If you are having bowel issues and have decided, or your doctor has recommended, to start taking laxatives for colon relief, then changing your diet can help make treatment even more effective. By understanding how different foods interact with your body, you will be able to know what to avoid and what to add to help promote your colon health.
Kick the Caffeine!
The strange thing about caffeinated beverages is that while they may seem briefly refreshing, they can actually dehydrate you even more! Water, juice, and tea are all better choices than soda or coffee. Dehydration is often a factor in constipation, so caffeinated beverages can actually make it even more difficult for you to have a normal bowel movement. The same can be said for alcohol, as it also leads to increased risk of dehydration, and it is best to avoid both while using laxatives.
Find Room for Fiber!
Having a healthy amount of fiber in your diet, 38 grams for men or 25 grams for females, can help to keep you regular. The AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) recommends a minimum of 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day for optimal colon health. Bran cereal is also a good option for adding more fiber to your diet, and is a great replacement for coffee in the morning! It is recommended that you make this change to your diet gradually so you can avoid the potential negative side effects of fiber, like bloating and gas.
Avoid Sugar, Fat, and Salt!
Again, these ingredients are linked to dehydration. It is best to stick to a more natural diet of fruits, vegetables, and hormone-free dairy and meats while taking a laxative for constipation. An excess amount of cheese can leave even the most regular of us feeling a little backed up, and if you already have a problem, then it will only exacerbate it further. Cutting back on foods that are high in sugar, fat, or salt, such as many processed foods and sweets, will help to naturally reduce symptoms of constipation.
The moral of the story is that if you are experiencing irregularity, constipation, or simply feeling bloated and uncomfortable, changes to your diet can make a big difference. Add more water and healthy fluids, cut back on the processed foods and caffeine, exercise regularly, and add more fiber to your diet for a healthier life all around!