The problem with constipation is that it is caused by a number of different things that can pretty much occur at the same time.
First of all people need to remember to stay hydrated. Drinking water is very important along with other fluids.
Exercise is also very important. Even just a simple thing like walking around the house will help to stimulate the colon.
People who take iron tabs will get constipated (unless they get diarrhea which affects some people) and most of the other medications will affect us in some way bowel wise.
We also need to eat a lot of roughage to help keep our bowels moving. The roughage irritates the nerve endings in the colon wall and help keeps things moving along.
The one thing that is often necessary is stimulation of the bowel. Many people can take the stool softenors but they do nothing but make the stool soft and having a bowel movement is nigh onto impossible as there isn't that much urge.
As other said the prune juice morning and night, hot water helps some people as does hot coffee in the morning. Another thing that is often necessary is a laxative to stimulate the colon to expel the stool. Often Milk of Magnesia is just the thing. When I was working as a nurse we used the liquid Magnesia at night. Drinking a cup of hot tea after the magnesia might help move things along even more. I am not prescribing, I am just reminding folks that stool softenors themselves don't always work without stimulation of the bowel.
When we have diabetes and other neuropathies or even just the process of aging (I hate that little statement
) will slow things down. Another reminder is that Metamucil works for some people but you need to drink plenty of fluids with it. If you take Metamucil or other generic fiber without plenty of fluids you can end up with the fiber almost "setting up" in your colon and very hard to move along. Good luck. Irish