Nursing Care Plan – Constipation

stool classification Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system in which a person experiences hard feces that are difficult to expel.

  • This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard.
  • Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction.

Causes of constipation:

  • may be dietary
  • hormonal
  • anatomical a side effect of medications (e.g. some opiates)
  • or an illness or disorder.

Treatments consist of:

  • changes in dietary and exercise habits
  • the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.


  1. Drink plenty of water. Most people who suffer from constipation are dehydrated. Water is essential in moving waste matter through the colon. Drinking 6 to 8 8-oz. glasses of water can help prevent constipation.
  2. Eat a high fiber diet. Fiber is an important element in promoting healthy digestion. Fiber helps to add bulk to stools, making them easier to pass through the bowel. Your diet should include fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  3. Avoid dehydrating liquids such as soda, coffee and tea. Avoid too much alcohol consumption, as alcohol also has a dehydrating effect on the body. Cut your intake of meat, eggs, cheese and refined processed foods.
  4. Start an exercise program. Studies show that regular exercise can prevent constipation.
  5. Cleanse your colon with natural remedies such as Colon Sweep. There are products available that are made with natural ingredients, including psyllium husks, and can help to cleanse your colon of built-up waste resulting from constipation.
  6. Take natural remedies such as Natural Moves that can relax the bowel, ease tension and promote regular bowel movements. Many such products are available online or at health food stores.

Helpful Habits include:

  • Have regular mealtimes, no skipped meals.
  • Chew your food well.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Be more active. Get some daily exercise.
  • Use the bathroom at a regular time each day.
    Choose a time when you won’t have to rush.
  • Get 7-8 hours sleep (per 24 hours).

Byron Webb Romero, RN, MSN

Finished BSN at Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Master of Science in Nursing Major in Adult Health Nursing at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. Currently working at Manila Doctors College of Nursing as a Team Leader for Level I and II, Lecturer for Professional Nursing Subjects, and also a Clinical Instructor.

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