I have a problem with long term laxative use, be it of the pharmaceutical variety or even senna or aloe vera. Here’s why?
There are many problems with long term laxative abuse;
- Larger doses are needed to do the job over time
- Electrolyte imbalance which can affect heart and colon health
- Severe dehydration which leads to weakness and tremor
- Melanosis Coli - damage to the cells in the intestinal lining which causes cell death. The damaged cells of the wall appear as darkly pigmented walls called Melanosis Coli
- Organ damage such as lazy bowels, bowel infections, kidney and or liver damage
- You don’t get to the bottom of why you are constipated in the first place!
Long term use of some “natural” laxative alternatives are equally harmful. Take Senna and Aloe Vera (whole leaf extract, gel and latex) for example.
- Repeated use of Senna has been shown to inhibit peristalsis (muscular contractions) in the intestines and has been associated with the development of melanosis coli, colonic adenomas, and/or carcinoma
- Repeated use of Aloe Vera has been associated with the development of melanosis coli, kidney problems, low potassium and cardiovascular issues. Not only that Aloe Vera is best avoided if you have an inflammatory bowel condition as it can irritate the bowel or avoid if you have SIBO because of the mucopolysaccharide content, which can actually feed the bacteria.
Even though it’s tempting to use “band aid” quick fix laxatives for extended periods of time, is it really worth the large amount of alarming collateral damage you receive from them? Collateral damage that you’ll need to tend to in the future? I don’t think so!
So If you are someone who wants to resolve your constipation and you need help, schedule in a naturopathic consultation with me. As an experienced health care practitioner, constipation is my specialty. Over many years I have seen many respond well to treatment. Sometimes the solutions are easy and sometimes it may take a little more time and effort to investigate and resolve but either way I know you are worth the long term benefits and prevention of chronic dis-ease