Prevention of Constipation

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

To prevent constipation, a diet with 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day helps the body form soft, bulky stool that is easier to pass. High-fiber foods include beans, whole grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. For people prone to constipation, limiting foods that have little or no fiber, such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods, is also important. A health care provider can give information about how changes in eating, diet, and nutrition could help with constipation.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)1

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Back to: « Constipation

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Prevention

Regular exercise in combination with a high fibre diet and regular, adequate fluid intake will help reduce the development of constipation. Your doctor may be able to assist you with other changes including medication alterations, in order to prevent constipation.

Source: Queensland Health2

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Try to get the person to drink at least 6 glasses of liquid a day.

Besides water, other good sources of liquid include:

  • Juice, especially prune juice
  • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®
  • Soup
  • Milk or melted ice cream
  • Decaffeinated coffee and tea
  • Liquid cereal, such as Cream of Wheat®

Have the person eat foods high in fiber. Foods like dried apricots, raisins, or prunes; some dry cereals; or soybeans might help ease constipation.

If possible, make sure that the person gets some exercise each day, such as walking. Call the doctor if you notice a change in the person's bowel habits.

Source: NIA (NIH)3

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Self-help measures for avoiding constipation include:

  • plenty of fibre in your diet, such as fruit and vegetables and wholemeal bread, pasta and rice - adults should aim to eat at least 18g of fibre a day
  • staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • not ignoring the urge to pass stools - this can cause your stools to dry out and become harder to pass
  • exercising regularly - you should aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week

Source: NHS Choices UK4

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References

  1. Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ urologic-diseases/ perineal-injury-males
  2. Source: Queensland Health: conditions.health.qld.gov.au/ HealthCondition/ condition/ 9/ 46/ 31/ constipation
  3. Source: NIA (NIH): nia.nih.gov/ health/ alzheimers-disease-common-medical-problems
  4. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ anal-fissue/ 

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.