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Laxatives are medicines that stimulate intestinal contractions, favoring the elimination of feces and temporarily combating constipation. Despite helping to reduce the symptoms of constipation, taking more than 1 tablet of laxative a week can be harmful to he alth, as it can induce dependence, in which the intestine starts working only after taking the laxative.
Therefore, the use of laxatives should only be done under medical supervision, because in the right dose, they can be recommended, when it is necessary to empty the intestine during the preparation for exams such as colonoscopy, for example.
It is important to adopt good he alth habits to avoid constipation and not use laxatives, it is recommended to eat foods rich in fiber, drink plenty of water during the day, exercise regularly and go to the bathroom when you feel like it.
Frequent use of laxatives such as Lactulose, Bisacodyl or Lacto Purge, for example, can cause long-term he alth problems, such as:
1. Dependence and worsening of constipation
When you have not defecated for at least 3 days, stools become hard, making it more difficult to eliminate and reducing bowel functions, which further aggravates constipation. In these situations, the use of laxatives may be recommended to promote bowel contractions and promote the elimination of feces.
However, when the use of laxatives becomes frequent, it can end up causing the intestine to become dependent on the drug, functioning only when stimulated by the laxative.
2. Kidney or heart malfunction
The use of laxatives in excess can also cause heart or kidney problems due to the elimination of important electrolytes, such as calcium, as well as vitamins and nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
3. Impair the absorption of other medications
In addition to leading to irritation of the intestinal mucosa and making the large intestine smoother and longer, which makes the feces need to travel a longer path to be eliminated. In addition, the frequent use of laxatives reduces the roughness of the intestines, which help to shape the stool and help with intestinal contractions.
When the laxative is indicated
The use of laxatives may be indicated in some cases, such as:
- People who are constipated due to lack of physical activity, such as bedridden elderly;
- People with severehernias or hemorrhoids who cause too much pain to have a bowel movement;
- In the postoperative period of surgeries in which you cannot exert yourself or if you are lying down for many days;
- In preparation for medical exams that require bowel emptying, such as colonoscopy, for example.
However, the use of laxatives should only be done on the advice of the doctor, as in some cases they may interfere with other medications that the person may be using.
Contraindications for the use of laxatives
Contact laxatives are generally not indicated during pregnancy or in patients with nausea and vomiting because they can increase dehydration, aggravating the problem.
It is also contraindicated for children who have constipation, being used only when indicated by the pediatrician, because it can alter the intestinal flora, reducing its functioning.
Furthermore, this medication should not be used when you have bulimia or anorexia or when you are taking diuretics such as furosemide, as it increases the loss of water and minerals from the body which can lead to kidney or kidney malfunction. from the heart, for example.
How to take it
Laxatives recommended by the doctor can be taken orally, through solutions, drops or syrup or by applying a suppository directly to the anus and lead to increased bowel movements and help to make the stool more, making it easier to pass.
However, a he althier option, with fewer he alth risks and which can be used before laxative medications, is to use foods rich in fiber, such as papaya, plum, orange or teas with a laxative effect., like senna tea, for example.
Watch the following video to learn about fruits with laxative effect:
How to improve bowel function
To increase bowel function, without having to use laxatives, it is recommended to start with natural strategies such as:
- Drink more water, drinking at least 1.5L of water daily;
- Eat fiber-rich foods such as pasta and brown rice or bread with seeds;
- Avoid white foods, such as white bread, potatoes, farofa that are low in fiber;
- Eat fruit with peel and with laxative effects such as plum, grape, papaya, kiwi or orange;
- Take yogurt with seeds, such as flaxseed or chia.
Generally, when the consumption of this type of food is daily, the intestine starts working more regularly, eliminating the use of contact laxatives. Know the main causes of constipation and what to do.