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Laxatives For Constipation (cont.)

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What are the causes of constipation?

There are many causes of constipation including:

  • Diets low in fiber. Fiber is vegetable material resistant to digestion that promotes soft stools by adding bulk to the stool and causing water to be retained in stool.
  • Side effects of medications such as narcotic painkillers, antidepressants, iron supplements, calcium channel blockers (medications for high blood pressure), and certain types of antacids.
  • Narrowing or blockage of the large intestine (colon) due to scarring from previous surgery, colon cancer or advanced diverticulosis.
  • Ineffective contraction or spasm of the colon's muscles due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other diseases of the colon's muscles.
  • Hormonal (endocrine) disturbances such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroid) and diabetes mellitus with nerve damage.
  • Neurologic conditions such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and others.

Examples of common medications that can cause constipation:

  • Narcotic pain medications: codeine (Tylenol #3), oxycodone (Percocet), guaifenesin/hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and others
  • Antidepressants: amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), fluoxetine (Prozac), and imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Anticonvulsants: phenytoin (Dilantin) and carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Iron supplements
  • Calcium channel blockers (for example, diltiazem [Cardizem] and nifedipine [Procardia])
  • Antacids (for example, aluminum hydroxide [Amphojel] and aluminum carbonate [Basaljel])

Patient Comments

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Constipation - Natural Remedies Question: Please share any natural remedies you've tried for constipation. What works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Possible Causes Question: What do you believe is the cause of your constipation? Please describe your experience.
Constipation - OTC Treatments Question: Have you tried over-the-counter treatments for constipation? In your opinion, what works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Seeing a Doctor Question: Why did you go to a doctor for your constipation? What types of tests or exams were included during your visit?
Constipation - Children Question: What do you do when your baby or child is constipated? Please share your experience with treating constipation in kids.
Constipation - Pregnancy Question: Were you constipation during your pregnancy? What lifestyle changes or natural remedies helped relieve symptoms?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/laxatives_for_constipation/article.htm

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