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Suggest treatment for constipation

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16689 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 2 Jun 2014 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Im a 91 year old female who has to push very hard to have a bowel movement. I have to do this several times a day. I've tried laxatives and stool soffeners and I still have the same problem
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
need to decrease use of laxatives and softeners

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Normally laxatives and stool softeners are used for only short period of time because if used for long periods they affect the ability of the bowel to work effectively on its own.

You can however consider long term increase in the use of fiber either from foods or in replacement products like metamucil. The sugar free metamucil works better volume for volume when compared to one with sugar.
This can be used up to three times a day.

In addition to the use of these supplements, you would need to increase your use of foods with fiber such as fruits and vegetables to at least 5 portions a day. They would need to be part of each main meal and snack.
Prunes are particularly helpful in constipation.

In addition to the above the use of enough fluids is also considered to help with persons with constipation.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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