A laxative is a medication that you use to help you have a bowel movement. There are various types of laxatives. Because many different things can make you constipated, laxatives work in different ways to resolve your constipation. Some may work on your stool, some may work on your intestine, and some work on both.
Some may be a more suitable choice for you than others. It depends on how long you need to use them and how harsh the ingredients can be on your body.
All laxatives are used to relieve constipation, so choosing the right one can be a little tricky. Thus, let us help you sort some of this out.
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Types of laxatives
It helps wet and soften the stool. Emollient laxative works as stool softeners.
Stool softeners are gentle to prevent constipation with regular use. However, they’re less effective for treating constipation. Therefore, they’re best for people with temporary constipation.
It produces a gel in your stool that helps hold more water in your stool. As a result, the stool becomes bigger, which stimulates movement in your intestine to help pass the stool more quickly.
Bulk-forming laxatives can use for longer periods. They are a good option for people with chronic constipation. But, they take longer than other laxatives to work. So you shouldn’t use them continuously for longer than one week.
It coats your stool and intestines to limit water loss. It lubricates your stool to help it move easily.
Mineral oil is not for regular use. It can interfere with your body’s absorption, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Lubricant laxatives are typically the only good options for immediate relief of occasional constipation.
It draws more water into your intestines, which helps soften the stool to help it move more easily.
Hyperosmotic laxatives can use for longer periods with little risk of side effects. Like bulk-forming laxatives, they are a good option for people with chronic constipation, but they take longer than other laxatives to work. So, you shouldn’t use them continuously for longer than one week.
It draws excess water into your intestine, which softens the stool and stimulates movement in your intestines to help stools pass out.
It stimulates and increases the movement of your intestines.
Side effects of using laxatives
Some side effects that you can experience with laxatives include:
Also, you may notice that your urine turns a brownish-red color when you’re taking a laxative.
As always, discuss with your doctor about side effects of any medication you’re taking. Consult with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects while taking laxatives:
How to stop laxative diarrhea?
You should avoid certain foods when you have laxative diarrhea, including fried and greasy foods. Avoid fruits and vegetables that can cause gastric problems, such as broccoli, beans, peas, berries, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.
How to ease symptoms in the meantime
How to stop stomach cramps from laxatives?
How to ease symptoms in the meantime
Some brand names of laxatives
You’ll find many brands of laxatives in various forms, such as liquids, powders, chewable, tablets, and suppositories. Here are some brand names:
- Fletcher’s Castoria
- Black Draught
- Feen-A Mint
- Carter’s Little Pills
When to avoid laxatives?
You shouldn’t use a laxative if you have:
- Previous allergic reaction to any laxatives
- Any intestinal blockage
- Experience undiagnosed rectal bleeding
- Signs of appendicitis
Also, before using laxatives, speak to your doctor about your current health conditions, especially if you have:
Also, inform your doctor if you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding mother.
For many people, laxatives work as an effective treatment of constipation. The laxative function causes the intestinal muscles to contract and help push out a bowel movement rhythmically.
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