“Common sense is not so common” –Voltaire
A useful review of constipation management in the NY Times: Simple Remedies for Constipation
This review explains the role of diet and exercise in treatment of constipation. The author notes that coffee helps many and that laxatives are safe. In addition, the idea of “autointoxication” due to infrequent bowel movements is debunked.
Here’s an excerpt:
Dr. Wald and others say that properly designed studies of these [stimulatory] laxatives have shown no harm to the colon when they are taken in recommended amounts.
Yet many doctors still warn – inappropriately, Dr. Wald says — against taking stimulatory laxatives for more than a few days. Indeed, the website FamilyDoctor.org states, “When these laxatives are taken for a long time, the bowel can lose its muscle tone and ‘forget’ how to push the stool out on its own.” Best to forget this outdated idea as long as you stick to the recommended dose if you must take these products.
Related blog posts:
- Stimulants for constipation | gutsandgrowth
- Miralax Safety | gutsandgrowth
- Updated Pediatric Expert Constipation Guidelines | gutsandgrowth