Understanding the role of diet in adult constipation
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Understanding the role of diet in adult constipation

Julie Thompson , Information Manager/Specialist Gastroenterology Dietitian, Guts UK Charity, The Media Centre, Huddersfield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To learn about the various types of constipation and their causes

  • To recognise the role of diet in treating constipation

  • To understand how to advise patients about changes they can make to their diet

Constipation is a common condition in adults and symptoms such as straining and the sensation of incomplete bowel emptying can be distressing for patients. The nurse’s role includes preventing, monitoring and managing the condition. Fibre and fluid intake have an important role in prevention, while first-line treatments include increased consumption of wholegrain carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables. This article outlines the role of diet in preventing and managing constipation in adults and offers practical advice for nurses caring for this group of patients.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11553

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software




Conflict of interest

None declared

Thompson J (2020) Understanding the role of diet in adult constipation. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11553

Published online: 28 July 2020

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