How can Dialysis Patients Deal with the Common Problem of Constipation?


Some dialysis patients tend to suffer from constipation due to dietary and fluid restrictions, and medications. Constipation is described as difficult or infrequent bowel movements (less than three bowl movement per week), straining during defecation, passing hard stools. There are various factors that contribute to constipation, such as diet, poor fluid intake, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and various medications especially calcium and iron supplements.

If you are suffering from constipation, the following suggestions will be helpful.

  • Fiber - It can be found in grains, fruits and vegetables which helps give bulk to a bowel movement and make the stool easier to pass.
  • Exercise - It improves muscle tone and helps prevent constipation.
  • Medication - It helps with regular bowel movements because sometimes, diet is not enough to prevent constipation. If you have tried the above without success, talk to your Nephrologist about recommending a stool softener or a laxative you can take.
  • Warm Beverage - It works well if you drink warm lemonade, tea/coffee (decaffeinated) in the morning when you wake up or at night before going to bed. Remember to consider this in your fluid allowance.
  • Bathroom Calls - It is important to respond to bathroom urges no matter how busy you are. recommends that you work with your healthcare team to make gradual modifications to your comprehensive treatment plan rather than worrying about the amount of fiber you take in with each meal.

Reference: "Constipation in Dialysis Patients." LIVESTRONG.COM

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