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How to Manage Constipation in Peritoneal Dialysis

2013-01-27 15:05

How to Manage Constipation in Peritoneal DialysisPeople on peritoneal dialysis are at increased risk of constipation that can affect their life quality significantly. Constipation in itself is not life-threatening, but is can have serious effects on people on peritoneal dialysis. Constipation may be related to peritoneal catheter malfunction and peritonitis, which can cause dialysis failure. Also, colon perforation may be a result of chronic constipation in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Therefore, it is important to manage constipation in peritoneal dialysis early and effectively.

Constipation in the peritoneal dialysis population is mainly due to the following compounding factors:

* Diet and fluid restriction

* Phosphate binders

* Resins for hyperkalaemia

* Sedentary lifestyle

* Lack of exercise

* Calcium and irone supplement

Management of constipation in peritoneal dialysis

High-fiber foods

To prevent constipation, a diet high in fibre is generally recommended to people on peritoneal Dialysis. Fibre can stimulate bowel activity, increases stool bulk and decreases intestinal transit time.


Laxatives are commonly used to treat constipation. The medications are generally classed as bulking agents, osmotic laxatives, faecal softeners and stimulant laxative. However, these medications can cause some side effects such as abdominal distension from bran, bloating, gas production, urgency, cramps etc. The effectiveness of laxatives varies from individual to individual.


The patients on peritoneal dialysis should increase exercise properly. Proper amount of activities can improve the bowel movement to prevent constipation.

Constipation can have serious consequence for people on peritoneal dialysis. Health professionals and increased awareness of the patients on the problem can help them prevent the problem more effectively. If you are suffering the problem, you should never use medicines without taking with your doctor.

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