1. Even your spouse, best friend, or sibling would prefer not to talk about this. (Maybe your mother would.)
2. Don’t even try to explain why you spend so much time in the bathroom.
3. However, if you come out with a smile on your face and you’re pumping your fist, there may be questions.
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.
5. Ladies, give yourself a mini manicure while you’re sitting there doing nothing.
6. Don’t think about the amount of money you’ve spent on useless laxatives and fiber supplements.
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.
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.
9. Two of the cheapest, easily obtainable remedies are water and exercise.
10. Constipation is related to dehydration, so make sure you drink lots of water.
11. Many things cause constipation — diet, stress, painkillers, lifestyle changes, certain meds, pregnancy, health issues.
12. If the condition is long term, or chronic, find out why and get treatment. It could be serious.
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.
14. Years ago if you were constipated, you kept it to yourself, stayed home, and suffered in silence. Times have changed, thank goodness!
15. Stressing over it isn’t the solution.
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.
17. Medications that are routinely given to treat other conditions such as arthritis, back pain, hypertension, allergies, and depression can lead to chronic constipation.
18. Many doctors treat both pain and constipation at the same time, before the constipation becomes chronic.
19. Keep repeating: “Plenty of liquids, dietary fiber, and exercise.” Make it your mantra.
20. Be assertive when you meet with your doctor. List your symptoms and ask questions.
21. Feeling bloated, headachy, and irritable while constipated? You may be going through PMS.
22. Go to the bathroom the same time every day. Morning is usually best.
23. You’re tired of hearing from your grandma about taking cod liver oil. There are some things you just won’t try.
24. Your personal situation isn’t like anyone else’s and may require different treatment.
25. Don’t be shy about going up to the busy pharmacist and asking where the enemas are.
26. You know exactly where the dried fruit aisle is in every grocery store.
27. This is a subject that is both sensitive and serious. And the “butt” of many jokes.
28. Be sympathetic to other sufferers. They are you.
29. The time will come when you emerge with pride, shouting “The eagle has landed!”