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A 29-year-old female asked:

Your standard recommendation of adding fiber & water to diet to relieve constipation: is that supposed to show improvement within a couple of days?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lisa Roazen
Emergency Medicine 18 years experience
It depends.: Fiber in your diet enters your intestines and isn't absorbed into your body for fuel. The more fiber you have, the more water is held in the colon to make up your stools, thus making them softer. But you must pass any hard stools formed BEFORE your diet change to see a difference, and if your increase insn't enough, you may see no change. For some people it may take a week.

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Last updated Sep 23, 2017

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