Nutrition Tips to Reduce Constipation from Pain Medications
Based on the experiences of both my patients and a family member that had to be on pain meds for 4 days in the initial healing phases of breaking two wrists and an ankle, this protocol has worked pretty well to reduce constipation from pain meds and antibiotics, enabling a soft bowel movement. Try it out and see if it can help you.
Eating Soaked Prunes or Apricots Daily
- Soak 2 cups of Pitted prunes or dried non sulfured apricots (found in health food store) in a glass container.
- Add water to cover product and store in the refrigerator.
- Take 3-6 prunes or Apricots am and pm.
- NOTE: Every three prunes are equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrate of one fruit exchange. This will be handy if the person consuming this is managing blood glucose as in Diabetes.
Drink Aloe Juice
Go to Whole Foods or another health Food Store and purchase Aloe Juice. Take 1 Tablespoon of Aloe juice in the am, and in the pm. It does not have a taste, has no interactions used short term, and works as a mucilant in the gut.
Take a Good Probiotic
Probiotics help to regulate your bowel function, and boost your immune system. There are many out on the market to buy. One of the better brands that are a good buy for the money with many good and effective bacterial strains is made by a company called Renew Life. Get the 30 billion CFU amount and take one daily. Keep it in the refrigerator.
This product is sold at Publix, Walgreens, and Vitamin Shoppe.
Purchase magnesium citrate at the store. Most all stores have it. Take 125mg – 250 mg 1-2 x/daily. Start at the 125 mg amount and work up. If you have leg cramps, it will also usually resolve them.
Eat Adequate Fiber from Cooked Vegetables, Fruits, Legumes, and Whole Grains
If you prior to taking any pain meds had regular bowel movements, then insure while on the meds, that you keep your dietary fiber up from whole food sources like whole fruits, whole vegetables, beans- canned are fine- rinse off the liquid that is rich in sodium, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa-(a newer grain that is cooked like brown rice)
Steam up carrots, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, kale, onions, zucchini, and squash- any of these combinations and eat ½ cup to 1 cup daily. (Only eat those vegetables you know you tolerate.)
Cook Acorn or butternut squash and add to your meal or a soup.
Cook sweet potatoes, or white potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga. Cook them baked, grilled, roasted, or boiled. Scrub the skins and eat that part also if it is soft enough as it has lots of fiber.
Eat at least 2-4 whole fruits daily. Best in fiber are apples, oranges, cantaloupe, pears, prunes and apricots as mentioned above.
Add Beans to your diet of any type, chickpeas, lentils, black beans, red beans, kidney beans, white beans- ½ cup 3-5 times weekly. Have them in soups, added to salads, cooked with onions as a side dish, or just reheated with some pepper and chili powder, garlic powder and olive oil.
Have oatmeal for breakfast with fruit. Add Quinoa or brown rice to lunch or dinner meals instead of white rice, white pasta, or white bread.