Gastroenterologist Questions Gastroenterologist

What is the best way to relieve constipation?

I am a 19 year old male who is constipated every week. This is hard to deal with on school days. How can I deal with constipation?

5 Answers

Constipation typically means having fewer than 1 stool every 3 days. If this is case, then increase fiber, fruits, vegetables and/or use over the counter laxatives.
Miralax OTC 1-2 doses daily should help. However, constipation can also be caused by problems with the thyroid and celiac disease. You should check in with your doctor.
Consider changes in your diet first. You may want to use a mild OTC laxative for a few weeks initially. If the problem persists then you should see a specialist.
Constipation at 19 years of age, if persistent after simple measures such as increased fluid intake, high fiber diet, fruits and vegetables will need further evaluation by a gastroenterologist to exclude secondary causes of constipation from other diseases such as hypothyroidism, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, muscle and nerve diseases.
The easiest way to deal with constipation is to have a diet with a good fiber intake. The recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables is a combined 5 servings a day. Adequate water intake is essential as well and regular exercise helps improve the motility.

Mark R. Corkins, M.D., S.P.R., C.N.S.C., F.A.S.P.E.N., A.G.A.F., F.A.A.P.