6 doctors weighed in:

I frequently suffer from irregular bowl movements, what's the best way to encourage more frequent bowl movements to avoid constipation?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Start simple, but...

First optimize fiber ; h2o intake.
Next, docusate helps moisten ; soften hard, dry stools. It is not a true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This is safe ; available for anyone over 2, ; assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. But change in bowels is a "red flag" that needs evaluation if persistent.

In brief: Start simple, but...

First optimize fiber ; h2o intake.
Next, docusate helps moisten ; soften hard, dry stools. It is not a true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This is safe ; available for anyone over 2, ; assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. But change in bowels is a "red flag" that needs evaluation if persistent.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
Thank
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Fibers and fluids

Benefiber, metamucil, fibercon are all safe for use.
Milk of magnesia or magnesium citrate on occasion is ok. Miralax (polyethylene glycol) can be used as well, but more expensive. Increase fluids and keep active. Roughages such as fresh/leafy veggies, fruits are healthy and will help constipation as well. Mineral oil can also be used because it is not absorbed. Keep a good, regular bowel habit. Consult doc. Good luck.

In brief: Fibers and fluids

Benefiber, metamucil, fibercon are all safe for use.
Milk of magnesia or magnesium citrate on occasion is ok. Miralax (polyethylene glycol) can be used as well, but more expensive. Increase fluids and keep active. Roughages such as fresh/leafy veggies, fruits are healthy and will help constipation as well. Mineral oil can also be used because it is not absorbed. Keep a good, regular bowel habit. Consult doc. Good luck.
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Thank
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