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Self-care for constipation

Self-care for constipation

Constipation is when you are not passing stools as often as you normally do. Your stools may become hard and dry, and it is difficult to pass them.

Signs, symptoms, and causes You may feel bloating and pain, or you may have to strain when you try to go to the bathroom. Some medications, and even some vitamins, can cause constipation. You may become constipated if you are not getting enough fiber, if you do not drink enough water, or if you do not get enough exercise. You may also become constipated if you are slow to go to the bathroom even when you feel the urge to go. Try to know your normal bowel pattern so you can prevent constipation from getting worse.

How to relieve constipation Exercise regularly. Drink more water and eat more fiber. Try to walk, swim or do some physical activity at least 3 or 4 times a week. If you feel the need to go to the bathroom, go. Don’t wait.

You can also train your bowels to be more regular. It can help to go to the bathroom at the same time every day. For many people, this is after breakfast or dinner. Eating when you have constipation Try these steps to relieve your constipation: Don’t skip meals. Avoid processed foods or fast foods, such as white bread, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, hot dogs, fast-food hamburgers, French fries, and potato chips. Many foods are good natural laxatives that will help you move your bowels. High-fiber foods help move waste through the body. Add fiber foods slowly to your diet because eating more fiber can cause bloating and gas. Drink 8 to 10 cups (2 to 2.5 liters) of fluids, especially water, every day. Ask your healthcare provider for the right amount of fiber to eat each day. Men, women, and different age groups all have different daily fiber needs. Most fruits will help relieve constipation. Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, prunes, raisins, rhubarb, and prunes are just a few that can help. Do not peel fruits that have edible skins, as there is a lot of fiber there. Choose bread, crackers, pasta, pancakes, and waffles made with whole grains, or make them yourself. Use brown rice or Indian (wild) rice instead of white rice. Eat high-fiber cereals. Vegetables can also add fiber to your diet. Some high-fiber vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, corn, squash, and potatoes (with skins). Salads made with lettuce, spinach, and cabbage also help. Legumes (white kidney beans, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and lentils), peanuts, walnuts, and almonds will also add fiber to your diet. Other foods you can eat are: Fish, chicken, turkey, or other lean meats. These do not have fiber, but they will not make constipation worse. Snacks such as raisin crackers, fig bars, and popcorn. You can also sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) of bran flakes, ground flaxseed, wheat bran, or psyllium on foods such as yogurt, cereal, and soup. Or add them to your milkshake. Laxatives, stool softeners, and other products. You can buy stool softeners at any drugstore. They will help you pass stool more easily. Your provider may prescribe a laxative to relieve constipation. This may come in pill or liquid form. Do not take it if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting. Do not take it for more than 1 week without talking to your provider. It should start to work in 2 to 5 days. Only take a laxative as often as your provider recommends. Most laxatives are taken with meals and at bedtime. You can mix powdered laxatives with milk or fruit juice to make them taste better. Always drink plenty of water (8 to 10 cups, or 2 to 2.5 liters a day) when using laxatives. Store the laxative safely in a medicine cabinet where children cannot reach it. Do not take any other laxatives or medicines before talking to your provider. This includes mineral oil. Some people get a rash, nausea, or sore throat while taking laxatives. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children younger than 6 years old should not take laxatives without a doctor’s advice. Bulk-forming laxatives can help bring water into the intestines and make the stool bulkier.

When to Call Your Doctor Call your doctor if: You have not had a bowel movement in 3 days You have bloating or stomach pain You feel nauseated or vomit You have blood in your stool

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