Chronic constipation is anything but fun. Nobody really wants to deal with this problem, but many people suffer on a regular basis. If you’re one of those unfortunate people, try the following things. One or more of these tips should get things moving – and keep them that way.
- Eat more fiber. If you can’t cram enough of this necessity into your diet, buy supplements. Fiber keeps your movements regular and easy: it’s also good for the rest of your body.
- Drink more water. H2O cleans and lubricates your entire body. You can also drink fruit juice: prune and apple juice both help you move your bowels. Reduce the amount of caffeine that you drink while you’re at it. Soft drinks and coffee aren’t necessarily helpful.
- Reduce the amount of constipation-causing foods in your diet. Cheese is a huge offender: eat too much of this and you’ll have lots of problems. A diet rich in junk food will also cause constipation. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are good for your entire body. Make your diet conform to the food pyramid as closely as possible to straighten out your bowels.
- Get more exercise. The more sedentary your lifestyle, the more often you’ll be constipated. Even walking will help.
- Take care of your health problems. If you have an infection, for example, then you can also be constipated. Your doctor can find, and treat, the cause of your problem. This is better than simply dealing with the effects (like the constipation).
- Check the side effects of your prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some drugs cause constipation. If this is a chronic problem, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a different drug.
- Don’t take so many laxatives. Using these stool softeners too often – or taking too many of them – can in fact stop you up. Some natural alternatives are good to use, though, as they lack the chemicals that can make things so tough on you. Consult an experienced herbalist for the right solution.
- Find ways to manage and reduce stress. When you’re overly anxious, stressed out or just plain worried, your body reacts in all sorts of unpleasant ways. Deep breathing, a physical activity, or a full-body massage can all help you unwind.
Many people who suffer from constipation have other health problems. Constipation can point to various neurological disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diabetes and other illnesses. If you suspect you have a health problem that’s bigger than the constipation, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
And if you do need to see your doctor, don’t be embarrassed. Tell him or her about your lack of bowel movements. Your doctor needs this information to help diagnose and treat your health problems. Being uncomfortable for a few moments in the doctor’s office is a lot better than living for months, or even years, with an undiagnosed health problem.