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How can constipation caused by HCTZ medication be relieved?

A:

Quick Answer

Standard interventions against constipation include drinking plenty of water and other fluids, eating foods that contain ample fiber and exercising. Taking diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide can leave patients vulnerable to dehydration, a common cause of constipation, as reported by WebMD.

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Full Answer

Diuretics are commonly called water pills because they help the body eliminate extra water via urination. However, the intestines require some water in order to stay flexible and functional. If too much water leaves the body and dehydration occurs, stools can harden and become difficult to eliminate, explains WebMD.

To treat constipation, MedlinePlus recommends exercising three to four days each week, eating the right foods regularly without skipping meals, and consuming 8 to 10 cups of liquid daily. Most of the liquid should be water, but WebMD advises that herbal teas, juices and clear broths can supplement daily fluid intake. Warming liquids before drinking them may also help ease constipation. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are diuretics themselves and should be avoided, as should fast food and processed goods. Fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole-grain carbohydrates are all recommended foods for increasing fiber consumption. Popcorn, nuts and fig bars are fiber-rich snacking options. Dietary fiber should be increased gradually to help prevent gas and bloating.

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