Managing Constipation

If you are suffering from mild to moderate constipation (having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week), constipation can be treated at home by making some changes to your diet. The most essential change is to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Fiber and water help soothe the process to pass stool through the colon. Some foods high in fiber include fruits, legumes, whole-grain bread, and cereals.

Guidelines for Managing Constipation:

Increase fluids to at least six to eight glasses per day.
Eat a diet high in fiber.
Eat fresh fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables.
Avoid pasta, pastries, cheese, rice, and foods with white sugar.
Exercise regularly.
Establish a regular time for defection (the best times for evacuations are usually after a meal).
Drink warm prune juice or other warm beverages one hour before the scheduled defecation time to stimulate the urge.
Use toilet or bedside commode instead of bedpan if possible (Ideal position is a modified squatting position with feet placed on a stool.)
Relax by reading or listening to music in the bathroom.
Don’t delay when you have the urge to evacuate.
Avoid laxatives and enema abuse.
Take stool softeners, suppositories, or laxatives as ordered. (Overuse of laxatives can cause constipation.)
Use enemas or manual disimpaction for severe constipation.
Report constipation that frequently reoccurs or that does not respond to treatment to physician.