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Help for constipation

Tuesday June 12, 2012

More than half of individuals with Parkinson’s have trouble with constipation. Constipation may even begin before the movement symptoms are noticeable, a pre-motor symptom.

Constipation is caused by slow movement of digested food through the intestine. Weak abdominal wall muscles, pelvic and sphincter muscle dystonia or excessive contraction can also cause problems with elimination.

Many factors can contribute to constipation. Understanding these factors and making some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference:

  • Check your Medicines- many medicines worsen constipation such as Benedryl, Narcotics, amantadine, anticholinergics for tremor, sedatives and muscle relaxants, amantadine and some antidepressants (tricyclics)
  • Exercise- especially walking can help tremendously
  • Drink water- this will reduce your risk of dehydration and hard compacted stool
  • Add fiber- 20- 30 grams a day. That is more than most Americans eat.  Adding beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help.
  • Psyllium is an over the counter source of soluble fiber.  These and other OTC regimens must be taken with plenty of fluid and started care
  • Set up a bowel routine- Take the time to use the bathroom. Do not rush or strain. Set a side time every day to establish a habit.
  • Many other treatments are available from stool softeners to laxatives, to teas that stimulate colon activity.  See NWPF Wellness Center for more information on constipation and its treatment.

Share what works for you by replying add describing what works for you.

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