Dulcolax/Constipation - some information

Discussion in 'Cambridge Weight Plan' started by Dancing, 7 March 2008 Social URL.

  1. Dancing

    Dancing Gold Member

    It concerns me that so many people are using this frequently without any understanding of the possible risks of doing so. It is not something that is intended to be used for an ongoing period. Also, I get the impression that many people don't have a real understanding of what constipation is and what it isn't.

    The information below can be found for yourselves if you google it (while you shouldn't believe everything you find on google you can be sure that this is accurate.) Of course, most of you don't take it for 7 days in a row but you are taking it on a regular basis without an understanding of how that may be causing you other problems.

    I'm not preaching - just giving you some information so you can form your own opinion.

    "Bisacodyl (includes Dulcolax) products should not be used for longer than one week, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider."

    "This medication may cause a condition known as laxative dependence, especially if it has been used regularly for more than 7 days(but not only) . In such cases, ongoing constipation and loss of normal bowel function may occur. To prevent laxative dependence, consult your doctor if your condition persists and you need to use this medication for more than 1 week."

    "Prolonged excessive use may lead to electrolyte imbalance and hypokalemia, and may precipitate the onset of rebound constipation."

    "excessive use of any laxative can cause depletion of many nutrients"

    Also, do you know what constipation is? It is not constipation just because you don't go every day. A person eating regular meals can go anything from 3x a day to 3x a week. Going only 3x a week is not considered constipation.

    I'm going to paste an excellent post from Jane that gives a good description of constipation and the steps you are advised to take if you think you have it.

    1. the frequency is not a problem, nor is the size.

    2.It's the consistancy of the poo & ease with which it passes that is important.

    If it is 'formed to firm' & slips out without straining then all is fine.

    If you have to strain, sit there for ages & only pass a tiny hard rabbit pellet then things are not fine. This is when you should start adding:
    • water - increase your water intake (added by Dancing)
    • soluble firbre (=fibre '89)
    • insoluble fibre (= psyllium husks)
    • a stimulant laxative (eg senna, dulcolax etc)to get the system unclogged & allow your larger bulkier fibre-enhanced poos to travel down unimpeeded
    • if all else fails a glycerine suppository can be used.(purchase from the chemist)
    these things should be added in the order they have been typed.

    And you should bear in mind what is constipation when you decide if you need to add a laxative - you should not expect to go every day. You should not even expect to go more than once a week. Remember the issue is how difficult is it to go. We are not consuming much, therefore we will not be passing out much waste.

    Psyllium husks - a preventative, not a cure
    Also, re adding psyllium husks to the diet. Psyllium husks act as a preventative, not a cure. Therefore, if you already are constipated - you should not expect psyllium husks to shift it - it may actually compound the problem. You need to clear the current blockage then add the husks as a preventative. This is because the fibre works by absorbing water in the body and adding bulk to the faeces in order to have the natural biological action (has to be enough mass to have it trigger the propulsion from the body). If you are constipated it is because you haven't had enough water to allow the body to do its thing so the faeces becomes compacted and very dry (and like concrete). You need something that breaks that down so that it can be eliminated. Fibre will add to the bulk and because you already have something blocking the exit (the constipated faeces) there is nowhere for it to go.
    Last edited: 7 March 2008
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  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Was Cambridge, now maintaining
    Fab, informative post Dancing. Cheers for that :clap:
  4. SharonJayne1970

    SharonJayne1970 Silver Member

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    Excellant post Dancing. Also we should remember that if you are ssing you are not consuming what you would if you were eating normally therefore........less in equates to less out
  5. wannabeminime

    wannabeminime Gold Member

    Sorry to keep harping on about it:eek:, but i just wanted to add that MOVICOL is a stool softener, so works completely differently to Dulcolax, thereby not causing laxative dependence, ie a lazy bowel. It rehydrates the stool. Therefore if you dont like PH, it's a good alternative.

    Thank you for a fab post Dancing!
  6. Eclipse

    Eclipse Gold Member

    Thanks for the post! I have been using dulcolax (bisacodyl) prescribed by my doctor for over 16 years now, so think I have fallen into the category of laxative dependant! If I don't take them regularly, then I simply do not go (and I am talking weeks here, not days!) So unfortunately for me, I will be on them for the rest of my life I think

    BIG BIRDY Silver Member

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    Also If you are constipated you can end up with an anal fissure/tear which can be alleviated or prevented by using a glycerin suppository to lubricate the stool so it comes out easier. I would use that at the same time as oral meds if not before.
  8. wannabeminime

    wannabeminime Gold Member

    Cheryl, talk to your GP about whether you can ease yourself off dulcolax and onto a stool softener. You could have both over several months, alternating daily, then switch completely. Worth thinking about. :confused:
  9. Eclipse

    Eclipse Gold Member

    Thanks Becks, I have tried Movicol in the past and Lactulose, but they just give me wind and chronic pain and set off my IBS. But I will talk to her again about it when I see her next xxx
  10. Sambucca

    Sambucca Gold Member

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    Gastric BYpass
    great post dancing
  11. Lisa Marie

    Lisa Marie Silver Member

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    Very informative Dancing. Thank you.
  12. Dancing

    Dancing Gold Member

    excellent point!
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