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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Measures to Take for Constipation

  • Increase the fiber in your diet by eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, bran, or if these foods are not available, by using a fiber supplement such as Metamucil, Effersylium, Fibercon, or a similar supplement.
  • Equally important is to increase your consumption of non–dairy, non–caffeine fluids such as juice or water.
  • Decrease your consumption of constipating foods such as dairy products, white rice, white flour, white bread or bananas.
  • Develop a regular bowel habit. Many people who are busy will ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. The urge will eventually stop because the colon will relax. This can lead to a large diameter, painful bowel movements. It is possible to "program" the colon by sitting on the toilet 10 to 15 minutes at the same time daily. Do not strain to have a bowel movement at this time. If you do not have a bowel movement after 15 minutes go about activity as usual, except with the first sensation of needing to have a bowel movement, do so. Within one to two weeks the body will adapt to a more regular schedule.