If You Haven’t Pooped In Days, Here’s What You Should Do

Plus, what to do if it's been WEEKS.

Sara Faye Green |

Can’t poop? To each her own…bowel movement. According to a recent poll of more than 2,000 adults, almost half of respondents said they poop once a day. Going anywhere from three times daily to three times per week can be healthy—more backup than that is not. Feeling stuck? We’ve got some constipation advice — Dr Deborah Fisher shares fixes to flush out your system.

It’s Been: A Few Days

Try: Drinking as much as you can (but not dehydrating booze!)

Fluids make your poop softer and easier to pass. And nosh on high-fibre apples and other fruits (with peels, where half the fibre comes from), since that roughage helps bring H2O into your intestines. Any exercise can also help get things moving.

READ MORE: The 12 Best Foods For When You’re Super-Constipated

It’s Been: A Week

Try: Over-the-counter meds

Like fibre, “osmotic agents” in milk of magnesia and laxatives pull fluid from your tissues into your gut. (But since they’re expelled with your stool, you still need to stay hydrated while taking them.) Start with the lowest dose, and increase as directed, if necessary.

It’s Been: More Than a Week

Try: Stronger meds

You may need a stimulant laxative, like Dulcolax, which spurs movement in your bowel muscles. But your body can become dependent on these, making it harder to go on your own, so don’t rely on them for more than a couple of weeks.

READ MORE: 8 Natural Laxatives That Actually Work To Relieve Constipation

It’s Been: Three-Plus Weeks Since You’ve Gone Without Straining

Try: Seeing a doc

It’s now chronic, and a physician can perform tests, suggest treatments, and ID drugs (like antidepressants or blood pressure meds) or other factors (such as hypothyroidism or neurological conditions) that may be contributing to the problem.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Constipation Health Health Advice Health Conditions Poop Problems

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