Asked by Ruth Wexler
My Low Residue Diet Is Causing Constipation
I am on a low residue diet after having a partially obstructed small bowel. I am now constipated. What can I take or do about this?
Well, Ruth; since a low residue diet is intended to limit the intake of dietary fiber to reduce the frequency and amount of stools, it would appear that you are having success, eh?
Are you actually uncomfortable, or do you believe that you should be having bowel movements more often than you do now? If so, you're not alone; the "requirement" to stool daily is a common misconception of many folks.
A low fiber, low residue diet slows the intestinal transit time, and provides some rest to the bowel, so that GI symptoms are minimized. It's important to drink lots of fluids-- about eight to ten servings everyday--so that your body is kept well hydrated and constipation is prevented. Walking for at least an hour each day will help prevent constipation, too (and walking is good for so many other reasons!!!!!!!!).
Your doctor may decide to prescribe a stool softener (not a laxative!) if hard stools are a problem. Talk to him/her about this.