So you are now thinking, what should I do if I become constipated? There are a number of very simple things to try to relieve the condition:
• Drink two to four extra glasses of water per day.
• Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
• Add fruit and vegetables to your diet.
• Eat prunes or bran cereal.
• If needed, consult your pharmacist for a mild stool softener or laxative. Do not use a laxative for more than a week or two. Laxative overuse can aggravate your symptoms or result in a dependency. Contact your physician if:
• Constipation is a new and life altering condition for you.
• You have blood in your stools.
• You are losing weight without dieting.
• You have painful bowel movements.
• Your constipation lasts longer than two weeks.
Because chronic constipation can be a symptom of more serious problems such as colon cancer, frequent and prolonged constipation needs to be evaluated.
However, in most cases the condition is self-limited, and can be treated with a simple change in diet or a visit to your pharmacy.