colon health tips

- Relieving Constipation -
Overnight Relief Using a Fast Acting Laxative

Relieving constipation with medication usually involves ingestion of a fast acting laxative. The main goal of such medicine is to increase peristalsis to produce a bowel movement. This often gives overnight relief from constipation.

Peristalsis is the term that refers to the muscular wave like contractions of the colon that move contents along the tube.

A fast acting laxative is classed as a bowel stimulant. When taken orally it causes increased muscle contractions and contents in the colon move along more quickly.

You see most laxatives are chemicals that are slightly irritating to the colon ... and being somewhat annoyed by its presence, peristalsis increases in an effort to get rid of the laxative and the result (hopefully) is that stool that has been sitting in the lower colon and rectum is forced out and a bowel movement occurs.

colon cartoon reacting to a fact acting laxative

Relieving constipation with medication is good as a short term fix for a temporary problem, but stimulant constipation medicine should not be used on a regular basis.

Using chemicals to stimulate bowel evacuation will actually make the colon weaker and then there is the possibility that there may be a reliance on the medication in order to ... well make shit happen!

Difficulty with constipation can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are temporary, but if it is not possible to re-establish normal bowel function and get back to a regular pattern of evacuation after an episode of constipation, then attention should be brought to improving overall colon health so that all the necessary ingredients for regular bowel evacuation can work together.

What Is In A Fast Acting Laxative?

The most common laxative chemicals used in over the counter constipation medication is bisacodyl. It is usually sold under brand name of Dulcolax.

Phenolphthalein was formerly used as well but recently it has been withdrawn from many markets because of concern about its role in causing cancer. Many brands that formerly used phenophthalein replaced it with bisacodyl and continued to sell their product under the same brand name.

Possible undesirable effects of stimulant laxatives include intestinal cramping, and diarrhea.

They are not recommended for use by pregnant women.

Constipation medication such as the stimulants described here can bring overnight relief from constipation that is temporary or brought about by unusual circumstances such as forced immobilization due to illness or surgery, or even short term medication therapy that causes constipation.

A more natural approach to modifying the factors that make you constipated is better for the longer term.

This would include eliminating or reducing the foods that make you constipated, increasing your intake of fiber, getting plenty of fluids, promoting the proper balance of intestinal bacteria (probiotics) in your colon and becoming more physically active.

by Beverly OMalley

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