What is the role of fluid intake in the treatment of constipation and which fluid is recommended?

Updated: Jul 05, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Fluid intake is the key to treatment. Patients should be advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Counseling may be required to achieve this goal.

Milk and milk products should be minimized if these prove constipating.

In some patient populations, coffee, tea, and alcohol account for the majority of the fluid volume consumed. Patients should be made to understand that because of the diuretic effects of these products, this state of affairs is counterproductive. The author usually recommends that patients decrease their consumption of coffee, tea, and alcohol as much as possible and that they make a point of consuming an extra glass of water for every drink of coffee, tea, or alcohol.


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