How to Prevent Bowel Problems

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By the time people reach their forties, fifties, or sixties, they will usually experience some form of bowel trouble such as diverticulosis, irritable bowel, and constipation.


To prevent various kinds of bowel trouble, practice these healthful habits.

•  Eat a diet high in fiber. (Oat bran, wheat bran, beans, fruit, and vegetables are good sources of fiber.)

•  Avoid routine use of laxatives, since they disrupt the normal rhythm of the bowel. To ease elimination, take a high-fiber preparation like Metamucil instead.

•  Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

•  Avoid straining when passing stool.

You should see your doctor if you notice blood in the stool, experience severe abdominal pain, pass pencil-thin stools, or note a significant change in your bowel habits.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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