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Constipation is a common problem
- Is your stool hard?
- Are you straining on the toilet?
- Do you still feel obstructed after passing stools?
- Do you pass stools less than three times a week?
A good diet with plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables, whole-grain products and adequate exercise, plus at least eight glasses of water a day, can certainly help prevent constipation and the need for laxatives. However, constipation is a common ailment, and often laxatives are a useful tool in the battle against this most unpleasant of complaints.
What are laxatives?
Widely available over the counter and in colon cleansing programmes, laxatives are medicines used to ease the problem of constipation. The four most common types are:
Some suppositories and enemas (laxatives administered via the rectum) are much quicker, perhaps 15 – 30 minutes, but must be treated with caution, and preferably with medical advice.
As a rule, laxatives should only be used for a short period of time. Prolonged use can lead to dependency, also putting at risk your bowel’s ability to function properly without them: dehydration and adverse levels of minerals and salts can also occur, compromising your digestive system. Once the problem of constipation has been solved, it is important to return to a healthy, balanced diet for your system’s health. Remember: Fluids, Fibre and Exercise are always important. Chronic constipation, however, may require longer term use of laxatives. If you take opioids (e.g. Codeine or morphine), anti-acids or iron supplements on a regular basis, it is advisable to talk to your GP for advice on the most suitable laxative for you.
Laxatives can have side effects.
- Stimulant laxatives, especially taken in too large a dose, can cause diarrhoea.
Stomach cramps and pains can also occur
- Osmotic laxatives may possibly cause dehydration, cramps and wind.
Abdominal discomfort may also be experienced
- Stool softener laxatives may cause both abdominal cramps and nausea
- Bulk-forming laxatives have been known to cause tummy swelling, wind and, very unusually, blockage of the bowel
Laxatives are not usually suitable for children, especially young children, and should only be administered under medical advice (if they are prescribed they are likely to be osmotic or stimulant laxatives rather than the bulk-forming varieties). Sufferers of certain bowel conditions (e.g. Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome –IBS - or ulcerative colitis) should also seek medical advice before using laxatives as should diabetics, as they can cause changes to blood sugar levels.
Natural remedies - It has long been thought that certain natural products can also have a significant effect on constipation, easing its symptoms and giving relief. Recent research has born out the verity of these ‘Grandma’s’ remedies, so they are always worth trying, especially if you averse to using patent, commercial medicines. These include prunes (dried plums), raisins, currants, dates and figs, or a prune juice concentrate. In fact, anything that seems to have a laxative effect, as long as it is used safely and with caution, is worth trying in the search for relief from the very unpleasant and uncomfortable ailment of constipation.
But remember, in the first instance and unless you have a persistent problem, nothing is better than a healthy diet and lifestyle.
So: FIBRE, WATER, EXERCISE!
And you may avoid the need for laxatives comple
Reviews of the leading colon cleansing products
Analysing value for money, safety, ingredients and effectiveness
Colon detoxification is fast becoming one of the most widely recommended therapies in the store cupboard of practitioners of natural health. Given that the digestive system, and in particular the intestine, is home to above 50 percent of the immune system, this is hardly surprising. Colon cleansing effectively removes toxins from the system allowing nutrients to be absorbed efficiently and aiding digestion. This prevents numerous problems developing, such as depression and fatigue, irritability, constipation, gas and bloating, bad breath, allergy symptoms, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), headaches, PMS, weight gain and frequency of infections.
In examining a range of popular cleansing programmes we employed the criteria set out below:
- Ingredient based effectiveness and safety
- Customer reaction to effectiveness and safety
- Value for money
Mommy Alert: Remedies for Constipation in Children
A child having constipation is perhaps one stressful event. Children are not concerned about bowel movement (they would rather play with their toys), rather, it is the mommy's job to make sure he or she gets to defecate at least once a day. So mommy, how do you do the trick?
Soy milk is also highly recommended. However, make sure the child is at home since it acts like a laxative. So do not panic if your child complains of sudden abdominal pain, it can only mean that he or she has to be rushed to the comfort room and get some flushing.
Mommy Alert: Remedies for Constipation in Babies
Well, babies hardly complain: a cry can mean everything! So every mommy should bear in mind to keep the baby from having constipation blues.
One nice tip: avoid feeding the baby a large amount of milk all in one sitting. You can suffice for it by increasing the number of the baby's feeding times. Take into consideration the growing baby's digestive system. Giving it milk in small amounts at different times of the day will help the baby's digestive system digest the milk in small quantities, helping it digest easily.