ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do about constipation?

Question

What can I do about constipation?

Sometimes I'll be fine, going regularly without anything, eating whatever I want and other times I'll have a little problem, take a laxative and start taking digestive enzymes or changing my diet a bit to go regularly, and other times nothing seems to work and I'll have to rely on laxatives of every kind for months. I don't understand what is causing it and what the correlation is between my diet or not. It is dictating my entire life and when I'm stuck not being able to go, I'm an entirely different person, sad, stressed, questioning absolutely everything I eat and everything I do because I just dont know what it is that makes me constipated and everybody says a different thing. I just want to be regular, always, for once and for all. No worries, no chains on life, I'm so sick of this!

Answer

I'm so sorry to hear about your chronic constipation. Having an irregular digestive system can certainly be distressing and interfere with your daily life. I encourage you to speak with your primary care physician who can help you to better understand what might be going on. It is important to visit your doctor who can perform a thorough physical examination and perform any testing that may be necessary. That being said, it will help to first maintain a high fiber diet on a consistent basis. This includes a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and plenty of fluids. You will want to go over any medications that you are currently taking with your doctor, as some medications such as narcotics are notorious for causing constipation. You may also benefit from taking a fiber supplement on a daily basis. Metamucil is one example of a fiber supplement which can easily be mixed into your fluids. You may also benefit from daily stool softener or stimulant supplementation to ensure that your stool is soft and easier to pass. Sometimes, when a cause cannot be identified for those with chronic constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of both, patients may be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is no cure for IBS, but efforts will be focused on relieving symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best management plan for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.