1. Even your spouse, best friend, or sibling would prefer not to talk about this. (Maybe your mother would.)

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2. Don’t even try to explain why you spend so much time in the bathroom.

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3. However, if you come out with a smile on your face and you’re pumping your fist, there may be questions.

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4. It’s up to you to deal with this in a way that’s comfortable and easy for you. Put a magazine rack in the bathroom. Or a flat-screen TV.

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5. Ladies, give yourself a mini manicure while you’re sitting there doing nothing.

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6. Don’t think about the amount of money you’ve spent on useless laxatives and fiber supplements.

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7. Or how you’re overwhelmed by the jillions of products — laxatives, stool softeners, enemas, brand name or generic, familiar or never-heard-of — that guarantee to help you. They’re everywhere.

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8. There are dozens of “natural” remedies like high-fiber cereals, baked goods, supplements, prunes, prune juice, molasses, apples, lettuce, and flaxseed. They’re also everywhere.

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9. Two of the cheapest, easily obtainable remedies are water and exercise.

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10. Constipation is related to dehydration, so make sure you drink lots of water.

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11. Many things cause constipation — diet, stress, painkillers, lifestyle changes, certain meds, pregnancy, health issues.

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12. If the condition is long term, or chronic, find out why and get treatment. It could be serious.

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13. Know your body. If you ignore the urge to “go,” it may go away, and you’ll have lost the opportunity to get relief.

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14. Years ago if you were constipated, you kept it to yourself, stayed home, and suffered in silence. Times have changed, thank goodness!

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15. Stressing over it isn’t the solution.

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16. As adults age, they become less active, eat and drink less, and take in less fiber, which can lead to becoming dependent on laxatives.

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17. Medications that are routinely given to treat other conditions such as arthritis, back pain, hypertension, allergies, and depression can lead to chronic constipation.

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18. Many doctors treat both pain and constipation at the same time, before the constipation becomes chronic.

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19. Keep repeating: “Plenty of liquids, dietary fiber, and exercise.” Make it your mantra.

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20. Be assertive when you meet with your doctor. List your symptoms and ask questions.

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21. Feeling bloated, headachy, and irritable while constipated? You may be going through PMS.

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22. Go to the bathroom the same time every day. Morning is usually best.

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23. You’re tired of hearing from your grandma about taking cod liver oil. There are some things you just won’t try.

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24. Your personal situation isn’t like anyone else’s and may require different treatment.

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25. Don’t be shy about going up to the busy pharmacist and asking where the enemas are.

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26. You know exactly where the dried fruit aisle is in every grocery store.

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27. This is a subject that is both sensitive and serious. And the “butt” of many jokes.

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28. Be sympathetic to other sufferers. They are you.

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29. The time will come when you emerge with pride, shouting “The eagle has landed!”

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