Tips and Tools: Preventing Constipation

Constipation can be treated medically, but lifestyle changes are often very important.

The following practices can both treat and prevent constipation:

  • avoid drugs with constipating effects
  • increase dietary fibre to 20-30 grams per day by eating whole grains, especially flaxseed, fruits, and vegetables (these add bulk to stools, making them easier to pass)
  • use prune juice, stewed prunes, or figs to soften hard stools (but increase the amount slowly to reduce gas)
  • eat a diet that's high in bulk and low in processed foods
  • drink at least eight glasses of fluid - water is best - each day
  • schedule regular times for bowel movements to condition your body (after breakfast, for instance)
  • do physical exercise to stimulate the movement of waste through your intestines

Learn more about Gastrointestinal