Chronic constipation is a condition of infrequent and difficult bowel movements for three months or longer. Without chronic constipation treatment, the condition can worsen and may also cause other health problems.
For treatment of constipation, some lifestyle and diet changes may be necessary. Your doctor may recommend other options if your condition doesn’t improve with these changes.
Lifestyle and Diet Modifications
Treatment for constipation begins by making several changes in your diet and daily life.
- Diet changes include eating more fiber through food sources like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Fiber can bulk up a stool and facilitate easy bowel movements. It is vital that you gradually increase your fiber intake so that your intestines do not experience gas or bloating troubles.
- Constipation treatment may be incomplete without including an exercise plan. Your doctor can recommend one based on your current health status and needs.
- Your doctor may recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. These are simple exercises to contract and relax pelvic muscles to make them stronger. Kegel is usually done for bladder health. But since these exercises work the entire pelvic floor, doing them can also help relax your rectal and anal muscles.
- Use of laxatives is common for chronic constipation treatment. Most laxatives are available without a prescription. But it is better to use it only when your doctor recommends one. Laxatives can include fiber supplements, lubricants, stool softeners and other kinds.
- If your condition doesn’t improve with diet changes or with laxative use, your doctor may prescribe some medicines to aid your bowel movements. If the underlying cause of your constipation is a neurological or hormonal disease, your doctor may treat the cause using medicines and therapies to make your chronic constipation treatment effective.
- Surgery may be the last option for chronic constipation treatment. Surgical procedures are usually performed to treat constipation causes such as anal fissures or narrowing of the colon. Surgery can also remove any bowel obstructions.
Treatment for chronic constipation can also include some alternative therapies like acupuncture. But since more research is needed in this area, consult your doctor for all possible treatment options.