From: Helen Dynda (
Wed Aug 1 14:35:02 2001

[] Constipation -- is becoming an increasingly familiar complaint at doctor's offices nationwide. This almost-never talked about disorder can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and worrisome. Fortunately, treating and preventing constipation is much easier than it used to be!


Bowel movements which are defined as painful, difficult or uncomfortable and/or infrequent bowel movements.


Lack of proper fiber intake.

Inadequate fluid intake.


Over-use of bowel stimulants.

Over-use of antacids.

Anal fissure.

Back pain.

Insufficient diet.

Colon or rectal cancer.

Irritable bowel syndrome.



Infrequent bowel movements.

Hard stools.

Abdominal swelling and bloating.

Staining during movements.

Pain with bowel movements.

Fullness in abdomen following bowel movement.

Bleeding during or after bowel movement.


While occasional constipation is not dangerous, recurrent bouts of constipation can signal disease, allergic reaction, and other conditions. Extreme changes in the frequency or volume of stool produced always warrants a trip to your family doctor. The presence of blood in the stool, pus, mucus, or fatty materials may also be indicators of disease.


Having a bowel movement on a daily basis is not necessarily normal. It is a common misconception that, unless you move your bowels daily, you are constipated. Not true! Everyone's body functions differently and therefore, there are no set guidelines as to what is normal when it comes to your bowels. Going three times a day may be normal for one person and moving the bowels twice a week may be normal for another. The easiest way to gauge your body's regularity schedule is to keep track of the average times per week you move your bowels. Remember, intestinal function changes often and can be influenced by stress, medications, disease, lack of sleep or exercise, and other factors. If your body strays from its regular schedule only infrequently, there is no cause for concern.


The over-use of certain stimulant formula laxatives has created a new form of constipation in North America called Lazy Bowel Syndrome. When the bowels have been stimulated artificially with chemical laxatives over a long period of time, they stop functioning on their own, creating a laxative dependance, chronic constipation, and chemical imbalances. While there are some safe laxatives, those which stimulate the walls of the large intestine can cause serious, permanent damage, addiction, and lazy bowel syndrome.


Constipation is best treated with a combination of diet changes, exercise, lifestyle adjustments and occassionally, medication.


ADDING FIBER to your diet is the easiest and most effective way to rid yourself of constipation and prevent its recurrence.

Eating bulk foods like bran, raw fruit and vegetables, or high fiber cereals daily will help to stimulate bowels naturally without causing the sometimes painful symptoms that other laxatives can.

EXERCISING two to three times each week will help to promote healthy intestinal contractions and keep constipation at bay. Adding exercise to your schedule is sometimes all it takes to put an end to slow bowels. BULK-FORMING fibers like psyllium are safe, effective alternatives to harsh, chemical laxatives. A bevy of products are sold on the market today in many forms, such as liquid drink additives, crackers, fiber cookies, dissolving tablets, and more. Most bulk-agents should be added slowly to the diet and taken with at least 8-ounces of water.

DRINK MORE WATER! Consuming at least 8-glasses of water a day will aid in passing stool through the intestines.

CHECK your medications! Many OTC and prescription medications (like those containing bismuth, iron salts and tranquilizers) cause constipation. OTC antacids are a common cause of acute constipation. Eliminating or decreasing the dosage of constipation inducing medications will solve most drug related episodes.

LAXATIVES can be used to treat occasional constipation.

BULKING FORMING AGENTS are by far, the safest type of laxative on the market today. Bulking agents containing bran, psyllium, calcium polycarbophil, or methylcellulose work naturally to add bulk to the stool and stimulate contractions in the intestine. This type of laxative is non-addicting and can be used daily.

OSMOTIC AGENTS or wetting agents pull water into the large intestine and make stool soft and loose, stretch the walls of the intestine, and stimulate movement. This type of laxative contains salts (magnesium, sulfate or phosphate), sugars or sodium. Enemas, epsom salt solutions or liquid medications (Milk of Magnesia) produce bowel movements in 15 minutes -3 hours, and should only be used occasionally. Wetting agents have the tendency to cause mild to moderate abdominal cramping and can upset sensitive digestive systems.

CHEMICAL STIMULANTS are by far, the most addicting and dangerous of all laxative products. When used properly, they can relieve occasional constipation in 6-8 hours. Chemical detergents stimulate the large intestine, causing it to contract and ease stool along. Chemical stimulants include senna, cascara, bisacodyl, castor oil or phenolphthalein. Chemical suppositories containing any of these ingredients produce bowel movement in 15-20 minutes. This type of laxative often produces cramping and other gastrointestinal upsets.

SOFTENING AGENTS like mineral oil can be taken to ease stool out of the body. Mineral oil is best taken via an enema and only occasionally, as it can hinder with proper digestion and absorption of vitamin and minerals.


LARGE doses of vitamin C stimulate the intestinal wall, producing bowel movements in 1-5 hours. Take 1,000 mg. of chewable vitamin C on an empty stomach when arising. (Note: Those with ulcers should not use this method.)

DRINKING hot water or tea can also help to stimulate the bowel. If you're not a coffee drinker, try drinking one cup of coffee upon waking. USING a homemade enema mixture of 3T olive oil and 1c warm water will help to soften feces safely, creating an easier passageway. Olive oil is safer than mineral oil and can be used when necessary.

GRANDMA ATE PRUNES and you can, too. Many prunes are now flavored or can be added to foods and desserts of those who don't like the taste. Prunes stimulate the bowel naturally, are fat free and contain ample amounts of fiber, iron and calcium.

MAKE IT A ROUTINE to use the bathroom regularly. The best and most natural time to have a bowel movement is about 1 hour after breakfast. Try sitting for at least 10-minutes at the same time each day. Regular repetition will work to train your bowels. Never hurry. Just sit..even if you don't produce a bowel movement.

DRINK ALOE VERA juice. Many are singing the praises of this healthy drink, made from the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera juice causes some minor cramping and can produce bowel movements overnight.

10.) TIPS

ADD MORE FIBER to your diet easily by sprinkling 2 - teaspoons of bran over your breakfast cereal, a bowl of freshly cut fruit, or into a cup of yogurt.

FIBER works best when consumed with an adequate amount of water.

ADD FRESH FRUIT to your breakfast cereal in the morning for a quick-dose of fiber.

ADD bulking agents to the diet slowly to prevent excessive gas and bloating.

Title: Cure constipation problems safely

Description:Overuse of laxatives has caused a new type of constipation known as Lazy Bowel Syndrome. Learn how to cure constipation safely without causing permanent damage to your body!

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