Most patients with constipation are successfully treated by a few simple steps. Eat well balanced, regularly scheduled meals to promote normal bowel function. If you have not been consuming much roughage, take additional fibre in your diet. Ensure that you drink enough fluids to help keep the stools soft. Try to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of liquid each day in the form of juice, milk, coffee, tea, soup, water or other fluids. An increase in activity will also help the bowel move.
High fibre diet, in addition to relief of constipation, may help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of developing colon polyps and colon cancer, and help prevent symptomatic hemorrhoids.
Fibre supplements takes time (up to weeks) for the full effect to take place. However, they are not harmful to the body. Laxatives stimulate the colon to work more rapidly. Continuous use of laxatives can cause the colon to stretch and weaken and, eventually the colon may not work right without them. Thus, laxatives, enemas or suppositories, although it provides rapid relief, is harmful in the long term, and you should avoid long term usage unless recommended and monitored by your doctor.
A change in lifestyle may also help. Having a specific time each day to have a bowel movement may be helpful. In some cases, bio-feedback may help to retrain poorly functioning anal sphincter muscles.
In rare circumstances are surgical procedures necessary to treat constipation. Your doctor can discuss these options with you in greater detail to determine the best treatment for you.
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