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Constipation is usually defined by the passage of two bowel movements or less per week or the difficult and sometime painful passage of hard stools. While constipation is a frequent health complaint, some lifestyle or diet changes can help alleviate it. Here is some general advice on how to prevent constipation:
✓ Exercise regularly, as permitted by your medical condition;
✓ Maintain an adequate level of hydration (one to two litres of liquid each day);
✓ Maintain a fibre-rich diet;
✓ Include a daily visit to the bathroom in your regimen (for example after breakfast). This may help create a daily habit;
✓ Avoid retaining when the urge to defecate is felt;
✓ With the help of your physician or pharmacist, revise the way you use laxatives (especially those called irritants). Chronic use of such laxatives may promote constipation.
Here is a list of foods that could help you increase your daily fibre intake:
✓ Add cereals high in fibre to your diet (Croques-Fibres™, All-Bran™, Weetabix™, Bran Flakes™,
Shredded Wheat™, Raisin Bran™);
✓ Prefer breads made with all-wheat flour or bran (wheat or oat) to white bread;
✓ Among the various nuts and seeds, choose whole almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and shredded dried coconut;
✓ Among the various vegetables, prefer frozen and canned peas, whole kernel corn, boiled spinach, broccoli, cabbage carrots and green beans;
✓ Among the various fruits, prefer apricots, dried dates and figs, banana, raspberries, pears, prunes, raisins, and fresh or cooked rhubarb;
✓ Add legumes to your diet, such as chickpeas, lentills and white kidney beans.
Choosing foods judiciously, increasing one's fluid intake and exercising regularly can help prevent constipation.
Always watch your diet: it has a strong impact on your health!
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.