Laxatives for Constipation

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Laxatives for constipation facts

  • Constipation is infrequent bowel movements that may be painful or difficult with hard stool.
  • Common causes of constipation include diets low in fiber, medications, prior surgeries, and certain medical conditions.
  • A doctor should be consulted for constipation if it is severe, it does not respond to home treatment, is accompanied by bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, or pregnancy.
  • Non-drug measures for constipation include adding fiber to the diet, increasing fluids, and regular exercise.
  • Foods that increase fiber in the diet are helpful in treating mild cases of constipation. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
  • Over-the-counter preparations for constipation include bulk-forming laxatives, stool softeners, lubricant laxatives, stimulant laxatives, saline laxatives enemas, osmotic-type laxatives, and suppositories.
  • There is concern that over-use of laxatives, especially the stimulant laxatives, may have a deleterious effect on the colon and make the constipation worse.
  • Children and infants usually can benefit from dietary modification to help relieve constipation.
  • Constipation in pregnancy can often be remedied with dietary changes and exercise. Individuals should consult their physicians before using laxatives or stool softeners.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2014

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Constipation - Natural Remedies Question: Please share any natural remedies you've tried for constipation. What works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Possible Causes Question: What do you believe is the cause of your constipation? Please describe your experience.
Constipation - OTC Treatments Question: Have you tried over-the-counter treatments for constipation? In your opinion, what works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Seeing a Doctor Question: Why did you go to a doctor for your constipation? What types of tests or exams were included during your visit?
Constipation - Children Question: What do you do when your baby or child is constipated? Please share your experience with treating constipation in kids.
Constipation - Pregnancy Question: Were you constipation during your pregnancy? What lifestyle changes or natural remedies helped relieve symptoms?

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