Before taking prescribed or over the counter drugs, there are a number of changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that may help you treat your constipation. Increasing your intake of fibre is a good way to help your bowels function at a better rate. You can increase your fibre intake by eating more fruit and vegetables or more oat and wheat bran. Lubricant laxatives, such as oil, can act as a temporary relief for constipation. The oil will coat the intestines and prevents the removal of water from the stool. This can help make softer stools. Exercise can help get your body active and trigger movements in your bowels. Brisk walks, runs and stretches will all contribute towards getting rid of your constipation.
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription laxatives that can be used if changing your lifestyle and diet isn’t working. These laxatives are categorised depending on the way in which they affect your bowels. Saline laxatives contain non-absorbable ions that remain in the colon and draw water into the colon. This will soften the stools and reduce constipation. Stimulant laxatives encourage the small intestine and the colon to propel their contents more rapidly as well as soften the stool by increasing the amount of water. This increase in water is either done by reducing the absorption of water in the colon or by causing active secretion of the water in the small intestine.
For more information about the symptoms, causes and treatments of constipation, head over to Medicine Net at www.medicinenet.com/constipation/page4.htm#tocd