As many of you know, I am on a 90 day challenge to take my Centrum vitamins on a daily basis. My husband and I have been doing a great job thus far except I can down with a very normal side effect of taking vitamins……constipation.
This side effect caused me to not want to take my vitamins but I was not going to let a little thing like not being able to go to the bathroom stop me from my challenge (disclosure: I almost did). But being a pharmacist, I knew that there were ways to combat this problem and still be able to take my vitamins.
From my trusted source, WebMD, I would like to share some things to help you prevent constipation and treat it.
How Can I Prevent Constipation?
There are several things you can do to prevent constipation. Among them:
- Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran). Fiber and water help the colon pass stool.
- Drink 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water and other fluids a day (unless fluid restricted for another medical condition). Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, seem to have a dehydrating effect and may need to be avoided until your bowel habits return to normal. Some people may need to avoid milk, as dairy products may be constipating for them.
- Exercise regularly.
- Move your bowels when you feel the urge.
What Should I Do If I Am Constipated?
If you are constipated, try the following:
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day (unless fluid restricted).
- Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
- If needed, use a very mild stool softener or laxative (such as Peri-Colace or Milk of Magnesia). Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor, as laxative overuse can aggravate your symptoms.
Disclaimer: As always, consult your primary physician before starting or stopping any medication regimen.