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.