White Paper – Constipation

Ways to prevent constipation
  • Exercise regularly to keep your bowels moving.
  • Drink more water to keep your body hydrated and your stools from hardening. Aim for about eight 8-oz of water per day or whichever is appropriate for your body size. Use a water consumption calculator available on www.dietnation.com to figure out how much water is right for your body.
  • Take in more fiber. Adults should aim for 22 to 34 grams of fiber per day. Children are recommended to get 0.23g/lb of fiber per day (ex. a 30 lb child should take in about 7 grams of fiber per day). You can get fiber from foods such as whole-wheat bread, beans, apples, prunes, raspberries, squash, broccoli and leafy green vegetables.
  • If you can’t get enough fiber from your diet, there are supplemental fibers available over the counter. Look for soluble or insoluble fiber to be mixed in foods/drinks or try fiber gummies. Just make sure you drink plenty of water with it!
Ways to prevent constipation (Cont.)
  • Try to avoid eating foods that can worsen constipation such as cheese, meat, fast food, processed foods, and chips.
  • Exercising can help stimulate bowel movements in mild cases.
  • If you need over-the-counter treatment, try a laxative. They come available as a stool softener, osmotic agent, lubricant or stimulant.
  • Osmotic agents (Miralax, Milk of Magnesium), stool softeners (Docusate, Colace) and lubricants (Fleet) help soften stools for gentle emptying.
  • If these do not work, try a stimulant like Dulcolax or Senokot. Stimulants will make your intestines contract to help move stools but can also cause cramping as a side effect.
  • Consult with a pharmacist or doctor on which treatment will work best for you.
  • For constipation in kids, talk to a pediatrician or pharmacist for recommendations.

United States. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Constipation. National Institute of Health, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 July 2015. .

United States. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for Constipation. National Institute of Health, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 July 2015. .