If you've ever been constipated, you don't need me to explain how unsettling it is to feel so . . . unmoved.
Occasional constipation -- when you're traveling or pregnant, for instance, or when your diet's off kilter -- is common, and though it's uncomfortable, you know that soon it will pass…
Amy Foxx-Orenstein, an osteopathic physician and gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explains that various forms of constipation respond to different treatments. Everyone's bowel patterns are different: Some folks go several times a day, while others may eke out a movement only every other day. Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week. Of the major forms of chronic constipation, she explains, those related to irritable bowel syndrome, or to age, diet or even certain medications, tend to respond best to gradually adding fiber to the diet, which Foxx-Orenstein calls "the first line of therapy."
Washington Post by Jennifer LaRue Huget, 09/15/09