Constipation is a very common condition that greatly reduces the quality of life: general discomfort, bloating, pain, flatulence are some of the unpleasant situations that become frequent in phases of little or no intestinal functioning.
Thus, many are those who resort to the use of laxatives without being aware that their continued use can and can be very harmful.
In situations of surgery or other procedures or even in various medical emergencies, the use of laxatives is necessary and is part of health care practices. But on a day-to-day basis, we can and must find other solutions that, when used together, are very effective.
Even so, if you decide to use a laxative, be aware of its use and know how that laxative influences your body. Use it only temporarily.
Types of laxatives
There are several types of laxatives, if you read the descriptive information of the product you will be able to verify its type.
1) Emollient laxatives (stool softeners): docusates (dioctylsulfosuccinates of sodium and calcium), liquid paraffin.
Normally used by medical prescription when the fecal mass is very hard and effort is not possible, as in the case of hernia, operation, bedridden,…
2) Contact laxatives (also known as stimulants): castor oil, phenolphthalein, bisacodyl, sene, sacred cascara.
They stimulate the mucosa of the large intestine causing peristalsis of the colon. They take effect in a few hours.
3) Volume-expanding laxatives faecal: methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, psyllium preparations, gum tragacanth and related gums, bran.
They are those that have a mechanism of action more similar to the physiological action. In the intestine, the fibers expand, forming gels that stimulate bowel movements: they absorb water, preventing the formation of stools that are too hard.
4) Osmotic laxatives: magnesium sulfate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium citrate, sodium and potassium phosphates, lactulose.
They cause the accumulation of water in the intestine and peristalsis is stimulated by the accumulation of liquids.
Contact or stimulant laxatives are the fastest acting and most aggressive. The dose necessary to obtain an effect increases progressively and, consequently, the aggressor effect on the intestinal walls is also increasing. Its chronic use can seriously affect the intestinal muscle leading to atony – absence of muscle movement. If you are taking a daily contact laxative stop today and make other lifestyle changes.
Volume expander laxatives, although they have the most natural mechanism (they are fibers) they should also be taken with caution: a lot of water should be ingested, they can cause some allergic symptoms and interfere with the absorption of some medications. Even so, they are the least harmful option when you want to improve intestinal functioning, along with probiotics.
If you have any type of intestinal disease you should inform your doctor if you decide to take a laxative. Also remember that if laxatives give you diarrhoea, this can interfere with medication you have taken in the last few hours, nutrient absorption and can cause dehydration.
If you are looking for laxatives to control your weight, know that this is not the solution if you want to consistently lose weight and maintain your optimal quality of life and health.
Have a healthy lifestyle; drink lots of water; eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains and take a probiotic supplement if needed. Use laxatives only in emergency situations.
EsmeraldAzul – for a healthy, conscious and sustainable life.