If you are suffering with constipation, the simple lifestyle changes explained on this page can help you find relief.
Do I have constipation?1
It is likely that you have constipation if you haven’t had a poo at least 3 times in one week or the poo is difficult to push out and larger than normal. The poo may also be dry, hard or lumpy. You may also have a tummy ache and feel bloated or sick.
Lifestyle tips to help relieve symptoms1
Once you’ve identified the signs of constipation, you can make some simple changes to help ease your symptoms. This includes making changes to your diet to make your poo softer, daily exercise to help you poo more regularly, and improving your toilet routine to make it easier to poo. These changes, detailed below, may help ease your constipation within a few days or a few weeks. If they don’t help, speak to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse as you may need a treatment such as Movicol.
If you are suffering with constipation, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.
If you are taking Movicol you should still drink plenty of fluids. The fluid content of Movicol should not replace your regular liquid intake.2
Increasing your daily activity, such as with a walk or run, can help make your bowel movements more regular.
To ease the symptoms of constipation, increase the fibre in your diet from a variety of sources. Sources of fibre to try increasing in your diet include:
- High-fibre breakfast cereals (like plain wholewheat biscuits or plain shredded wholegrain)
- Porridge oats
- Wholemeal, granary or high-fibre white breads
- Wholegrains (like wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice)
- Potatoes with their skins on (like baked potato or boiled new potatoes)
- Pulses (like beans, lentils or chickpeas)
- Fresh or dried fruit, or fruit canned in natural juice
- Rye crackers or oatcakes
- Unsalted nuts or seeds
Improve your toilet routine1
A regular and relaxed routine can help make your bowel movements more comfortable. Allow yourself plenty of time to go to the toilet and try sticking to a regular time and place. If you feel the urge to poo, don’t put off going. To make it easier to poo, try resting your feet on a low stool and raising your knees above your hips.
How should I sit on the toilet?
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- NHS. Constipation www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/ (Accessed October 2020).
- Movicol 13.8 g sachet, powder for oral solution. SmPC (Accessed October 2020).
- NHS. How to get more fibre into your diet www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/ (Accessed October 2020).