How is constipation diagnosed?

Many individuals affected by constipation choose to treat themselves by changing their diets using over-the-counter laxatives, However, laxatives should not be used for more than two weeks without consulting a doctor.

The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, medical history, and any medications. A physical checkup may include blood tests and rectal exam to check your blood count and thyroid function.

How to treat and prevent constipation

Changing your diet and developing your physical activity level are the fastest and easiest ways to treat and prevent constipation. Try the following techniques as well:

  • Drink 1.5 to 2 quarts of water, to hydrate the body daily.
  • Add fiber foods to your diets, such as vegetables and raw fruits, whole grains, beans, bran cereal, or prunes. The daily intake of fiber should be between 20 and 35 grams.
  • Limit caffeinated drinks and consumption of alcohol, which may cause dehydration.
  • Reduce low-fiber foods, such as meat, milk, processed foods, and cheese.
  • If you observe the urge to have a bowel movement, don’t delay. The longer you wait, the harder the stool can become.
  • Add fiber supplements to your diet has required. Always remember to drink plenty of fluids because fluids help fiber work more efficient.
  • Consider adding probiotics to your diet, like those found in yogurt with live active cultures.
  • Try to get daily exercise.

If you still have trouble with constipation, your doctor may recommend medications. According to

the American College of Gastroenterology, lubiprostone (Amitiza) and linaclotide (Linzess) are two drugs that are well recommended for people with IBS-related constipation. These medications work by enhancing the secretions in your intestines, making the stool easier to pass.

More severe rectal problems or colon may require manual procedures to clear the colon of impacted stool, therapy to retrain slow muscles or surgery to remove the problem part of your colon.