How Do You Relieve Constipation?


Quick Answer

Constipation is treated with dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter laxatives and prescription medications, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Constipation is defined as infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing bowel movements.

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How Do You Relieve Constipation?
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Full Answer

Some cases of constipation are caused by a lack of fiber in the diet. Experts from the Mayo Clinic explain that fiber helps stool move through the digestive tract faster, reducing the likelihood of constipation. Adding high-fiber foods to the diet may help relieve the symptoms of this condition. MedlinePlus lists apples, bananas, spinach, broccoli, legumes, peaches and whole-grain breads among the many high-fiber foods available. Exercising regularly may also help prevent constipation.

If lifestyle changes don't help, another option is the use of over-the-counter laxatives. Fiber supplements make the stool bulkier, so they have the same effect as high-fiber foods. Stool softeners and lubricants make it easier for stool to move through the digestive tract. Osmotics draw water into the stool so it is easier to eliminate. Finally, stimulant laxatives stimulate the intestine's lining to make stool pass through the digestive tract quickly, according to WebMD.

Linaclotide and lubiprostone are prescription medications used to treat constipation that is not relieved by over-the-counter laxatives. These drugs also speed the passage of stool through the intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

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