25 Jun

Ask the Expert: Can Drinking More Water Ease Constipation?

Let’s get real - no one ever wants to talk about it, but constipation is an issue for many of us. If you’re not going to the bathroom more than three times a week, if your stools are hard and lumpy, or it hurts, then you’re constipated. 

Sometimes, it’s a temporary thing. We’ve all been there, pigging out on chips and salsa, cheeseburgers, or a pizza. And we pay for it.

junk food burger fries chips soda pizza

All that sodium is soaking up the fluids in our bodies. And even when we’re washing these foods down with soda or beer, it’s just not enough to make our digestive systems and bowels work at peak capacity.

So we asked our expert, Dr. Joshua Thurman if drinking more water is the solution. 

“Constipation occurs when the intestine removes so much water that the stool becomes more compact and harder for the intestine to move through. Although it is important to drink enough, fluid intake will actually not usually correct constipation because the additional water will also be absorbed.”

If you’re someone who gets constipated, Dr. Thurman suggests you eat healthier foods and if necessary, reach for the medicine cabinet.

"High fiber diets and bulk laxatives work by holding water in the intestine, which keeps the stool in the intestine larger and softer. This makes it easier for the intestine to work."

You might be surprised by some foods and drinks that can cause constipation. Even certain fruits that seem like great choices, may be contributing to your problem. So drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day is still a good habit.

woman drinking hidratespark 3 smart water bottle orange coral

If you’re someone with chronic constipation, you’ve probably already talked to your family physician. If not, you probably should. Your problem may be much more serious.

 

ABOUT OUR EXPERT

Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.

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