Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I make constipation go away?"
I get constipated a lot. Any way to stop this? What can I take that will make it go away long term?
Constipation is a very common medical problem. Most cases of constipation are related to diet. People who don't drink enough liquids or eat enough fiber are those who are most often constipated. Therefore, you may want to try increasing the amount of liquid in your diet and also increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and other sources of fiber. If these strategies do not work, then it is probably time to see your primary care doctor, especially if the constipation is a new problem. Sometimes there is a medical condition underlying the constipation, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and it is worthwhile to check for that, since it is a treatable condition. Often, people who suffer from constipation will need to take a stool softener or a laxative long term to help control their symptoms, especially if they do not have relief just from increasing fluid and fiber in the diet. There are numerous laxatives that are available to you, and many of them are quite benign without a lot of the feared side effects like cramping and bloating. Your doctor can discuss with you the various medications that are available and help you make a decision.
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