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Does Water Relieve Constipation?

Constipation is not a pleasant experience, especially severe cases. Drinking more water is often given as the solution for relief, but does it really work?

MYTH: Increasing water helps with constipation

Fact: The problem with constipation is too little water in the stool, not too little water in the body.

If you have used a bulk forming laxative in the past (Fibercon®, Metamucil®, or Citrucel®), you will recall it is recommended to drink a full glass (8 oz.) of water with each dosage. The water intake prevents choking, hardening of the fiber and blockage in the intestine. You should follow the instructions. Bulk-forming laxatives and chemical substances such as sugar, for example, Karo® Syrup retains water in the stool. However, drinking larger amounts of water has not been shown to have a benefit on constipation. The intestine already has a lot of water and any extra is absorbed and excreted as urine. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, unless there is evidence of dehydration, there is no evidence that increasing fluid intake can successfully treat constipation.