Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages; it can mean that you’re not passing stools regularly or you’re unable to completely empty your bowel.

If you’re constipated, changing your diet may be all that’s needed to ease it.

Self Care Techniques

There are some self-care techniques that you can do at home to help: 

  • If your constipation is causing pain, take a painkiller, such as paracetamol.
  • Add more fibre to your diet, such as fruit, vegetables, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal bread, seeds, nuts and oats. This can take anything from a few days up to four weeks to have an effect.
  • If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and get constipated, it’s recommended that you increase the amount of soluble fibre you have. Foods that contain soluble fibre include oats, barley, bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes and golden linseeds.
  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water – Water, drinks and your health.
  • Regular exercise will reduce your risk of getting constipation.
  • If diet and lifestyle changes don’t help, try an over-the-counter laxative. Ask your pharmacist’s advice and follow the instructions on the packet or leaflet carefully.

Find more information on treating constipation.

When to see your GP

If changes to your diet don’t help and the problem continues, you should see your GP.

Also speak to your GP if you think your child might be constipated.