Laxatives are also known as purgatives which mainly constitutes foods, compounds or drugs that induces bowel movements to loosen stool. They are basically used to treat constipation. Many people across the globe want to eliminate waster everyday but using laxatives for this purpose is not advisable. Moreover, the body if gets addicted to laxatives becomes a big problem as important vitamins, minerals and fluids also gets extracted without them getting absorbed for health body activity. Using laxatives in bulk quantity at times leads to diarrhea problem.
We can differentiate five main types of laxatives that work in varying degrees.
Bulk Laxatives or fiber: These are the laxatives that are very rich in fiber content and are mostly found in bran or cellulose products. They do combine with body fluids for making impact on the body which creates a natural stimulation of the intestine. It is also available in the form of Metamucil in the drug stores.
Hypersmotics or salts: Some of the synthetic or natural chemical ingredients like Epsom salts and citrates of magnesia induces the effect which generally draws water from the body to induce bowel movements and softer mass. Although these hypersmotics work on the same principle as bulk laxatives but some people prefer hypersmotics over bulk laxatives because they do not have a tendency to cause a bloat effect as seen in the case of bulk laxatives.
Cathartics or Stimulants: Cathartics work on the principle that they soften hydrates and lubricate mass in the intestine by causing them to absorb fluids and fats. Well known example for this Dioxin.
Lubricants and softeners: Lubricants like the mineral oil can also be administered as laxatives for the You do not have access to view this node.
For people suffering from constipation laxatives as ingredients for inducing the bowel movement to looses the stool.
Before bowel surgery or a bowel examination: For the patients requiring bowel surgery some stimulants, lubricants, saline laxatives or enema is administered before bowel examination.
Eating disorders and laxative abuse: Laxative abuse is also prevalent amongst the population suffering with anoxia nervosa, an eating disorder.
Although laxatives are present in various forms, each of them may work in a different way to help relieve or prevent constipation.