How Stool Softeners can Change Your Life

Wednesday, 24 Nov 2010 12:24 PM

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Constipation can become quite frustrating and distressing. Repeated episodes of uncomfortable bowel movements and excessive straining during bowel movements may cause increased pressure on the anal veins and lead to complications like piles or fissures. The contributing factors may vary from a lack of physical activity or liver disorder to an insufficient intake of fiber and fluids. The bowel discomfort usually becomes aggravated by long hours of sitting, certain medications, dehydration, and stress.
 
Although the best way to deal with constipation is by modifying lifestyle and dietary choices, the use of stool softeners may at times become necessary. Among the various softeners, the natural stool softeners and bulk forming agents are generally better and safer than regular laxatives. Taking prescription-based laxatives can become a habit and repeated use may cause inflammation to the lining of the intestine and even damage to the colon.
 
Stool softeners aid in the digestive process and offer a home remedy for bowel problems. These softeners often work to improve the bowel by increasing the water holding capacity of the stools and thus increasing the bulk. The softened feces move by stimulating natural contractions, thus alleviating constipation.
 
One common stool softener is bisacodyl, which is available under the brand name Dulcolax® or Correctol®. It is usually taken orally at bedtime. Another softener prescribed is colace or docusate sodium. Colace stool softener is available in 100 mg tablets and should be taken twice a day. A few other natural softeners include senna, phenophthalein, aloe vera, and mineral oils. As with all herbal supplements, it is better to check with an experienced and qualified practitioner before starting on any of these natural softeners.

There are also many natural bulk forming agents such as bran, psyllium, plantain, and methyl cellulose. These natural softeners help by adding bulk to the stool and facilitating a better passage of feces.
 
Stool softeners are perhaps the best way to combat constipation and must ideally be taken in small doses with plenty of water. People who suffer from constipation should drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of warm water throughout the day. However, liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol will worsen one’s symptoms by causing dehydration.
 
Some stool softener home remedies include consuming bananas, prunes, apricots, dates, and figs. These foods are high in soluble fiber, which absorbs and retains water, stimulating peristalsis. Last, but not the least, regular exercise is a must. It is a habit that can go a long way in regularizing your bowel movements. For those who have made diet and lifestyle changes, and are still constipated, stool softeners and laxatives or enemas can certainly provide relief.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on Newsmax.com is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in Newsmaxhealth.com and Newsmax.com do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.

Keeping you up to speed on Lifestyle, health, and money-saving tips
 
 
Get me on Fast Features
Keeping you up to speed on Lifestyle, health, and money-saving tips
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved