Gastroenterologists and internists readily prescribe laxatives and antidiarrheal medications. I never offer them to my patients because they are dangerous and don’t resolve the underlying cause of the problem.
In fact, they cause more issues in the long run.
I find the best laxative to be magnesium. Its effects are gentle, and magnesium exists naturally in our bodies.
Magnesium causes smooth muscle relaxation, is excellent in helping you sleep and relax, and is a good adjuvant to calcium and zinc supplementation.
There’s just one caveat: You must make sure your hormones are in balance and that your constipation isn’t caused by low thyroid function.
I’m not a fan of antidiarrheals such as Imodium and Kaopectate unless there is a serious reason to treat diarrhea because it is causing dehydration and placing a patient in serious danger.
Diarrhea is often the body’s way of getting rid of toxic substances.
When a patient has loose bowel movements, we shouldn’t immediately jump on the treatment bandwagon.
Instead, we should first try to determine the cause and make sure the patient is well-hydrated with electrolyte-rich fluids.
Very often, the episode passes without leaving any residual problems. The patient is better off in the long run if we don’t try to stop the body’s natural way of protecting itself.
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