When you are constipated, making some changes as to how you are eating can be as helpful as changing what you are eating. Here are five easy guidelines:
1. Eat a Large Meal in the Morning
As a way to help your body to establish a natural rhythm for bowel movements, it is often advantageous to encourage a morning bowel movement as part of an overall plan for bowel retraining. Some people find that eating a large breakfast, accompanied by some caffeinated tea or coffee, may help trigger intestinal contractions that lead to a successful bowel movement.
2. Add Some Fat to Your Diet
Dietary fat has been shown to increase the strength of intestinal contractions. Those contractions are what is needed in order to prompt your colon to initiate a bowel movement. The following article offers some suggestions for healthy sources of dietary fat:
3. Eat Meals Regularly Throughout the Day
Since the act of eating itself can stimulate intestinal contractions, it is a good idea to plan on eating something every few hours. Eating meals on a regular, consistent basis can help encourage your system to keep moving along in a smoother way.
4. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber, the non-digestible part of plant foods, can help to provide the needed bulk that encourages bowel movements. For tips on how to increase fiber:
5. Don't Forget to Drink
Be sure to get your fair share of water -- at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily. This will ensure that you body is well hydrated, thus water will not need to be drawn out of the stool making it harder and more difficult to pass.
Whorwell, P. “Dietary Aspects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)” DigestiveHealth Matters, 2007 16:6-7.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.