ZocdocAnswersHow do I get rid of constipation?

Question

How do I get rid of constipation?

I'm not talking about when it happens because I have found an over the counter medication that relieves the constipation. But how do I prevent it in the first place? I don't want to keep treating it but want to be able to cure it.

Answer

Constipation is very common in our society where highly prepared foods are so common. Cheese, white flour, breads, and other things are essentially glue in the digestive tract, and require the presence of other material to help flush them out. Fiber is that other material. Far too many of us don't eat enough celery, carrots, bran, and other sources of fiber that help to keep us regular. By increasing your intake of these products, it is quite possible that you may be able to quickly correct your problem. Long standing problems of any sort, however, should be discussed with your doctor, especially if there are other symptoms that are bothering you. Weight loss, fatigue, new medications, or other changes should be things that you would need to mention to your doctor as well. Fortunately, the most common cause of constipation is due to inadequate dietary fiber, as above. Some people choose to supplement the diet artificially with fiber (as with bran additives) or even other products that work in a similar manner. Others choose to increase the amount of fruits and (especially) vegetables that they eat. The more raw vegetables that you eat, the more regular you should be, but please talk to your doctor regardless.

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