Home > Minor Ailments > Managing Constipation

Managing Constipation

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 21 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Constipation; Bowels; Stools;

Most people will admit to suffering from constipation at some point in their life but for a few people it can become a chronic problem giving them years of unpleasant and sometimes distressing symptoms.

Dietary Changes

Often the easiest way to prevent or treat constipation is to make some changes to your diet. This is often not needed long term unless your diet is the primary cause of the problem in the first instance.

Increasing the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet can adequate for many but for others the amount of fibre taken will need adjusting as well.

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake will work better if they are cooked a lot less or eaten raw. If you cannot eat raw vegetables perhaps because of dental problems, most fresh produce can be blended and made into lovely tasting smoothies or juices.

Whole grains and bran based products will help to get things moving along with increasing the amount of fluids taken. These items can be found in brown bread, cereals and potato skins to name a few.

Occasionally the bowel can become slow and sluggish because of dehydration and simply giving the body more water will soften the stool and lubricate its passage from the body.

Lifestyle Changes

Constipation can often occur as a result of taking certain medications. If these medications are to be used temporarily such as post-operative pain management it may be that a few dietary changes are needed only.

If however, the medications are to be used long term it is worth asking your doctor if there are any alternatives to the choice of medication or if a drug can be recommended to be used to prevent the constipation.

Other life style choices include becoming more active. If the body is given a good workout regularly the bowel will function a lot better. Those people who have become less mobile with illness, injury or age will probably agree that their bowel s suffer as a consequence.

When To Seek Medical Advice

If you have suffer from constipation for more than a few weeks, cannot find a cause and none of the usual methods of solving the problem have proved beneficial it is important that you consult your doctor as they may want to order some tests to determine the problem and assess the extent.

Any stools that have mucous or blood in them should be reported along with the history of the problem and the steps taken to try and resolve it at home.

Medical Management

After taking a detailed history of your circumstances, your doctor may want to feel your abdomen to find out if there are any noticeable blockages. It may also be that a rectal examination is required but this is not always the case.

He or she may initially prescribe some laxative medications to be taken for a few weeks to see if that helps to clear your bowel. There are several different types of laxatives that work in differing ways so a combination may be needed before a successful outcome has been achieved.

If these medications do not work, further tests may be needed.

Constipation is a common occurrence and usually is not serious or indicative of any major illnesses. It can normally be overcome with the use of laxatives and making necessary dietary and lifestyle changes.The management of constipation in children often requires different help as sometimes there are behavioural issues behind the constipation.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rose
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    I just recently had my biopsy result from a liquid-based pap smear test & the result is: acute & chronic cervicitis with squamous…
    19 January 2018
  • rinwang
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    What is the risk in Chronic Cervicitis with Squamous Metaplasia? what treatment required?
    11 September 2017
  • seema
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    Sir it is about my mother actually after 5 years suddenly she had bleeding when she asked to the doctor ,she advised for a test .I…
    20 July 2017
  • Higgy
    Re: All About the Coil
    What was the IUD made of in 2001? I was led to believe that mine was removed in 2006,but I don't think it was.... I am currently being tested…
    1 July 2017
  • ami
    Re: All About Female Sterilisation
    I'm 36. and I was sterilised when I was 21. at the time I wasn't in a great place and my head was all over the place. now I have…
    18 September 2016
  • f.t
    Re: Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil
    If periods blocked due to disease then we use this oil plz help
    30 August 2016
  • Charlie
    Re: Women & Depression
    I don't even know when l have periods because it just comes on all a sudden.x why do women have to have periods X Men get away with…
    25 May 2016
  • kimmy
    Re: Lymphedema: What Causes It?
    my sister has lymphodema and want some advice how to get rid of it or help fix it.
    11 May 2016
  • FemaleHealthIssues
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    farhana - Your Question:I Just got my Microscopic Examination Report. I want understand the report could you please help me.Smears…
    6 April 2016
  • farhana
    Re: What is Squamous Metaplasia?
    I Just got my Microscopic Examination Report . I want understand the report could you please help me. Smears show superficial…
    4 April 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FemaleHealthIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.