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Health Tip: Help Control Constipation

Suggestions to help stay regular

(HealthDay News) -- Constipation occurs when it becomes difficult or painful to have regular bowel movements. What's "regular" varies by person, however.

Some people have three bowel movements per day, while others have three movements per week, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.

Here are the academy's suggestions for staying regular:

  • When you feel the need to have a bowel movement, don't put it off.
  • Schedule time each day to have a bowel movement, such as after a meal.
  • Boost your fiber intake.
  • Drink plenty of water -- aim for eight glasses each day.
  • Don't rely on laxatives, as taking them too frequently can worsen constipation.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Avoid sugary and high-fat foods that can contribute to constipation.
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