Treatment for constipation will depend on the severity of your symptoms, frequency of occurrence and the cause. Treatments include:
- Lifestyle changes:
- Drinking more water (8-10 glasses a day)
- Getting daily exercise
- Setting aside the same time each day to move your bowels
- Eating more dietary fiber
- Biofeedback: This technique can be used to retrain the muscles that control bowel movements.
- Medications: On your physician’s advice, you might take a laxative, osmotic laxative (maintains water in the stool), stool softener, mineral oil or stimulants to encourage bowel movements. Your physician may also switch you from medications that cause constipation to another type.
- Enema: Flushing your colon out with water will help remove hard-to-pass stool.
- Suppository: A small, cone-shaped piece of glycerin inserted into the rectum to draw water into the colon to soften the stool and encourage bowel movements.
- Peripheral µ-opioid receptor antagonists: These innovative medications can be beneficial in treating opiate-induced constipation.