Child on toilet with constipation

Tips for managing constipation

What is constipation?

You may be experiencing constipation if you open your bowels fewer than 3 times each week, pass very hard stools or feel as though you are straining when passing a stool. You may also experience symptoms such as wind, nausea or bloating.


What to aim for in a bowel movement

  • Ideally your bowels should open every 1-2 days.

  • Your stools should be easily passed.

  • Stools should be soft and sausage like, not hard pebbles.


Bristol Stool Chart

Why am I constipated?

There are a number of things that can contribute to an inability to poo, you might be:

  • Dehydrated

  • Not eating enough fibre

  • Moving less

  • Taking certain types of medication


Strategies for treating constipation

There are a range of things you can try which may assist in relieving constipation.


1. Eat more fibre:

Increasing fibre in your diet can help to add more volume to your stools and also absorbs water to make them softer and easier to pass.


2. Drink more water:

Fibre can only absorb water to soften your stools if there is water to absorb. Aim to drink 1.5-2L of water per day to help your digestion.


3. Eat Kiwifruit:

Eating 2 kiwifruits per day has been found to be a beneficial way in some people to relieve constipation. Kiwifruits are high in fibre, help to absorb water in the digestive system and contain enzymes which may help to encourage bowel movements.


4. Increase your exercise levels:

Going for a short walk each day can help to stimulate your bowels and promote bowel movements.

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