Assuming you are normally regular and suddenly have become constipated, it makes sense to check with your doctor. There are diseases and conditions that are directly related to constipation, such as Parkinson's disease or an underactive thyroid gland. Does being constipated mean you have a serious illness? No. But it is best to consult your healthcare provider for a candid discussion -- especially if you drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet.
Diet is the key to constipation prevention. Fluids and fiber are the best combatants against irregularity. Adequate fluids (at least six 8-ounce glasses per day) and a balanced diet containing no less than 25 mg of fiber each day.
Increasing you fiber intake can be accomplished by simply consuming 6 to 9 servings of fresh vegetables and fruit every day, along with whole-grains. Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Winter Squash
- Lima Beans
- Bran Cereal
- Oats (Steel-cut)