Ugeskr Læger 2015;177:V09140498
The effect of lifestyle modification on chronic constipation
First-line treatment of constipation includes dietary fibre, fluid and exercise. The evidence for these recommendations is, however, scarce. Increased intake of fibre will reduce colonic transit time and improve the frequency and consistency of stools in 50% of patients. Bloating and flatulence are common side effects to highly fermentable fibres. Daily intake of 2 l of water enhances the positive effects of fibre and 30 min. exercise per day also alleviates symptoms. Conservative treatment is usually insufficient and should be supplemented with laxatives or motility enhancing drugs.