dairy products
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Dairy

If you get constipated often, do yourself a favor and take a look at your diet. Among the foods that may block you up: too much cheese and milk. But you may not have to give up dairy -- just eat less of it and change your choices. Try yogurt with probiotics, live bacteria that’s good for your digestive system. It may help relieve constipation.

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cheeseburger and fries
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Fast Or Prepared Foods

Does your busy lifestyle have you eating on the go? Those readymade meals may be convenient, but they could cause a backup. Most are low in fiber, which you need to help food move through your system. By taking time to slow down, you may speed up your digestion.

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fried chicken dinner
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Fried Food

Aunt Helen’s chicken is almost impossible to pass up, but consider opting for an entrée with more fiber if you’re having a tough time on the toilet. Fried foods are full of fat and are hard to digest. When food moves through your colon slowly, too much water can be taken out of it. That makes for a hard, dry stool.

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two eggs frying in pan
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Eggs

They’re high in protein but low in fiber. You don’t have to take them off the menu. Just add some high-fiber foods into the mix. Try an omelet with fresh spinach and tomatoes.

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strips of steak
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Tender Meat

Full of protein and fat but lacking in fiber, that juicy steak needs to be balanced with a side of broccoli. That’ll help herd it comfortably through your digestive system.

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chocolate cupcakes
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Cupcakes

Add possible constipation to the many reasons a sweet dessert should be an occasional, not regular, thing. Pastries, cookies, and other treats with refined sugar are low in fiber and fluids, and high in fat. That’s no good if you’re having trouble keeping things moving. Satisfy your sweet tooth with strawberries and yogurt. Your tummy will thank you for it.

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white bread in basket
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White Bread

Too much of this will give you hard, dry stools. It’s made with low-fiber white flour. Go for whole-grain toast instead. It may help your next trip to the bathroom go more smoothly. 

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cup of coffee
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Caffeine

A couple cups of coffee makes some people race to the bathroom, but it can have the opposite effect, too. The caffeine in coffee and soft drinks can keep your body from holding onto water, and you need H2O to stay regular. If you’re constipated, skip that second cup until things pass.

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glasses of wine
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Alcohol

Like coffee, booze can make it hard for your body to hang onto water. That can spell trouble for your bathroom visits until you get hydrated again. If you’re going to have a cocktail, nurse a glass of water at the same time to keep things flowing.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 05/24/2016 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 24, 2016

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

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9) Creatas Images / Thinkstock

 

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Constipation.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Probiotics may ease constipation.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Constipation.”

Kids Health: “Constipation.”

Kings College of London: “The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”

LiveScience.com: “Constipation: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions,” “Why does coffee make you poop?”

Mayo Clinic: “Constipation in Children,” “Dehydration,” “Hangovers,” “Low-fiber diet.”

National Health Service in England: “Good foods to help your digestion.”

National Institute on Aging: “Concerned About Constipation?”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 24, 2016

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.