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Constipation isa condition that includes infrequent the bowel movements and hard stool. It is acommon thing, and it is estimated that even 30% of overall population mighthave problems with constipation.

There are twopossible reasons for constipation, obstruction or hypomobility (slow mobility)in the colon. Defecation obstruction is a functional problem in the body, whilehypomobility might be caused by: dietary habits, medications, hormones or insome cases metal toxicity.

The constipationtreatment usually includes: changes in the diet, laxatives, and enemas and insome cases even surgery.

Laxatives

The mostcommon causes of stimulant laxatives use are: constipation and preparation ofthe bowels for examinations or a surgical procedure. There is also apossibility to use stimulant laxatives for the treatment of intestinal tractproblems.

Stimulant laxativescome in various forms, like tablets, granules, powder, suppositories or some liquids.Your doctor or pharmacist might recommend: bisacodyl tablets, castor oil, differentsuppositories, Senna or cascara preparations, etc.

Make sure to carefullyread the instructions on the prescription and follow them. Do not take more laxativesthan it was recommended.

In mostcases, stimulant laxatives are taken before going to sleep, with a glass fullof clear water. Generally, laxatives need several hours to increase your bowelmovements and you should expect first results in the morning. Sometimes, laxativescan take more or less time to work. Don’t be alarmed if you didn’t have bowelmovements for 24 hours after taking the medication, it might be completely normaland it depends on a person.

Castor oil,however, works more quickly, and it is not recommended to take it beforebedtime. Doctors and pharmacists will advise to cool it down on the refrigeratorand drink with orange juice, to neutralize the bad taste and smell of it.

Laxatives Side Effects

Some adverseeffects are considered normal and harmless, like dark colored urine if you usesenna or cascara. However, inform your doctor about: nausea, vomiting,diarrhea, abdominal cramps or irritation, if you have any.

Stop using laxativesimmediately and ask for medical help if you experience: pain, tiredness,serious cramps, rectal bleeding or bloody stools.

CautionMeasures

Inform yourdoctor and pharmacist about the medications and supplements you have been usingand about your current and past medical conditions (including pregnancy andbreastfeeding).

Stimulantlaxatives shouldn’t be used for more than one week. There is a strongpossibility of developing the dependence on laxatives if you used these for along time.

Don’t givestimulant laxatives to children younger than 10 years.

Don’t uselaxatives if you are allergic to them.

Bisacodyl tabletsare also used to treat constipation. Be careful when using them, because you shouldn’tcrush or chew them. Another caution when using bisacodyl is the reaction withmilk and antacid medications, and therefore you mustn’t use them together orwithin 1 hour.

AdditionalAdvices

Doctors oftenrecommend a high fiber diet, plenty of liquids and regular physical activity topatients suffering from constipation. All these actions are proven helpful forthese patients.

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