The best treatment approach to chronic constipation affecting older adults is through diet and lifestyle changes before resolving to medications. If that doesn’t help, the next step would be to take a laxative. Different types of laxatives include fiber supplements, osmotics, stimulants, lubricants, and stool softeners.
Causes of constipation in the elderly Some of the reasons for this propensity include poor diet, lack of adequate fluids in diet, lack of exercise, the use of certain drugs to treat other medical conditions, and poor bowel habits.
A number of prescription medications are available to treat chronic constipation. Lubiprostone (Amitiza), linaclotide (Linzess) and plecanatide (Trulance) work by drawing water into your intestines and speeding up the movement of stool. Serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors.
In the elderly , chronic constipation can lead to fecal impaction and fecal incontinence. Fecal impaction is the accumulation of hardened feces in the colon or rectum. 18 Liquid stools from the proximal colon can bypass the impacted stool, causing overflow incontinence, often mistaken for diarrhea.
The following quick treatments can help induce a bowel movement in a few hours. Take a fiber supplement. Eat a serving of high-fiber food. Drink a glass of water. Take a laxative stimulant. Take an osmotic. Try a lubricant laxative. Use a stool softener. Try an enema.
Polyethylene glycol ( Miralax ) is preferred over lactulose for the treatment of constipation because it is more effective and has fewer adverse effects. Linaclotide ( Linzess ) and lubiprostone ( Amitiza ) are more effective than placebo for chronic constipation.
If you experience constipation , you should treat it promptly. Otherwise, stool can back up in the intestinal system, making it harder to poop and causing you to feel sick. There isn’t a defined amount of time — such as one week or one month — that a person could technically go without pooping.
Perform stimulation with your finger every day until you start to have a regular pattern of bowel movements . You can also stimulate bowel movements by using a suppository (glycerin or bisacodyl) or a small enema. Some people find it helpful to drink warm prune juice or fruit nectar.
Juices and dosage Prune juice. The most popular juice to relieve constipation is prune juice. Apple juice. Apple juice may provide you with a very gentle laxative effect. Pear juice. Another great option is pear juice, which contains four times more sorbitol than apple juice.
If you’re wondering what is best for constipation, then stone fruit should be on your list of food that makes you poop. Plums (prunes), apricots, peaches, and nectarines are high in insoluble fiber, which is responsible for regular bowel movements. Plums and prunes. Rich in fiber and sorbitol, a natural laxative .
Increasing dietary fiber intake to 25 to 30 g daily may improve symptoms of constipation . Encourage physical activity to improve bowel regularity. If nonpharmacologic approaches fail, recommend increased fiber intake and/or laxatives to increase bowel movement frequency and improve symptoms of constipation .
7 Foods That Can Cause Constipation Alcohol. Alcohol is frequently mentioned as a likely cause of constipation . Gluten-containing foods . Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. Processed grains. Milk and dairy products. Red meat. Fried or fast foods . Persimmons.
Although it’s probably ideal to have a bowel movement every day, it’s generally considered acceptable to have them every 2-3 days, provided they aren’t hard, painful, or difficult to pass.
Rich in several important vitamins and minerals, bananas are also relatively high in fiber, with one medium banana containing about 3.1 grams of this nutrient ( 1 ). Fiber has long been claimed to help prevent and relieve constipation ( 2 , 3 ). Soluble fiber absorbs water, helping stools stay large and soft.
Here are 17 foods that can help relieve constipation and keep you regular. Prunes . Dried plums, known as prunes , are widely used as a natural remedy for constipation. Apples . Apples are rich in fiber. Pears . Kiwifruit. Figs. Citrus Fruits. Spinach and Other Greens. Jerusalem Artichoke and Chicory.
Best Overall: MiraLAX Powder Laxative. Best Budget: Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia. Best for Pregnancy: Dulcolax Pink Stool Softener . Best for Postpartum: Colace Stool Softener . Best for the Elderly: Phillips’ Stool Softener Liquid Gels. Best for Constipation: Colace 2-in-1 Stool Softener & Stimulant Laxative.