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CONSTIPATION

Constipation is the passage of irregular, infrequent, or hard bowel movements with discomfort or pain. Constipation may be caused by medications (i.e. iron, progesterone, or Zofran), inadequate intake of fluids or dietary roughage, lack of exercise, or bowel blockage. If your constipation is not relieved after three days or you have unusually narrow stools, fever, nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, or bloating, contact your doctor.

How to prevent constipation:
 
1.       Drink at least 8 glasses of liquid every day (this should not include caffeine or alcohol)
2.       Eat a diet rich in fiber. Foods that are high in fiber include: whole grain products, bran, fresh raw fruits with skins and seeds, fresh raw vegetables, nuts, corn, beans, popcorn, raisins, dates, prunes, and prune juice.
o   Start your morning with a natural fiber shake (put the following ingredients into a blender and enjoy!)
§ 2 cups of water
§ 1-2 cups spinach or other green leafy vegetables
§ 1cup fruit (apples, pears, strawberries etc.)
§ 1-2 Tbsp protein powder
§ 1 Tbsp Flax oil or 1 tsp coconut oil
§ Optional: 1-2 raw organic eggs (for extra protein and vitamin D) or ½ cup yogurt
3.       Get regular exercise such as walking, swimming, or biking
 
How to deal with constipation:
 
1.       Take a Tbsp of Metamucil (or Citrucil) in juice or water twice a day (adds bulk to stool)
2.       Take Senokot –one tablet twice a day, or prune juice –one glass twice a day (stimulates the colon)
3.       Take Colace (or Surfak) – one capsule twice a day (lubricates bowel movements)
4.       Engage in physical activity, such as low impact aerobics, walking, swimming, or biking
5.       Intestinal Cleanse is an herbal product available at The Women’s Wellness Place (1-3 capsules as needed)
 
If you should feel uncomfortable:
 
1.       Use a heating pad, warm water bottle, or soaking in warm water as this may decrease discomfort
2.       4 Tbsp of Milk of Magnesia can be taken twice a day until you have a bowel movement
3.       A Fleets enema or glycerin suppository may be taken rectally.
4.       Drinking warm liquids may stimulate the bowel to contract more than cold liquids
 
 
Adapted from Comprehensive Gynecology, Syracuse NY 13210
 




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