Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

171 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

How can severe constipation be treated through medications and diet?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16087 Questions

default
Posted on Tue, 9 Oct 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My BM habits have changed quite a bit in past year. Now I feel very bloated and impacted most of the time. In the past I had the opposite and had a BM every day.
I can feel the need but can't go and when I do it is very hard to start and some of the stool is very had lumps. Is there some type of laxative, food or other things you could recommend that I could do to help this situation. I am not overweight or exercise at least 3 times a week.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 34 minutes later
Brief Answer:

fiber, fluids,continue activity, laxatives

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Constipation can be treated by--(1) diet as you mentioned- fruits and vegetables. Whole grains--There are some fruits that are more likely to help with bowel movements eg apples, prunes, kiwifruit, pears, oranges

Vegetables like beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes

Other sources of fibre-flaxseeds, oats, chia seeds, lentils etc

At least 5 servings of fruits/vegetables daily, that means with each main meal and with/as a snack

Some persons find it difficult to increase the amount of fiber used, if this is the case for you then you can consider using a fibre supplement eg Metamucil, Cetrucil, Benefiber.
Start with once a day and increase till you achieve regular bowel movements.

(2)fluids-at least 8 glasses of fluid daily unless there is a medical reason for not using a lot of fluid eg heart disease/liver or kidney disease

This would not include caffeinated drinks or alcohol because these cause the body to lose fluids by increasing urination

(3)continue your activity

(4)laxatives- this should be a last resort. They can be used as a temporary measure. If used for too long or too commonly then this can cause/worsen constipation because they can stop the bowel from working well on its own.

Using a laxative once or twice is fine. eg Ducolax, ex-lax, Constulose, magnesium citrate

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on