.4 These ingredients can be a part of your daily diet through foods and recipes. However, you must not rely only on home remedies to cure your symptoms. Make sure to consult a doctor if the symptoms dont improve.
What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Constipation In Dogs
If constipation is a new issue for your dog, it is a good idea to see your dogs veterinarian to determine what the underlying cause is and develop a management plan.
If you have a chronically constipated dog, here are some natural, at-home remedies that can help your dog get relief from constipation:
Increase Water Intake . Water is an important part of any dogs diet. A good rule of thumb is that your dog should drink approximately 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. For example, a dog who weighs 15 pounds should drink around 15 ounces of water. If your dog isnt drinking enough water, it will become dehydrated and constipated very quickly because theyre not getting the water they need to move waste through its system.
Increase Fiber Intake. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate in plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes . Appropriate levels of fiber help bulk up stool, making it softer and easier to pass through the colon. Dogs on a low-fiber diet may benefit from adding more fiber to their diet to help ease their symptoms of constipation. The best sources of fiber for dogs are fruits and vegetables since they also contain vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial for overall health and regular digestion. Excessive fiber can also cause diarrhea. Consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about fiber in your pets diet.
Don’t Miss: Can Milk Give You Heartburn
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Constipated
Dogs can have many bowel movements ranging from soft to hard, small and round, or large and sausage-shaped.
But if your dog hasnt had a bowel movement in more than three days, he may be constipated. If your dog is attempting to defecate but is instead having the signs listed above, this increases the likelihood that your pet is constipated.
Drinking A Hot Beverage
With a few caveats, this tip makes sense. If the hot beverage contains caffeine , this can help. Plus, if you drink enough hot drinks like tea, you’ll increase your water intake which is a good thing for softer stools. But there’s nothing about the temperature of the drink which eases constipation, so keep that in mind.
Don’t Miss: What’s Good For Toddlers With Diarrhea
How Can I Help My Child Live With Constipation
Constipation can be either short-term or long-term . Children with intestinal diseases may have chronic constipation problems. But in most cases, constipation is a short-term condition. If your child has chronic constipation, work with his or her healthcare provider. Together you can create a care plan that is right for your child.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Constipation
Different people have different bathroom habits. So someone who doesn’t have a bowel movement every day isn’t necessarily constipated. One person might go three times a day, while another might go once every 23 days.
But if you’re going less than you normally do, or if it’s often hard or painful to go, you might be constipated. A person with constipation might:
- feel full or bloated
- feel pain when having a bowel movement
- have to strain a lot to have a bowel movement
- notice a little blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet
Also Check: How Long Leaky Gut Heal
When To See A Doctor For Constipation
Most individuals have experienced some form of constipation in their lifetime. While constipation can go away on its own, it is helpful to know what can ease the discomfort of this common ailment. If home remedies for constipation or OTC products do not produce a bowel movement, an individual may need to seek medical attention. Untreated constipation can lead to an impacted bowel.
Constipation may be a symptom of a greater health concern, consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you have not had a bowel movement within a two- to three-week period of time. Furthermore, medical assistance may be needed if you are experiencing severe abdominal pain or concerning blood in the constipated stool. Ask your doctor about recommended home remedies for constipation and prevention of constipation in the future.
Prunes Figs And Raisins
Eating prunes have been the standard home remedy for constipation, says Leann Poston, MD, the assistant dean at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and a contributor for Ikon Health. Besides their fiber content, they contain sorbitol, which seems to have a laxative effect.
Dried plums or prunes have always been on the list for keeping bowel movements regular. Eating prunes or drinking prune juice is not just for senior citizens. A six-ounce glass of prune juice every morning could be the remedy to end constipation. If you dont like prunes, eating raisins or figs will provide a similar function. Dried fruit has more fiber than drinking prune juice, but both have a natural laxative quality.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Bloated Abs
When To See Your Doctor
If youve made changes to your diet, exercise routine, stress level and medications, but still have frequent constipation over the course of a few months, it might be time to see your doctor.
If its a constant problem despite making changes then it might be chronic constipation or something else, and it may be beneficial to see a physician, says Dr Garg.
Also, if you experience any of the following, its time to see your doctor.
- Severe or persistent abdominal pain.
- Rectal bleeding.
Ease Into Making Changes To Your Diet
You dont have to toss out everything you like to eat and choke down a gelatinous drink like psyllium just to up your fiber and water intake. When making lasting changes to help GI function, its important that the changes are feasible and affordable says Molly Brogan, RD, a dietitian in the department of nutrition at Albany Med Health System in New York. Brogan says that if fresh fruit will blow a patients budget, she eases them into a fiber-filled diet with other small swaps, such as a serving of half-brown, half-white rice. Or shell have them add raisins or cooked carrots to a muffin recipe.
You May Like: How Long Does Laxative Bloating Last
Why Does Constipation Occur
There are three main physical causes. One of the causes is where the muscles of the intestine and large bowel stop working properly this results in slow movement of contents through the bowel down to the rectum . This is termed slow transit constipation and patients have an infrequent urge to go to the toilet.
Another type of constipation is called obstructed defaecation where the movement of the bowel is normal, but the person experiences symptoms of difficulty with emptying their bowel. Patients may need to strain, and feel they cannot empty. There are some patients who have both slow transit and obstructed defaecation.
Finally, there is constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome when the person has difficulty with bowel opening and abdominal pain associated with not going. This type of constipation can be made worse with stress or depression.