Re: GI doctor told me Laxatives are not harmful or addictive!!
I don't think your doctor is right!!
Laxatives are addictive and can make you dependent. There are basically 4 types of laxitives osmotic type, stimulating type, bulk forming and stool sofeners.
Bulk forming types are the type that a person can use daily---these are the fiber type like psyllium seed husk powder as well as others. They basically bulk up your stool--- a person needs 25 to 35 gm daily to have noormal BMs. It needs to be divided between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber is all veggies and fruits as well as bran-- the outter parts of all grains, beans and peas. They cause digested food to contract the intestines muscles causing it to move through and out.
Soluble fiber absorbs fluids and bulks up the stool. These are the root veggies like all inner parts of grains( wheat, corn,rice, oats) and root veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots beets, turnips and inulin that is add to many processed foods-- also, along with psyllium, citrucell as well as several others.
Stool softeners are mineral oil and ducosate sodium that softens the stool matter so the food can pass through the intestines better and easily. Docusuate sodium (in Colace and Dialose) can cause liver damage when taken with some drugs due to toxicity. Mineral oil can coat the intestines & prevents vitamins and minerals absorption.
Osmotic laxitives has salts and carbs that makes fluids secrete water into the colon promoting BMs. Examples are Milk of Magnesia, Magnesia Citrate, Epson salt. They are one of the safest for occational use but can result in addictive.
Stimulating laxitives irritate the intestine walls resulting in contractions. This type laxative can damage your intestinaes/colon with continued use and can result in dependency. -- Examples are Dulcolax , castor oil, senna (Senkot, Perdium), Cascara Sagrada and some others!!
Sorry this is not complete but it will give a pretty good idea.
I wish you well---Harry
Last edited by Harry; 10-22-2011 at 12:05 AM.