Which Laxatives Are Right for You?

LaxativesNothing can be more straining and discomforting than constipation. Thanks to prevalent medical breakthroughs, various laxatives are now available for you to choose from.

There are four basic types of laxatives for constipation: bulk-forming, stimulant, over the counter (OTC), and liquid.

Discussed below is how each type of laxative is used, some examples of common brands and the potential laxative side-effects when using them to get your bowel movements back on track.

Bulk Forming Laxatives

These are the safest laxatives used and prescribed by most physicians as they contain fiber or fiber-like products. As this is basically made with fiber, it is a natural way to stimulate the colon into action that leads to a bowel movement. This helps when you have eaten a lot of foods that cause constipation.

It also increases the size and weight of your stool while it helps trap water into its fiber structure. Available in the form of powders, liquids and capsules, a fiber laxative can be used longer than other types until you get relief. Some common brands are Citrucel, Fiberall, Fibercon, Hydrocil, Metamucil, Perdiem Fiber and Ultrafiber.

Stimulant Laxative

This laxative comes in many different forms, including liquids, powders, granules, tablets, and suppositories. It works to irritate the bowel and produce contraction, which induces a bowel movement. On doctor’s advice, stimulants are usually taken to prepare for a bowel examination or to prevent bowel strain after surgery.

Examples of these types of laxatives are Bisacodyl, Castor Oil, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax Gentle Nature, Fleet Laxative, and Gentlax.

Over The Counter Laxatives

Constipation and proper colon health can be treated through an array of effective OTC laxatives, including:

  • Cascara sagrada has been used as a natural laxative for thousands of years. A teaspoon of liquid cascara sagrada, or 1 or 2 capsules of the extract 3 times a day leads to a healthy bowel movement upon six to eight hours of taking it.
  • Psyllium is a rich source of dietary fiber and has been proven effective to treat constipation and cleanse the colon. It is usually taken orally in divided doses from 2.2 to 45 grams prior to meals. Psyllium can also be a bulk-forming laxative as it also absorbs liquids within the intestines.
  • Polyethylene glycol is an osmotic laxative that works by drawing out fluid into the bowel. This softens the stool, promotes regular bowel movement and improves colon health.
  • Senna is a stimulant for constipation as it increases bowel movement while also treating some intestinal disorders. It is to be administered orally on an empty stomach before bedtime and be careful not to take it for longer than one week.

Liquid Laxative

One of the most popular and effective liquid laxatives is tea with Senna. While it is in the liquid form, Senna tea acts as a stimulant. It is very versatile in that other ingredients, like ginger, rhubarb root, white mulberry, licorice root, fennel, dandelion, coriander, and caraway seed, can be added to the tea for a myriad of flavors and health benefits.

Beware of the Side Effects!

Like all other medications, constipation laxatives can be very helpful but should never be used for extended periods of time. With that said, administering these different types of medications can also have adverse reactions for individuals, such as:

• Yellow-brown discoloration of urine
• Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Mild and severe stomach cramps
• Irritation and allergies
• Bloody stools
• Rectal bleeding
• Severe pain
• Abnormal fatigue

A Safer Alternative

A simple and safe way to get rid of constipation without the unwanted side-effects is to use a natural colon cleansing product, like the colon cleanse by Bowtrol. Not only will it get you regular again, but it will improve the health of your digestive system, so that you stay regular – without having to change what you eat.

So, next time your bowel movements aren’t as regular as they should be, remember to choose laxatives that are right for you – ones that will leave you relieved without the unwanted side-effects.


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