The Burden of Constipation

Researchers estimate in the U.S. there are 500,000 annual emergency room (ER) visits for constipation. Each visit averages $2300 in costs. That adds up  to $1.6 billion dollars yearly. In most cases a plant-based diet rich in dietary fiber combined with adequate fluids and physical activity will prevent this problem. Taking a dietary fiber supplement (available over-the-counter at all…

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‘Tis the Season for Irregular Bowels

The holiday season with all the shopping, social gatherings, irregular schedules and meal times, overeating, and the consuption of not-so-healthy holiday foods may bring on seasonal bowel irregularities. A few simple steps can help:Don't slack off on fruits, vegetables and the whole grains.Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.Drink plenty of water.PositiveTip: For good…

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Don’t Joke About Prunes!

Forty constipated patients (with a mean age of 38) participated in an 8-week single-blind, randomized cross-over study to determine if dried plums (prunes) or psyllium (Metamucil) was more effective at relieving their symptoms. Each group received 6 grams of dietary fiber (8-9 pitted prunes). The dried plums had significantly (p<0.05) better results than the psyllium,…

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