Most of us sooner or later will have to deal with constipation, which is defined as having harder stool less frequently than three times per week. Listed below are a few common remedies that are useful in breaking an episode of constipation:
1)Increase water intake, typically to eight glasses per day.
2)Increase fiber in your diet. This includes whole grains, legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel and Fibercon can also be helpful.
3)Sparingly use enemas and laxatives. Regular use of both, and especially laxatives containing senna, can make the body dependent on their use. Miralax is a safer occasional as well as long term choice.
4)Probiotics, which normalize the intestinal bacterial balance, can be useful.
5)Exercise. This can help stimulate bowel function.
6)Discontinue certain OTC medications such as antihistamines (ie:Benadryl). Also talk to your doctor about possibly eliminating prescriptions such as opiates, certain blood pressure medications (ie:verapamil) and various antidepressants (ie:amitryptilline).
Seek prompt medical advice if your constipation is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, fever and/or bloody stool, the constipation is new or it lasts longer than three weeks despite the above treatments.