Harvard Men's Health Watch

Backed-up bowels? Don't get stuck on daily "regularity"

Not having a bowel movement every day does not always indicate a problem. It is more important that bowel movements are free of pain or straining. To address constipation, first make sure you get adequate dietary fiber. Use fiber supplements if it is not possible to get sufficient fiber from food. Also check for the constipating effects of common medications. If you must use a laxative, start with gentle osmotic laxatives and avoid stimulant laxatives.  
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »