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Constipation And Laxatives – Are You Aware of the Dangers?
Using an over the counter laxative is, by far, the top constipation solution of Americans today. And most of it is self treatment, taken without a doctor's supervision. Since millions of Americans suffer from constipation every year, laxative meds register staggering sales of $725 million annually!
The main problem with taking a laxative to help constipation is that it isn't really intended for long-term use — and yet it's undeniably habit-forming. Long-term treatment with or overuse of laxatives can lead to severe health problems.
Constipation And Laxatives – 15 Things You MUST Know
1. Too much laxative use can mask symptoms of other ailments, which could be crucial for your doctor to detect in its early stages.
2. Stimulant and osmotic laxatives can cause abdominal pain or discomfort, cramps, and dizziness.
3. Bulk forming laxatives cause gas, a swollen tummy, stomach cramps, and intestinal blockage.
4. Never combine different kinds of laxatives.
5. Some laxatives cause inflammation of the intestinal lining.
6. Prolonged laxative use can damage your colon and cause even worse constipation.
7. Overusing laxatives can cause the muscles that control your bowel movement to become lazy so that they won't be able to function on their own.
8. Even natural laxatives, such as mineral or castor oil, when used often lead to vitamin deficiencies (notably A, D, E, and K). Castor oil also causes severe medical symptoms with regular use. If you accidentally breathe mineral oil into your lungs, you can get pneumonia.
9. You shouldn't take laxatives (especially Macrogols ) if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Opt for NATURAL dietary solutions to constipation instead.
10. If you've been restricted in taking magnesium, check the laxative label for Magnesium Hydroxide. If you're on a low salt diet, don't take laxatives with Potassium Bitartrate or Sodium Bicarbonate unless with your doctor's approval.
11. Never take Bisacodyl within an hour of milk or antacids.
12. Some laxative ingredients cause allergic reactions. An example is Psyllium , a major component in a bulk forming laxative. Some people prefer Psyllium-based laxatives to cure constipation because it's regarded as a gentler natural fiber. But if you happen to be allergic to it, you could end up treating more than constipation. Another example is Phenylalanine , which is dangerous if you have Phenylketonuria.
13. Laxatives can interfere with other meds/vitamins you're taking. It can cause an adverse reaction or it could inhibit your body's absorption of some medicines or nutrients. Don't take any medicine within a couple of hours prior to the laxative. Consult your doctor before combining a laxative with prescription meds.
14. If you have a liver or kidney ailment, your body may build up magnesium excess, especially when you take laxatives with magnesium salts. Ask your doctor to recommend food that can help you with constipation.
15. Elderly persons should avoid taking laxatives as they can seriously alter fluid and body chemical balance, particularly potassium and sodium.