Constipation is a digestive issue that affects many people at different times. If you've recently begun to experience constipation-related symptoms — namely, having trouble moving your bowels — you may be thinking about seeing your family doctor. While medical advice is certainly a good idea, it's worthwhile to try some strategies at home before you involve your medical professional. Provided that you aren't in severe pain or experiencing any other dangerous symptoms related to this issue, here are some things to try before you schedule a visit with your family doctor.
Exercise Every Day
Exercise can be a valuable way to help your constipation. Regular movement gets your digestive system working, which can be beneficial if you're having trouble moving your bowels. There's not necessarily a certain type of exercise that is better than others, so you have the freedom of finding something that you enjoy doing or that works for your daily routine. For example, you might dust off your bicycle and take a ride with your children on a system of trails near your home, or you may commit to walking your dog for 30 minutes each evening after dinner. You may find that making this simple change makes things easier in the bathroom.
Increase Your Fiber
A diet that is low in fiber can increase your risk of constipation. Fiber-rich food plays an instrumental role in helping to push your food through your digestive system so that you can relieve yourself regularly and with ease. You might not know how much fiber you're getting every day, but by making some simple dietary changes, you'll be able to easily increase this amount to hit your recommended daily intake of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Fiber is found in a wide range of readily accessible foods, including veggies and fruit. You can also visit your supermarket's cereal aisle to find a whole-grain cereal that is high in fiber.
Sip Water Steadily
Like dietary fiber, water is a digestive aid. When you're dehydrated, your system may lack the liquids necessary to push your food through your digestive tract. The result can be hard stools that are difficult to pass. Try to keep water close at hand throughout the day. If you fill a water bottle several times, you can simply sip from the bottle at regular intervals. Thirteen cups of water a day are recommended for adult men, while adult women should plan to drink nine cups daily. If you make these changes but are still experiencing constipation, schedule a visit with a family doctor like Harvey Harold E II MD PLLC.