Constipation: How To Prevent and Relieve This Painful Condition

Constipation - How To Prevent & Relieve This Painful Condition

Most of us have dealt with constipation at some point. Sometimes it’s an occasional issue, and other times it’s a constant, chronic issue that may cause a lot of ongoing discomforts.

In this article, I’m going to discuss three tips to prevent and relieve constipation.

In the video below, Amanda Legro discusses ways to prevent and relieve constipation.

Continue reading for more information.

It all starts with remembering the 3 F’s: Fluids, Fiber, and Fitness!

Drinking plenty of water helps prevent constipation!

Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated helps keep the contents in your digestive system flowing.

Unsurprisingly, water is the best fluid choice. Caffeinated beverages can contribute to daily fluid requirement; however, it’s important to note that excess caffeine intake has a mild diuretic effect, which means that you may lose more fluid via urine, contributing to dehydration.

Caffeinated beverages include soda, energy drinks, coffee, and tea. We recommend avoiding sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and juice. The calories add up quickly, and they offer minimal health benefits.

Studies have found that 4-5 cups of coffee per day is considered safe and should not have a dehydrating effect.

RELATED: Are Prebiotics and Probiotics the Answer To Better Gut Health?

Eating fiber helps relieve constipation.

Fiber 

Fiber is arguably the most critical nutrient for constipation because it activates the intestinal muscles and makes stools easier to pass. Fiber from whole foods is best! Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your daily routine. 

The recommendation for daily fiber intake is 25g for women and 38g for men. 

RELATED: Insoluble & Soluble Fiber: How Do They Impact Your Health?

Consistently working out helps prevent constipation.

Fitness

We can’t forget about fitness! Exercise not only benefits your cardiovascular system, bones, and muscles, but it also helps keep your digestive system active. The recommended amount of exercise for adults is at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week, for a total of 150 minutes per week.

If fluids, fiber, and fitness aren’t enough, you may need additional help from an over-the-counter stool softener or laxative.

Note: I highly recommend trying Dulcolax, MiraLAX, or Senokot.

If you continue to struggle with constipation, schedule an appointment with your doctor or registered dietitian to rule out other medical issues, and to create an individualized plan.

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Hi, my name is Amanda Haney. I am a registered dietitian, board-certified nutrition support clinician, Cal State Long Beach alumnae, and former pediatric clinical dietitian. Currently, I am working as a project manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. As a clinical dietitian or in my current role, my passion is working in a diverse setting with a variety of teams in order to improve patient outcomes and achieve better health for the families in my community. I became a dietitian because I love food and I love medicine. There is so much misinformation about nutrition in the media, so I enjoy creating educational content that makes nutrition simple and to make your health goals achievable. In my free time, I love soaking up the beauty at the beach, riding my bike, staying active, cooking, and, most of all, spending time with my family and friends!

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