Americans spend more than $700 million a year on prescription and over-the-counter laxatives in the quest for constipation relief. The bloating, abdominal pain, excessive gas and sluggishness associated with chronic constipation can be detrimental to your health as well as your quality of life.
Choosing the laxative for your constipation relief can be confusing. Laxatives come in pill, capsule, liquid and suppository form. Two of the most commonly used types of laxatives are stimulant laxatives and osmotic agents. Stimulant laxatives affect the lining of the intestine in a way that accelerates the stool’s passage through the colon. These types of laxatives are often used by people who experience uncomfortable symptoms related to prolonged gaps between bowel movements.
Osmotic agents, sometimes referred to as stool softeners, draw fluids into the intestine from surrounding tissues. This added hydration softens fecal matter, making stools easier to pass.
Because many commercial laxatives come with unpleasant or even serious side effects, your best choice is to find natural ways to deal with occasional irregularity. Increasing fiber intake, drinking lots of pure water, getting regular exercise, choosing nutritious foods, and learning to effectively and calmly deal with life’s stressors can help your body maintain the balance it needs to stay regular.
Many people do quarterly colon cleanses to rid their body of toxins and improve the overall health of the digestive system. Regular cleanses flush out toxins and fecal matter in the intestinal walls to provide constipation relief and support regularity. Talk to your holistic practitioner to determine if a regular colon cleanse is right for you.