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The best form of treatment for constipation is changes to your diet and lifestyle. In most cases, this addresses the cause of the condition rather than simply treating the symptoms.

There are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes that could solve a constipation problem. The most effective of which are as follows:

Increased fibre - eating more high-fibre foods such as fruit, cereals and vegetables will naturally soften your stools and make them easier to pass.

Increased fluids - dehydration is a common reason for constipation so try drinking more water each day.

More exercise - increased mobility helps relieve constipation so try to do at least half an hour light exercise each day.

Toilet time - set aside a time of day to sit on the toilet to see if nature will take it's course. Sometimes a routine in a comfortable environment can help get your bowels moving.

It's also important to go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. Holding in your stool for even a few minutes can make your constipation worse.

The other main form of treatment for constipation is the use of oral laxatives. This medication comes in a variety of forms, some add bulk to your stools to increase their water retention, whereas others stimulate your digestive muscles to help them move stools more effectively. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the best type of laxative to address your particular bowel problem.

In some cases, treatment of constipation with laxatives may not prove successful, In such instances, further medication such as a mini enema or a suppository may be prescribed. These are essentially more direct forms of laxatives, where substances such as glycerol are sent straight to the problem area, rather than administered orally.

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