If you are suffering from mild to moderate constipation (having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week), constipation can be treated at home by making some changes to your diet. The most essential change is to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Fiber and water help soothe the process to pass stool through the colon. Some foods high in fiber include fruits, legumes, whole-grain bread, and cereals.
Guidelines for Managing Constipation:
|Increase fluids to at least six to eight glasses per day.
|Eat a diet high in fiber.
|Eat fresh fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables.
|Avoid pasta, pastries, cheese, rice, and foods with white sugar.
|Establish a regular time for defection (the best times for evacuations are usually after a meal).
|Drink warm prune juice or other warm beverages one hour before the scheduled defecation time to stimulate the urge.
|Use toilet or bedside commode instead of bedpan if possible (Ideal position is a modified squatting position with feet placed on a stool.)
|Relax by reading or listening to music in the bathroom.
|Don’t delay when you have the urge to evacuate.
|Avoid laxatives and enema abuse.
|Take stool softeners, suppositories, or laxatives as ordered. (Overuse of laxatives can cause constipation.)
|Use enemas or manual disimpaction for severe constipation.
|Report constipation that frequently reoccurs or that does not respond to treatment to physician.