Friday, December 28, 2007

Risks Facts Herbs And Supplements To Cure Constipation

Risk Factors for Constipation
Stool is formed in the colon, which is at the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract. By the time digested food reaches the colon, most of the nutrients have been absorbed. The colon’s primary job is to remove excess liquid from the intestinal contents. A large number of beneficial bacteria colonize the colon and help with digestion of any remaining nutrients. Muscular peristaltic waves propel the stool (while it is in the process of being formed) toward the rectum. The stool is aided in its passage through the colon by mucus, which provides lubrication.

Bulk-forming fiber and water are essential to the healthy formation of stool. Insoluble fiber provides bulk to the stool and retains enough water to keep the stool pliable (Hsieh C 2005). Likewise, adequate moisture is needed to keep the stool soft and prepare it for evacuation. There is, however, some disagreement among physicians about the role of fluid intake in constipation. Some studies have reported that liquid intake is not associated with constipation (Whitehead WE et al 1989).

For the most part, doctors usually consider the following to be the usual causes of constipation:

Lack of exercise. Constipation has been shown to be related to inactivity (Simren M 2002). Abdominal and intestinal muscles work together to move the bowels. Weak abdominal muscles can contribute to weak bowel movements.
Some medications. Some pain medications, especially narcotics, can cause constipation, as can some antidepressants, iron supplements, and calcium supplements (Muller-Lissner S 2002). Other medications that can cause constipation include calcium channel blockers, psychotropic drugs, and anticholinergics. Inadequate thyroid hormone supplementation is also thought to cause constipation.
Certain diseases. Tumors and some diseases may produce a rapid change in bowel movements, or even the cessation of all bowel movements.

Most cases of constipation are first treated by lifestyle changes and by increasing the intake of fiber and liquids. Chronic constipation caused by medications, however, may require long-term laxative therapy. In this case, patients may consider rotating their use of different kinds of laxatives (such as first using stimulatory laxatives, and then using osmotic laxatives) to maintain regular bowel movements and minimize the risk of laxative dependency. Many people use laxatives for long periods with few adverse effects.

To induce peristaltic action and relieve acute constipation within 45 to 60 minutes, try one of the following techniques:

Mix 4000 to 8000 mg of ascorbic acid powder with 1500 mg of magnesium oxide powder. Mix the preparation with the juice of a freshly squeezed grapefruit or orange. Drink. (Take on an empty stomach.)
Mix 1 to 6 teaspoons of a buffered vitamin C powder that contains magnesium and potassium salts along with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Mix the preparation with room-temperature water. Drink. (Take on an empty stomach.)
Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of Power Maker II Sugar-Free Powder in water or juice. Drink. (Take on an empty stomach.)
Take 2000 to 3000 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Keep in mind that pantothenic acid is unpalatable. (Take on an empty stomach.)
The following nutrients may also help relieve chronic constipation. When using fiber supplements, it is best to start with a lower dosage and slowly add additional fiber. Remember to also drink plenty of liquids.

Chitosan—One to three capsules with 8 ounces of water and 1000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, three times a day, preferably with meals. Start with one capsule with each meal to allow the body to adjust to a higher level of fiber.
Soluble fiber—5 grams (g) once or more daily. Any side effects will gradually disappear as your body adjusts to the increased fiber intake.
Glucomann—1 to 2 g/day
Probiotics—At least 300 mg of a probiotic mix containing Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Digest RC—Two to three tablets with every fat- or protein-containing meal for 3 weeks. Dosage may be reduced after relief occurs.

Constipation Safety Caveats
An aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. These include:


Take fiber supplements with a full 8-ounce glass of water.
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily while taking fiber.

Do not take magnesium if you have kidney failure or myasthenia gravis.
Vitamin C

Do not take vitamin C if you have a history of kidney stones or of kidney insufficiency (defined as having a serum creatine level greater than 2 milligrams per deciliter and/or a creatinine clearance less than 30 milliliters per minute.
Consult your doctor before taking large amounts of vitamin C if you have hemochromatosis, thalassemia, sideroblastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, or erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. You can experience iron overload if you have one of these conditions and use large amounts of vitamin C.



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