Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Weak Adrenal Glands Constipation

General measures for constipation in someone with Addison's disease include:

  • Avoid foods that seem to give you constipation. Some cheeses, white flour, and white rice can trigger constipation.
  • Avoid straining on the toilet, this can cause hemorrhoids and complicate things further.
  • Don't ignore the urge to move your bowels; this can throw off your schedule and cause you problems.
  • Drink more water.
  • Eat more fiber.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Try mild caffeine containing beverages. These often have a mild laxative effect.

Fiber helps prevent constipation by increasing the amount of stool in your colon (large intestine). The most well known fiber is bran. Common fiber supplements include Citrucel and Metamucil. Regular use of these high-fiber products is safe. They are also more effective when used regularly. Drink plenty of water when taking extra fiber.

Dietary fiber is a plant material that humans cannot digest. Fiber is made of large carbohydrate molecules that pass through the intestinal tract without being used by the body.

Fiber comes in two forms, based on whether it will dissolve in water. These are called soluble and insoluble fiber. Most experts believe that about 3/4 of fiber intake should be the insoluble form.

General Guidelines
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are high in fiber. Check food labels of prepared products to see if there are at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Look for the term 'whole grain' as a major part of the food.

Raw foods tend to have more fiber than cooked, canned or pureed items. Even chopping and peeling skins removes some fiber. Dried fruits are especially high in fiber. Beans, black-eyed peas, brans and oatmeal are very high in fiber.

Unprocessed wheat bran can be added to many home meals and most baked foods. Bran is the outer layer of the wheat grain, and is present in 'whole grain' foods. Adding 2-3 teaspoons of bran per serving is a great way to increase the fiber content of casseroles, meat loaf, and baked goods. Whole grain flour has 6 times the fiber of standard, bleached flour. Oat bran can be used in place of about 1/3 of regular flour when baking.

Try adding nuts or bran to dairy foods such as yogurt or cottage cheese, which normally have very little fiber. Avoid white bread and flour pasta.

Change your diet slowly and drink plenty of fluids to allow the fiber to do its work. Rapid changes in the diet can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. A varied, high-fiber diet is much better than taking fiber supplements.

Continue to Weak Adrenal Glands Diarrhea

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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