We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Constipation in adults causes irregular bowel movements, pain during bowel movements and hard stools, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Sometimes constipated adults may be unable to pass stools at all. Untreated constipation may lead to hemorrhoids, fecal impaction and rectal prolapse. Fortunately, most cases of constipation in adults can be treated at home with diet and lifestyle changes.
How to Treat Constipation in Adults
Increase your fluid intake to a minimum of 64 oz. each day. Water is the ideal choice, but fruit juices are also effective at treating constipation in adults. If you are already drinking 64 oz. of fluid each day, increase your intake to at least 80 oz.
Eat a balanced diet, and avoid eating foods known to cause constipation in adults, such as cheese and meats. Ice cream and processed foods may also cause constipation in adults, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Take a fiber supplement, and increase your intake of high-fiber foods. Whole-wheat bread, beans, lentils, high-fiber cereals, bran, flaxseed, figs, prunes and apricots are all high in fiber and may help relieve constipation in adults.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Regular activity aids digestion and promotes bowel regularity. Walking and swimming are good activities that most people can safely add to their daily routine.
Reduce your intake of iron and calcium, especially if you are taking supplements for these minerals. Mineral supplements often cause constipation in adults, as can other medications, such as diuretics, narcotics, antacids and some medicines for heart disease. Never discontinue any supplement or medication without speaking with your doctor first.
Take a laxative or another medication designed to treat constipation in adults, with your doctor's permission. Long-term use of laxatives can result in dehydration and other health complications, and may make constipation worse over time, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Laxatives should be used for short-term relief only.
If your symptoms do not improve with lifestyle and dietary changes, check with your doctor. Certain medical conditions, including thyroid disease, colon cancer, depression, kidney disease and diabetes, may cause constipation in some cases.