Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you experience chronic constipation, you can make changes to your daily life that may help relieve your symptoms. Relieving your constipation may help reduce the signs and symptoms of rectal ulcer.

You may find relief from constipation if you:

  • Drink water throughout the day. Drinking enough water and other fluids helps to keep your bowel movements soft and easy to pass. For variety, you may want to add lemon juice to water for flavor. Or try other noncarbonated and caffeine-free beverages. Prune juice can be helpful because it has a natural laxative effect.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber adds bulk to your stool. The bulk helps push the contents of your intestines along so that they can be eliminated when you have a bowel movement. Try to eat at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Nutrition labels on food packaging list the amount of fiber in a serving. The best sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat fruits and vegetables with the skin on, and choose whole fruits and vegetables over juices. Look for breads and cereals that list whole wheat, oats or bran as the first ingredients.
  • Make changes slowly. Add more water and fiber to your diet over the course of a few weeks. This helps your body adjust to the changes gradually. A sudden increase in fiber could make constipation worse.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. If you haven't been active for a while, get your doctor's OK. Then start slowly, with walking or another gentle activity. Gradually work your way up to more activity each day.
April 28, 2012