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