Restoring Regularity: Overcoming Intermittent Constipation at a Walk-In Clinic

Definition of Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which the frequency of bowel movements decreases below the normal rate (less than three times per week) and passing stool becomes difficult. In cases of constipation, stool tends to be dry and hard, causing discomfort during elimination. Restoralax, an over-the-counter treatment, could be a potential solution for relieving constipation.

People experiencing constipation may encounter symptoms such as abdominal fullness, bloating, abdominal pain, or difficulty passing stool. When the infrequency of bowel movements persists for a few weeks or more, constipation is considered chronic.

Individuals Affected by Constipation

If you find yourself dealing with constipation, it's important to know that you're not alone. Constipation is the most prevalent gastrointestinal issue. In Canada, approximately 1 in 4 adults experiences constipation symptoms.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation can be attributed to lifestyle changes, including alterations in diet, reduced physical activity, or pregnancy. Conversely, engaging in regular exercise promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Additionally, a low intake of dietary fiber can lead to constipation. Adult females should consume a minimum of 21-25 grams of fiber daily, while adult males should aim for at least 30-38 grams. Checking the nutrition facts on packaged foods can help ensure that you're consuming sufficient fiber in your diet.

Some common sources of high-fiber foods include oatmeal, bran, beans, most vegetables, and various fruits. If incorporating enough high-fiber foods into your diet is challenging, fiber supplements like psyllium (Metamucil) and methylcellulose (Citrucel) can be added. However, it's important to consult with your doctor before taking fiber supplements, as they may cause bloating and gas in individuals with underlying gastrointestinal conditions.

Some medications, such as opiate pain killers, may also lead to constipation. Other common medications, including antidepressants, antacids, and iron supplements, can have the same effect. If you regularly take medications that list constipation as a side effect, it may be beneficial to increase your intake of dietary fiber.

Individuals who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may also experience constipation. Those with IBS typically encounter bloating, abdominal pain, and gas. Due to the various symptoms associated with IBS, dietary fiber may not be the most effective treatment.

Excessive use of over-the-counter laxatives can also result in chronic constipation. Consequently, continuously relying on laxatives can be detrimental for individuals suffering from this condition. Finding a safe and effective treatment for chronic constipation becomes challenging.

Constipation can make individuals feel isolated and alone. However, it is the most prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) problem. In Canada, approximately one in four adults experiences symptoms of constipation over an extended period of time.

Why is it crucial to treat constipation? While over-the-counter treatments provide relief for most people with constipation, chronic cases can bring about severe discomfort, with standard therapies often failing to provide relief. Furthermore, continuous straining to pass stool can cause significant damage to the anus, such as hemorrhoids and anal fistulas.

Chronic constipation can also lead to fecal impaction, where a large mass of dry, unpassed stool accumulates in the rectum over time. Fecal impaction can result in severe complications.

Moreover, chronic constipation takes a toll beyond physical ramifications. Many individuals with chronic constipation begin to distance themselves from society after finding no relief for their condition. The impact of this condition is often overlooked since it is not immediately life-threatening. People suffering from chronic constipation endure significant hardship, often in silence.

What Are The Present Non-Prescription Solutions For Relieving Constipation?

If modifying your dietary and physical activity habits does not yield any improvement in chronic constipation, there are numerous non-prescription remedies that can assist. As previously mentioned, fiber supplements can effectively promote regular bowel movements. 

Stimulant agents can induce contractions in the muscles of the intestines, facilitating the passage of stools. Various kinds of stimulants are available, including bisacodyl (Dulcolax) and sennosides (Ex-lax). It is worth noting that stimulants have a higher likelihood of causing severe abdominal pain due to gastrointestinal muscle cramps in comparison to other laxatives. 

Another treatment option for constipation is osmotic agents, which work by increasing the influx of fluid into the intestines, thereby stimulating bowel movements. Examples of osmotic agents include magnesium citrate, polyethylene glycol (Glycolax), magnesium hydroxide (Dulcolax Milk of Magnesia), and lactulose (Cholac). 

Lubricants, such as mineral oil, serve as another category of laxatives that aid in the facilitation of stool passage by lubricating the intestines. Stool softeners, like docustate calcium and docustate sodium, are able to alleviate constipation by making stools softer and easier to pass through the introduction of water into the stool from the intestines. Additionally, there are numerous types of suppositories and enemas that can be utilized to promote the passage of stools. 

RestoraLAX: Essential Information to Consider

While current non-prescription therapies are sometimes insufficient in treating chronic constipation, prescription treatments may be excessive for certain individuals, as they often come with significant side effects such as cramping, electrolyte imbalances, and the potential for dependence. 

RestoraLAX is an osmotic laxative composed of polyethylene glycol 3350. It has been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective treatment for chronic constipation. 

Furthermore, RestoraLAX avoids the frequent occurrence of bloating and cramping that is often associated with other laxatives. It also does not give rise to electrolyte imbalances, a common issue found with other laxatives. RestoraLAX begins to take effect within as little as 6 hours after consumption, providing prompt relief from constipation. Unlike pills, RestoraLAX is in the form of a powder that can be easily adjusted to suit individual dosing requirements when added to a glass of water.

Overall, RestoraLAX is a well-tolerated laxative that can effectively alleviate both acute and chronic constipation with minimal side effects. However, like any laxative, dependence may develop with repetitive or long-term use, so it is important to consult with your physician if you have been using RestoraLAX for over a week. 

What Are The Current Prescription Treatments For Constipation?

Despite the numerous options available in non-prescription treatments for constipation, some individuals suffering from chronic constipation may still find no relief from their symptoms. It is not uncommon for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to require stronger medications, which can only be obtained through a prescription, compared to what is available over-the-counter. Prescription medications that encourage the movement of water into the intestines, such as Linaclotide, are available to assist in such cases. 

Alternative Medications for Relieving Constipation

There exists a separate category of prescription drugs that specifically target serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors, which aid in facilitating the smooth passage of stool through the intricate network of intestines. Moreover, individuals who are subjected to prescription painkillers, specifically opioid narcotics, often endure the distressing consequences of constipation. However, there is a glimmer of hope for these patients in the form of peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonists (PAMORAs), which are classified as medications that may provide relief. By obstructing the adverse effects of narcotics within the gastrointestinal system, PAMORAs offer respite from the ailment of constipation.

Online Consultation: Seek Professional Guidance for Constipation Treatment

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