Hey everyone! I am back with another informative blog post. This time, its all about Laxatives or otherwise known as Purgatives. The reason behind me writing about Laxatives would include the fact that summer is just around the corner here in the Philippines. This is because summer practically starts as soon as classes are over and that can be as early as March. Well, considering its almost summer, slimming products are a must have during this time of the year because almost everyone wants to look good in that bikini or beach body. I mean, hello? Who doesn’t want to look good even in their birthday suit, right? That’s why I decided to write about a common slimming product that most Filipinos use during summer. Since that’s the case, I handpicked two of the most popular slimming teas, which would be none other than Biguerlai and BioFit Tea. 🙂
I don’t know with you but most Filipinos really turn to Laxatives during summer time, and this blog basically aims to explain the reason why. Also, this blog aims to at least provide a general background about Laxatives and how it should be used properly and what not. So shall we get started?
So first off, what is a Laxative?
According to Amber J. Tresca (2013) of http://ibdcrohns.about.com, “A laxative is any substance that affects the intestines in a way that facilitates a bowel movement. For mild constipation, a natural laxative or a bulk-forming laxative might be helpful in promoting a bowel movement.” Moreover, Tresca (2013) added that, “Laxative medications are typically given in liquid, pill, or suppository form and may be prescribed to treat constipation that is not responding to other treatments. The use of laxatives (except bulk-forming laxatives) on a regular basis is typically not recommended, except in certain circumstances and on the advice of a physician. A physician will be able to make the determination as to which laxative will be most effective in each particular case.”
Now that you know what Laxatives are, let’s now move on to the Different Types of Laxatives which would include the following:
Tresca (2013) indicated in her article the several types of laxatives are available over-the-counter in drug store such as:
- Bulk-forming laxatives (such as FiberCon, Metamucil, and Citrucel) are made of a type of fiber that is not absorbed by the intestine, but instead passes through it. This has the effect of absorbing water and softening stool, which makes having a bowel movement easier. Bulk-forming laxatives can be safely used long-term.
- Emollient laxatives called “stool softeners” allow more fat and water into the stool, which makes the stool softer and easier to pass.
- Lubricant laxatives, such as mineral oil, work by coating the stool in an oil, which makes it difficult for water to be withdrawn. The extra water helps to keep the stool soft.
- Hyperosmotic laxatives, such as milk of magnesia or Epsom salt, aid digestion by causing more water to be drawn into the intestine to keep stool soft.
- Stimulant laxatives, such as castor oil, cause the movement of the intestines (peristalsis) to speed up, and stool is passed through at a faster than normal rate.
- Natural laxatives are foods that tend to have mild laxative properties, such as prunes. Other foods that may help relieve constipation include prune juice, figs, licorice, rhubarb, and foods that are high in fiber.
Now that you know what the different types of Laxatives are, let’s move on to the common side effects that this drug has. I will also indicate the possible consequences this poses to people who are using them for weight loss.
SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS OF USING LAXATIVES:
The website NHS.UK (n.d.) stated that Laxatives can cause side effects, which vary between the different types.
- bulk-forming laxatives can cause bloating and flatulence (wind)
- stimulant laxatives can cause abdominal (tummy) pain; using them for long periods of time can result in a weakened or ‘lazy’ bowel
- osmotic laxatives can cause abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence
- stool softener laxatives can cause abdominal cramps, a feeling like you are going to be sick (nausea) and a skin rash
Make sure you stay well hydrated when taking laxatives by drinking plenty of fluids. At least two litres (six to eight glasses) of water a day is recommended.
Less common side effects include:
- being sick (vomiting)
- dizziness – do not drive or use tools or machinery if you feel dizzy
- passing blood out with your stools
If you experience any of these less common side effects then stop taking the laxatives and contact your GP for advice.
Avoiding long-term use
In most cases, you should only take laxatives occasionally and on a short-term basis. Using laxatives frequently or every day can be harmful.
Using laxatives on a long-term basis can make your body dependent on them, so your bowel no longer functions properly without the medication.
Overusing laxatives can also cause:
– unbalanced levels of salts and minerals in your body
If you need to use laxatives more regularly, or if you have been taking them for more than a week, see your GP for advice.
LAXATIVES FOR WEIGHT LOSS (CONSEQUENCES)
The website, Fitday.com (n.d.) indicated that the other serious possible consequences from taking laxatives to lose weight are:
1. Stomach Cramps
Laxatives can cause painful stomach cramps. Because of this, it is important to choose a gentle laxative that specifically states that is does not cause cramps.
Laxatives can cause nausea in some people, which is an uncomfortable feeling that can last for up to 3 days after taking a laxative.
Vomitting can occur with laxative use because the medication in the laxatives upset the lining in the stomach.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of laxative use. This is dangerous because it can lead to dehydration.
5. Rectal bleeding
Frequent laxative use can cause rectal bleeding. This is a side effect of frequentbowel movements and/or diarrhea.
Fainting can occur with laxative use. This normally happens when a person becomes very weak from diarrhea and dehydration.
Laxative use can cause dizziness. Again, this side effect is usually caused by dehydration.
8. Electrolyte Imbalance & Dehydration
Electrolytes are important to the functioning human body. Laxative use causes loss of important electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and sodium. A long-term electrolyte imbalance can lead to an electrolyte disorder. Some of the symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance include muscle fatigue, mental changes, cramping, irregular heart beat and even death. Also, chronic diarrhea creates a loss of water which can lead to dehydration, which is a life threatening situation. Dehydration can cause weakness, blurry vision, fainting, kidney damage and death.
9. Damage to Intestinal Functioning
Consistent use of laxatives as a method for dieting can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, which can be permanent. Chronic use of laxatives can lead to a loss in the proper functioning of the tract. The body becomes habituated to the laxative doses. Once laxative use is halted, the intestines can slow down and lose their ability to remove food from the body. This, in turn, can lead to severe constipation. Also, the nerve endings which surround the large intestines are changed by chronic laxative use, causing them to no longer respond to stimulation. This creates a cycle of requiring larger doses of laxatives to create a bowel movement.
Now that you have a background on Laxatives, I will now go into detail with regard to the most popular kind of Laxative here in the Philippines which is none other than Senna.
So what is Senna?According to Amy Long Carrera (n.d.) of http://healthyeating.sfgate.com, “Senna is a yellow-flowered plant that typically grows in India and China. The leaves of the senna plant are used in non-prescription medicines and herbal supplements to treat constipation. There is not enough research to rate senna as effective for other health concerns, such as hemorrhoids or weight loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. Exercise caution when using senna to relieve constipation.”
What is Senna used for?
According to WebMD (n.d.), “Senna is Likely Effective for constipation. Taking senna orally is effective for short-term treatment of constipation. Senna is an FDA-approved nonprescription drug for adults and children ages 2 years and older. However, in children ages 3-15 years, mineral oil and a medication called lactulose might be more effective. In elderly people, senna plus psyllium is more effective than lactulose for treating ongoing constipation.”
Furthermore, WebMD (n.d.) states that, “Senna is Possibly Effective for bowel preparation before colonoscopy. Taking senna by mouth might be effective for bowel cleansing before colonoscopy; however, sodium phosphate or polyethylene glycol are more effective.”
Lastly, WebMD (n.d.) indicated that, Senna has Insufficient Evidence for:
- Irritable bowel disease.
- Losing weight.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects and Safety Use of Senna:
According to Cathy Wong (2013) of http://altmedicine.about.com, “Senna should not be used for more than seven consecutive days unless under a doctor’s supervision. It should not be used to get a daily bowel movement.” Furthermore, Carrera (n.d.) adds that, “Senna can cause diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. You may experience nausea or vomiting, although these issues are less common. Some people may be allergic to senna leaves. The color of your urine may change while you are taking senna laxatives, but should go back to normal when you stop. Avoid using senna for long periods of time, as chronic use may impair the normal function of your colon, cautions the American Cancer Society. Consult with your doctor before using senna if you are pregnant or nursing.”
To know more about the side effects, uses and recommendations of both Senna and Laxatives, please do visit the following websites to be listed down at the end of this blog. 🙂
So now that you know what Senna and Laxatives are, let’s move on to the review, shall we?
- Aids Constipation
- Both should be steeped for 15-20mins
- Both contain 75% (1.5g) Senna Leaves/Fruits and 25% (0.5g) Senna Pods
- Both claim to reduce surplus fats, weight and excess body fluids
- Both are Laxatives
- Only one cup a day for both teas
- Biguerlai is more expensive for it costs about Php 38.00 to 40.00 depending on which local drugstore you purchase it from.
- BioFit Tea is cheaper for it only costs Php 29.00 for both Mercury Drugstore and SouthStar Drug.
- BioFit Tea claims to promote a slimmer and sexy figure with continued use.
- Biguerlai comes with a precaution while BioFit Tea doesn’t have any.
- Biguerlai Tea should be placed in 200ml cup of lukewarm water while BioFit Tea only indicated that it should be steeped using hot water.
- With Biguerlai, the taste of the Senna Fruits/Leaves and Pods are more evident as compared to BioFit Tea
- Biguerlai works faster for you could easily feel as if you need to go to the restroom as soon as you wake up.
Which one do I recommend?
Personally, I do recommend that you use the Biguerlai Tea instead of the BioFit one it contains a precaution with regard to how the product is to be used by someone. Medically speaking, it is always advisable to take in products/drugs that have a precaution written on the packaging itself for this will help people know how it should be taken. Moreover, it is also best to invest in a brand that has been around in the market for quite some time already because this only goes to show that it is very effective. 🙂
I ONLY RECOMMEND THIS TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING CONSTIPATION AND OTHER ABDOMINAL DISEASE THAT PREVENTS ANYONE FROM HAVING FREQUENT STOOLS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. 🙂
Well, that’s it, everyone. I hope you have found this blog post as informative as possible. If you have any comments, adverse reactions and the like, feel free to comment down below. Again, all my comments are subject to approval because I tend to overlook them at times. 🙂 Thank you very much for reading! I hope you have an amazing day wherever you are! Take care and God bless you always! ❤
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY
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