PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What laxatives can you use for constipation?

ANSWER

Laxative types include:

  • Bulk-forming laxatives. They're fiber supplements that make the stool bigger and softer. They're safe to use regularly but can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines, and you may get bloating, cramps, and gas. Drink a lot of water when you take bulk laxatives.
  • Lubricant laxatives coat the stool to make it slippery, so it can pass more easily through the colon.
  • Osmotic laxatives help fluids move through your intestines. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor first because these products can cause electrolyte imbalances.
  • Saline laxatives pull extra water into the stool.
  • Stimulant laxatives make the muscles in your intestines contract to help push stool out. They work quickly but can cause side effects, including cramping and diarrhea, so use them for as little time as possible.
  • Stool softeners make stools easier to pass by adding fluid to them.

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): "Constipation."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Understanding Constipation."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Constipation."

Feldman M. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2010.

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Laxatives: OTC Products for Constipation."

Legato MJ. Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Volume 1. Academic Press, 2009.

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on August 20, 2020

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): "Constipation."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Understanding Constipation."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Constipation."

Feldman M. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2010.

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Laxatives: OTC Products for Constipation."

Legato MJ. Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Volume 1. Academic Press, 2009.

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on August 20, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

What is the best way to relieve constipation?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: