Your Simple Guide to Finding the Best Medicine for Constipation

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Do you often feel bloated and uncomfortable? Do you feel like you don’t defecate as much as you should? Don’t be embarrassed. There are plenty of people who deal with constipation on a regular basis. Women are usually the most frequent constipation suffers which may be a result of the slower movement of food through a woman’s intestines, as well as the effects of female hormones on the Gl tract. If you are constipated, it’s usually because there is not enough water in your stool, which is an issue that happens when you don’t drink enough fluids. For those who are not sure, constipation is a condition that causes one to less than three bowel movements on a weekly basis. Also, the feces are small, dry and hard, making them painful and difficult to pass.


In addition to a digital rectal exam and physical exam, doctors may use some other procedures and tests in order to diagnose chronic constipation. For instance, the doctor may require a blood tests as to check certain systemic conditions like high calcium levels or low thyroid function. An X-ray can help the doctor determine whether your intestines are blocked or whether there is stool present throughout the colon. Also, an examination of the rectum and lower or sigmoid colon is another procedure that may be recommended as well as an examination of the rectum and entire colon.

Evaluation of anal sphincter muscle function, evaluation of anal sphincter muscle speed and evaluation of how well food moves through the colon are additional exams which your doctor may decide to make in order to find the cause of your constipation. There’s also the option of doing an X-ray of the rectum during defecation or MRI defecography. Once done with testing, depending on the results, the doctor will probably recommend some of the following constipation medicine.


laxatives for constipation medicine

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There are a lot of different constipation medicine types and although they share a goal, the approach of each one is different.

  • Fibre supplements add bulk to your stool and make it softer and easier to pass. This type includes calcium polycarbophil, psyllium and methylcellulose.
  • Stimulants include sennosides and bisacodyl which cause your intestines to contract.
  • Osmotics laxatives for constipation help the stool move through the colon by increasing secretion of fluid. Examples include magnesium citrate, oral magnesium hydroxide, polyethylene glycol and lactulose.
  • Lubricants like mineral oil enable the stool to easily move through your colon.
  • Stool softeners like docusate calcium and docusate sodium moisten the stool by drawing water from the intestine.
  • Enemas and suppositories, whether with or without soapsuds, can be used to encourage bowel movement and soften stool.

Other Medications

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In case none of the over-the-counter constipation solutions can help you, the doctor may recommend taking a prescription medicine.

  • Medications that draw water into your intestines are available in a huge number. For example. plecanatide, lubiprostone and linaclotide work by drawing water into our intestines, speeding up the movement of stool.
  • Serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors help move stool through the colon.
  • Peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonists are used in case the constipation is caused by opioid pain medications.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

finding proper constipation medicine

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Depending on the severity of your condition, you may not even need to take any medication. The doctor may recommend some changes in your diet and lifestyle in order to relieve your constipation. How to get rid of constipation without medicine?

  • Increase your fibre intake. Adding fibre to your diet will help increase the weight of your stool thus speed up its passage through your intestines. Start by eating more vegetables and fresh fruits and choose whole-grain bread and cereals. Your doctor may recommend a specific number of fibre grams you should consume each day but generally, the aim is 14 grams of fibre for every 1,000 calories in your daily diet.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Why this is so important? Physical activity is beneficial for a lot of things. One of them is increasing muscle activity in your intestines. Because of this make sure you exercise if not every day at least most of the days of the week. You can consult your doctor and start an exercise program that suits you.
  • Do not ignore your natural urges. Go to the bathroom and take your time without rushing unnecessarily.

Other treatments for chronic constipation are training your pelvic muscles. This training involves working with a therapist who uses devices to help you learn to relax and tighten the muscles in your pelvis which with time can help you pass stool more easily. The last solution is surgery which might be an option if you have tried all other treatments and nothing worked or if your constipation is caused by rectocele, stricture or blockage. The surgical procedure for this involves removing a small part of the colon while removing the entire colon is extremely rarely necessary.