Natural Laxatives - Laxatives Relieve Constipation
Types of laxatives
1. Bulk Laxatives: Bulk laxatives use the power of fiber to soften the stool and stimulate a bowel movement. There are three basic types of bulk laxatives, each of which uses a different ingredient: psyllium, calcium polycarbophil, or methylcellulose. As with all laxatives, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids when using bulk laxatives.
2. Osmotic Laxatives: Osmotic laxatives work by increasing the amount of fluid secreted within the intestines, resulting in softer and easier-to-pass stools. The three major osmotic laxatives are Miralax, Lactulose, and Milk of Magnesia.
3. Herbal Stimulant Laxatives: A variety of herbs have a reputation for having laxative effects. Aloe latex, cascara sagrada, frangula, rhubarb, and senna are all examples of herbal stimulant laxatives. Due to possible health concerns, herbal stimulant laxatives are recommended to be used on a short-term (no longer than one week) basis only.
4. Stimulant Laxatives: Stimulant laxatives work by speeding up the movement of intestinal muscles, thus inducing a bowel movement. Many of the well-known products sold in your drug store are stimulant laxatives, including Carters Little Pills, ExLax, and Dulcolax. Stimulant laxatives are generally best-used as a short-term treatment for constipation.
5. Stool Softeners: Stool softeners do just what they say they do they soften the stool so that it is easier to pass. Most stool softeners contain a medication called docusate. Brand names include Colace, Doxinate, and Fleet Sof-Lax. Stool softeners are generally recommended for short-term use, but can be taken for a longer time with the blessing of your physician.
How Laxatives Relieve Constipation?
Laxatives work in different ways, and the effectiveness of each laxative type varies from person to person. In general, bulk-forming laxatives, which are also referred to as fiber supplements, are the gentlest on your body and safe to use long term. Metamucil and Citrucel fall into this category. Stimulant laxatives, such as Ex-Lax and Senokot, are the harshest and shouldn't be used long term.
Oral laxatives may interfere with your body's absorption of some medications and food nutrients. Rectal laxatives do not have this effect. Also, some oral and rectal laxatives can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, especially after prolonged use. Electrolytes, which include calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and sodium, regulate muscle contraction, heart rhythm, nerve function, fluid balance and other body functions. An electrolyte imbalance can cause abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, confusion and seizures.
Laxatives are available as:
• Tablets or capsules you swallow
• Sachets of powder you mix with water and then drink
• Suppositories – a capsule you place inside your rectum (back passage) where it will dissolve
Ideally, laxatives should only be used for short periods of time as prolonged use can make your body dependent on them, so your bowel no longer functions normally without them.
The following foods possess a natural laxative effect, which can help relieve common symptoms of constipation, as well as many other intestinal ailments. Before you start taking laxatives or stool softeners, try incorporating more of these “laxative foods” into your diet. You will be surprised at how well they work. The most popular natural laxatives are foods rich in fiber, like psyllium husks, prune juices, and bran.
1. Sugar-Free Gum: For those who like chewing gum, keep chewing. The sorbitol, a widely used sweetener, in chewing gum and sweets acts as a laxative. Be careful, as large amounts can cause stomach problems. One 21 year old woman suffered from diarrhea and stomach pain for 8 months according to BBC News.
2. Water: This is the most natural laxatives in my opinion. Without water, your body would not function. It makes up approximately 80% of your weight and helps moisten the intestines.
Water is the most overlooked laxative. It softens stools and prevents dehydration. If you are constipated, drink 8 glasses of water a day.
3. Exercise: Lack of exercise can cause constipation, especially in those who are bedridden. Walking and becoming healthy is the best advice I can tell you. Be active, stay active and do not sit all day. In fact take breaks in between where you take a stretch, run an errand etc.
4. Prunes: They are the wrinkled purple and sweetened fruits that are high in potassium and vitamin A. They are often seen as a home remedy for constipation. Moreover, it is one of the healthiest fruits you can ever eat. In addition to relieving constipation, the fruit lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer and heart diseases. But its high soluble fibre is what makes it the key to digestive tract.
Recommended intake: 5 prunes a day- 3 grams of fibre
5. Coconut water: Coconut water is similar to tree sap. It is sweet with increasing semen and promotes digestion and the clearing of the urinary path. Additionally research has found coconut water to have a positive effect on cholesterol. It helps prevent the formation of atherosclerosis. This is not all that coconut water can do for you. It reduces fluid pressures in the eyes and reduces the risk of glaucoma and can create a laxative effect. A person drinking coconut milk may have abnormal bowel movements and relieved constipation. Do not drink too much as you may experience loose stools in the end.
6. Legumes, Beans & Peas: They are low in fat and cholesterol. Moreover they are high-fibre, improving digestion. One suggestion I would make is to combine one of these 3 with grain. This combination makes complete proteins with all amino acids existent. This should also be included in a child’s meal as well as most children do not eat vegetables.
7. Aloe Vera: This is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to our mankind. Most of the aloe vera leaf is filled with gel which has 99% water in it. The rest of the leaf contains 18 amino acids, 75 nutrients, including 20 minerals, 12 vitamin and 200 active plan compounds.
The gel has been used for many things throughout the centuries, including for treating wounds, skin infections and many other skin conditions. The dried latex from the inner lining of the leaf has also been a source of oral laxative.
8. Nuts: High in fibre, nuts make the list as well. Nuts like almonds are high in omega tree fatty acids as well and are healthy. However, one should be forewarned not too eat too much as they are fatty and high in calories. One serving of nuts can work magic, no need for more.
9. Whole Grains: Any foods that are whole grains are natural laxatives as they contain large amounts of fiber (a source of bowel movement). Foods, such as brown rice and oatmeal are two examples.
10. Beets: Beets, amongst other vegetables such as Cabbage are excellent at producing bowel movements. This could even be more helpful if eaten raw. You should not worry if you notice reddish urine and stool. If you are in serious trouble and need to get bowel movement as soon as possible, choose beets.
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