Self-help: Preventing Constipation

There are some simple steps you can take to prevent or reduce the severity of constipation:

  • Increase your daily fibre intake. Fibre-rich foods include bran, wholemeal bread, cereals, fruit, leafy vegetables, potato skins, beans, and dried peas.

  • Reduce your intake of highly refined and processed foods, such as cheese and white bread.

  • Increase your daily fluid intake, but avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol.

  • Do not use stimulant laxatives persistently because the colon may eventually be unable to function without them.

  • Do not ignore the urge to defecate. The longer that faeces remain in the colon, the drier and harder they become.

  • Try to achieve a regular routine in which you go to the toilet at the same time of day.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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