The Catholic University of America

I'm constipated.

Constipation is not uncommon to happen when your schedule or eating habits change.  Constipation is not having a bowel movement for a few days but it is also when you may have a bowel movement but it is hard to pass and you need to strain.  To prevent constipation, use the following suggestions:

  • Drink at least 8 oz. of fluid per day.
  • Add more fiber to your diet; fresh fruits, vegetables, oat or bran cereals or bread.
  • Try to exercise daily.
  • Use of "bulking" agents such as Fibercon or Metamucil are good. These are an easy way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. These can be used on a daily basis and can help keep you "regular". Avoid stimulant laxatives such as Correctol, since these may become habit-forming.
  • Don't put off "the urge" to have a bowel movement.
  • Call Student Health Services if the constipation is accompanied by fever or abdominal pain, or if the bowel movement is painful and accompanied by rectal bleeding

If you feel you are constipated, you can try the following:

  • prunes or prune juice may help
  • over the counter stool softeners such as Docusate
  • there are mutiple over the counter laxatives but you do not want to use these repeatedly
  • if you try any of the above and they do not help, please call Student Health Services