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Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help my constipation?

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Yes, for example:

1. Go to the bathroom at the same time each morning. Make this your morning "habit," as colonic motor activity is highest at this time.

2. Don't ignore the urge to go. Peristalsis of the bowel -- the movements that trigger a bowel movement -- come and go. If you ignore this urge, you may lose the opportunity.

3. Go to the bathroom after meals. The urge to poop goes up after a meal, so take advantage of your body's signals.

4. Try to chill. Stress can interfere with relaxation of the whole body, including the bowels. It's important to use some type of relaxation technique like meditation, guided imagery, or yoga daily.

5. Drink at least 8 cups of water each day. This helps keep your GI tract healthy.

6. Add wheat bran to your diet. Wheat bran adds bulk to the stool and helps speed the rate of movement through the gut.

7. Aim for at least 4 cups of fiber-filled fruits and vegetables each day, including apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, pears, figs, carrots, and beans.

8. Exercise daily. Being physically active also helps the GI tract function optimally.

SOURCES: FDA: "FDA Approves New Prescription Drug for Adults for the Treatment of Chronic 'Idiopathic' Constipation." Medline Plus: "Lubriprostone." Familydoctor.org: "Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet." FDA: "FDA approves Linzess to treat certain cases of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation."



Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on May 13, 2020

SOURCES: FDA: "FDA Approves New Prescription Drug for Adults for the Treatment of Chronic 'Idiopathic' Constipation." Medline Plus: "Lubriprostone." Familydoctor.org: "Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet." FDA: "FDA approves Linzess to treat certain cases of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation."



Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on May 13, 2020

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