Power Pudding Picture, chronic constipation

Constipation is usually considered a simple problem. Just get enough fiber in your diet, drink plenty of fluids and go when you need to. But for those who are troubled with chronic constipation, the solution may be hard to find. One reader begged for advice.

How to Overcome Chronic Constipation:

Q. I have suffered silently from constipation for more than 30 years. Actually, that’s not true. Sometimes I cry when the pain is too great.

If I don’t use a laxative I can go over two weeks without a bowel movement. I know that relying on chemical stimulants is not healthy so I am counting on you for a more natural approach. Please don’t let me down!

A. Nurses have a secret weapon for chronic constipation that they call “Power Pudding.” One reader initially complained about the taste:

“Putting applesauce, prune juice and wheat bran together seemed awfully unappetizing. But I was desperate, so I tried it. Day 1 was a success, but I had no luck on day 2 and lost hope. I tried again on day 3 and got success.

“I thought, it looks bad, doesn’t taste the best but it helps. So I thought I’d just take it daily. After a week, it was working like clockwork. Now Power Pudding is a daily item on my menu and I’ve started to like it!”

How to Make Power Pudding:

This high-fiber mixture can be effective but it must be taken with plenty of fluid and should be used daily. It doesn’t work instantly.

Here is another reader’s question, with the instructions on how to make Power Pudding:

Q. My husband has difficulty with his daily bowel movement. We eat dark bread and yogurt every day. He drinks milk but it does not seem to be helping the constipation. He is bloated and feels uncomfortable. Any help would be appreciated.

A. The milk he is drinking might be part of the problem. Many people who are lactose intolerant develop diarrhea, but some experience bloating alone.

Increasing fiber and fluid is a good first step. Brown bread may not have enough fiber to do the job. Try “power pudding” instead:

Mix one cup coarse bran, one cup applesauce and three quarters cup prune juice. Refrigerate and then take one to two tablespoons daily and wash it down with lots of water.

This remedy should be taken only one or two tablespoons at a time and washed down with plenty of fluid. Taking too much at once might cause serious digestive trouble, such as intestinal blockage.

For more details about the formula and many other natural approaches, please consult our Guides to Constipation and Digestive Disorders.

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  1. greg

    You might also try jostling a buttock. The vibrations loosen the stool and stimulate expulsion.

  2. annie

    Add Psyllium husk to your morning cereal. (Is gluten free, lactose free, sugar free) Start with a tablespoon and increase as necessary. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Works for everyone and in particular is good for the older 60’s who my have developed diverticulitis. Is a dry product, no storage issues and very cheap.

  3. Bob
    Middletown NJ

    The only thing that works for me is Miralax. My primary care doctor and gastroenterologist both agree it is safe. My primary care doctor, who has a fine reputation with seniors, claims Miralax is not a chemical and claims it is perfectly safe. Without it, nothing else works for me.

  4. Ladyliza
    Los Angeles

    I used to take physillium husk powder for chronic constipation, but I never got used to the taste. But now I use a T of chia seeds in a cup of water. I try to chew the seeds as best as possible.

    Also, 2 T of raw apple cider vinegar in a cup of water with 2 drops of stevia or honey really move things along. Chia has many health benefits and doesn’t have a horrible taste.

  5. Mary Jane

    For a period of several years, I had excess bowel activity. Consultation with specialists (including a gastroenterologist) did not help. One day, as I was grinding my flax seed to add to my cereal, I realized that the bowel activity had begun approximately when I began the flax seed routine.

    I stopped the flax seed, and the difference was immediately obvious. Withholding emotions can also be a culprit, so perhaps a visit to the psychotherapist is in order.

  6. William
    brandon ms

    To fix constipation: walk and walk some more. Docusate sodium; metamucil; three cups of coffee.

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