The Mayo Clinic characterizes constipation as a digestive problem marked by infrequent bowel movements. It may also manifest as hard stool that may cause you to strain to pass it. Remedies for constipation usually revolve around lifestyle changes, but can also include medications that stimulate the increased passage of waste.
One way to alleviate constipation is a simple change in diet. Increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and other foods that are rich in fiber often produces easily passable stool. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 20 to 35 g of fiber each day.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests increasing your intake of fluids. But these fluids aren't just isolated to water. To alleviate constipation in the morning, make sure to drink plenty of water, fruit juice and vegetable juice as well as clear soups the day prior. The increase in fluids make stool softer and much easier to pass, explains the American Gastroenterological Association. Aim for 64 oz. a day, which is roughly eight 8-oz. glasses.
Another method to alleviate constipation in the morning is exercise, asserts the American Academy of Family Physicians. Regular exercise stimulates intestinal activity, according to the Mayo Clinic. Any exercise is beneficial, so start walking, biking, jogging, swimming or taking part in a competitive sport at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
Setting aside some time to go to the bathroom can help alleviate constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may want to consider getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to devote some uninterrupted time for bowel movements. The American Association of Family Physicians proposes that a good time to do this is right after you've had breakfast.
The Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend reserving laxatives as the last resort to alleviate constipation. If lifestyle changes fail to provide results, you can take a laxative to stimulate a bowel movement 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. Taking this medication in the early evening should produce a bowel movement in the morning. Follow the instructions on the packaging for best results, and only use for a limited time.
When constipation becomes a chronic problem, you should talk to your doctor about a prescription medication. 5-HT-4 agonist and chloride channel activators can help some people suffering from constipation. If constipation is a result of an underlying condition, your doctor is able to prescribe a medication or suggest a medical procedure to treat the cause of the disorder and thereby relieve constipation.