Ask an expert

23 Jan 2003

Hard stools
Please help, my stools are hard and that tears my anus as it passes. I have been drinking a lot of water recently to make it soft but it does not work, what can I do to make it soft?
Answer 393 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Guy
Constipation can be alleviated by increasing the fibre content of the diet. Click on 'Diet' and 'View old diet & food site' and read the articles on dietary fibre. Foods which are especially useful are oats, All-bran, wholewheat bread, unsifted maize meal, crushed wheat, legumes (dry beans, peas and lentils), fresh fruit and vegetables (eat raw and unpeeled when possible), dried fruit and wheat bran (sprinkle over breakfast cereals and soups). Continue drinking about 2 litres of water a day to allow the fibre to swell so that it can stimulate peristalsis. Adding 1-2 t of olive or flaxseed oil to your diet also helps. It is also useful to do some regular exercise like brisk walking to stimulate your metabolism. If these measures do not improve the condition within 2 weeks, then it may be advisable to consult a doctor so that any underlying medical conditions can be eliminated.
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9465 votes
68% - 20204 votes