In many cases, constipation relief can often be found by making a few dietary and lifestyle changes. For example, increasing fiber in your diet or adding bran to your food may be helpful. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular exercise can also help. You should see your doctor if you become constipated, to make sure that it's not a symptom of a more serious problem.
If you become constipated, first see your doctor to rule out a more serious problem. If test results show no disease or blockage, and if your doctor approves, there are a few remedies you can try, including:
- Increasing fiber in your diet
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Adding bran to your food
- Lifestyle changes.
You can increase fiber by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, either cooked or raw, and more whole-grain cereals and breads. Dried fruit such as apricots, prunes, and figs are especially high in fiber.
Drink plenty of liquids (1 to 2 quarts daily), unless you have heart, blood vessel, or kidney problems. (But keep in mind that some people can become constipated from drinking large amounts of milk.)
Adding Bran to Your Food
Some doctors suggest adding small amounts of unprocessed bran ("miller's bran") to baked goods, cereals, and fruit. Some people suffer from bloating and gas for several weeks after adding bran to their diets. So, make diet changes slowly to allow your digestive system to adapt.
Remember, if your diet is well balanced and contains a variety of foods high in natural fiber, it may not be necessary to add bran to other foods.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Besides diet changes, making a few lifestyle changes can also give you relief from constipation. It's important to engage in daily exercise and reserve enough time to have a bowel movement. In addition, the urge to have a bowel movement should not be ignored.