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November 9, 2019: I’ve become depressed after having a heart attack. What can I do?

Depression after a heart attack can impair recovery. Seeking support from a mental-health professional can help both your emotional and physical well-being.

Learn more about heart health here.

November 8, 2019: My gastroparesis is causing constipation. What can I do?

If you experience constipation because of gastroparesis, a form of neuropathy that causes delayed stomach emptying, avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods, and ask your health-care provider for individualized nutrition recommendations.

Learn more about gastroparesis here.

November 7, 2019: I don’t get a lot of fiber in my diet. Are chemical laxatives a good alternative for staying regular?

Not necessarily. Chemical laxatives can be harmful because the colon begins to rely on the chemical stimulation to pass a bowel movement, losing the ability to do so as well when the chemicals are not present. Fiber supplements used as laxatives do not cause this problem.

Learn more about fiber here.

November 6, 2019: How can I increase my intake of dietary fiber?

To increase your fiber intake, try starting the day with a high-fiber cereal and eating fruit for snacks. Limit the amount of foods you eat with almost no fiber, such as cheese, meat, ice cream, and many processed foods. If you are not used to eating high-fiber foods, add them gradually to your diet to prevent gas, bloating, or diarrhea.

Learn more about fiber here.

November 5, 2019: What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, slows stomach emptying, delays the entry of glucose into the bloodstream, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber stimulates the muscular contractions that keep the digestive process moving. Both soluble and insoluble fiber can soften and add bulk to the stool, easing or preventing constipation.

Learn more about fiber here.

November 4, 2019: What are some ways I can prevent constipation?

To help prevent constipation, increase your fluid intake, exercise regularly, avoid laxatives unless prescribed, and eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Learn more about digestive complications here.

November 3, 2019: Are there any medicines that cause constipation?

Medicines and supplements that can cause constipation include calcium, iron, diuretics, antidepressants, and some pain medicines. Various other medicines can cause fluid loss that results in constipation.

Learn more about digestive complications here.

November 2, 2019: What are some common causes of constipation?

Constipation can be caused or worsened by a sedentary lifestyle and a diet low in fiber and high in fat. Exercise improves muscle tone throughout the body, including the digestive tract. Additionally, not responding to the urge to have a bowel movement can cause the stool to dry out in the colon, resulting in constipation.

Learn more about digestive complications here.

November 1, 2019: I haven’t had a bowel movement today. Does this mean that I’m constipated?

No. Going a day without a bowel movement does not signify constipation; each person’s digestive system has its own natural time frame. A problem is present if you have difficulty or pain passing a stool or extreme infrequency in doing so.

Learn more about digestive complications here.

October 31, 2019: When should I take my basal insulin?

In most cases, basal insulin should be taken at the same time of day, every day, at the prescribed intervals.

Learn more about basal insulin here.