Top 12 foods that cause constipation
Foods that cause constipation
Just as there are many foods you can eat to help prevent or relieve your constipation, there are foods that can have a binding effect that can make your constipation worse. These are 12 foods to avoid when you are constipated.
- White rice
- Red meat
- White bread
- Some supplements
- Dry products
- Fast foods
- Processed foods and frozen dinners
Quick Guide19 Constipation Myths and Facts
Laxatives definition and constipation facts
- The definition of
infrequent bowel movements that may be painful or difficult, along with hard
- Common causes of
diets low in
fiber, side effects of medications (such as narcotics,
calcium channel blockers and other
medications for high blood pressure, and certain types of antacids, prior
surgeries, certain medical conditions including narrowing or blockage of the
large intestine (colon),
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other colon disease,
hormonal (endocrine) disturbances such as
underactive thyroid and
- A doctor should be consulted for
constipation if it is severe, it does not respond to home treatment, is
accompanied by bleeding,
weight loss, or
- Natural and home remedies for
constipation include adding fiber to the
- Foods that increase fiber in the
are helpful in treating mild cases of constipation. These foods include fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
- Types of over-the-counter (OTC) preparations for
for example, methylcellulose (Citrucel) and psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid
Stool softeners such as
Colace and Surfak
- Lubricant laxatives such as mineral oil (liquid petrolatum)
- Stimulant laxatives are the fastest-acting, such as include aloe,
cascara (Nature's Remedy),
compounds (Ex-Lax, Senokot),
bisacodyl (Dulcolax, Correctol), and castor oil
- Saline laxatives or enemas such as Fleet Phospho-Soda, milk of magnesia, and
- Osmotic-type laxatives such as
GoLYTELY, GlycoLax, and
- Suppositories such as
docusate (Microenema), bisacodyl (Dulcolax Suppository),
and sodium phosphate (Fleet Enema).
- There is concern that over-use of
laxatives, especially the stimulant laxatives, may have a deleterious effect on
the colon and make the constipation worse.
- Children and infants usually can
benefit from dietary modification to help relieve constipation.
- Constipation in pregnancy can often be
remedied with dietary changes and
- Individuals should consult their
physicians before using laxatives or stool softeners.
- Laxatives are not intended as weight
loss supplements, and laxative abuse can contribute to many health problems,
What is constipation?
Constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements that are painful or difficult, or stools that are hard in consistency. Infrequent bowel movements alone are not a reliable indicator of constipation because bowel frequency can vary between three times a day to once a week among normal individuals. Hard stools that are difficult to pass or infrequent stools accompanied by abdominal pain,
back pain, and abdominal bloating define constipation.
What are the causes of constipation?
There are many causes of constipation including:
- Diets low in fiber. Fiber is vegetable material resistant to digestion that promotes soft stools by adding bulk to the stool and causing water to be retained in stool.
- Side effects of medications such as narcotic painkillers, antidepressants, iron supplements, calcium channel blockers (medications for high blood pressure), and certain types of antacids.
- Narrowing or blockage of the large intestine (colon) due to scarring from previous surgery, colon cancer or advanced diverticulosis.
- Ineffective contraction or spasm of the colon's muscles due to
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other diseases of the colon's muscles.
- Hormonal (endocrine) disturbances such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroid) and
diabetes mellitus with nerve damage.
- Neurologic conditions such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and others.
What medications cause constipation?
Examples of common medications that can cause constipation:
- Narcotic pain medications: codeine (Tylenol #3), oxycodone (Percocet), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and others
- Antidepressants: amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), fluoxetine (Prozac), and imipramine (Tofranil)
- Anticonvulsants: phenytoin (Dilantin) and carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Iron supplements
- Calcium channel blockers, for example, diltiazem
(Cardizem) and nifedipine
- Antacids, for example, aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel)
and aluminum carbonate (Basaljel)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2016