Some medications used in treating cancer, pain and other conditions may cause infrequent or hard bowel movements. Without exercise and adequate fluid and fiber in the diet, one might also experience constipation.
- Try to drink 64 oz (~ 1 liter) daily of water along with juice like prune juice.
- Increase activity with doctor approval. Try light yard and housework or a nice walk.
- Add unprocessed wheat bran to cereals, casseroles, and homemade breads
- Eat high fiber foods such as fruit (apple, blueberries, raspberries), vegetables (carrots, potatoes, corn), whole-grain breads and cereals (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, bran cereal), legumes* (baked, black, kidney, northern beans and nuts)
- Drink warm fluids like decaf tea and coffee, cider, and cocoa
- Take laxatives or stool softeners without checking with your doctor first
- Increase your fiber intake too quickly
*Some vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, legumes (beans), and carbonated beverages can cause uncomfortable gas. Introduce them slowly into your diet and monitor how they affect you.