Constipation is an incredibly common problem that can often be caused by taking certain pain medications. Many people who experience pain, either chronic or acute, are on medications that can cause them to have issues when trying to complete a bowel movement.
When you’re recovering from a work injury that has caused you a great deal of pain, it’s not uncommon that medications you are taking may cause unwanted side effects, like constipation.
Constipation is characterized by having less than three bowel movements per week, or having difficulty passing stool. Constipation affects around 20% of Americans and results in 8 million doctor visits per year.
While there are medications out there that can help prevent and get rid of constipation, there are also natural home remedies that can help relieve constipation and prevent you from having to take additional medications. Before starting any treatment, whether over-the-counter or natural, we recommend speaking with your doctor or pharmacist to consult on your health.
Increase Your Water Intake
The number one recommended natural home remedy for constipation is to increase your water intake. The recommended daily water intake is 3-4 liters a day. This is equal to 15-16 cups of water daily.
Most individuals have a hard time drinking this much water. However, if you are experiencing constipation, water will be the most important first step to loosen the stool and provide the body with the water it needs.
When increasing your fluids, it is important to try and avoid coffee and tea as both beverages can increase urination. When increasing your water intake make sure to speak with your health care provider first due to restrictions with certain heart diseases.
Eat More Fiber
Another recommended natural home remedy for constipation is to increase your fiber intake. Fiber improves digestion as well as provides a bulking agent for the gut. This tells the stomach its full and time to clear the system.
Foods high in fiber include black beans, oats, chia seeds, prunes, broccoli, figs, beets, and many others. By including these foods in your daily diet, your overall digestive health will improve, which may alleviate future constipation.
Changing your diet may not be easy at first but providing the stomach with these high fiber foods will not only help with constipation, but your overall health as well. By going to the bathroom more regularly the body can flush the toxins it collects out faster and easier.
Increasing your water and fiber intake will help you become more regular with your bowel movements while you are on medications. While these remedies are all natural, it is still important to speak with your treating physician regarding your constipation as well as any potential changes to your diet. IWP Pharmacists are also always available to help and consult patients who may be dealing with constipation caused by their current medication routine.