If bowel movements cause discomfort, many people turn to laxatives. Laxatives act at different speeds, depending on the active ingredient, and can result in side effects of varying intensity. Find out here what you need to be aware of.
Bulk-forming laxatives, also known as fibre supplements, work in the same way as dietary fibre; they increase the bulk of your stools by helping your stools retain fluid.
Bulk forming laxitaves however, can cause bloating and flatulence (wind).
Stool softener laxatives add water to your stools to lubricate them, making them more slippery and easier to pass.
Bear in mind that they can cause abdominal cramps and a feeling like you are going to be sick (nausea).
Some laxatives are synthetic (e.g. sodium picosulfate. bisacodyl) and others are herbal (e.g. senna leaves). Both types stimulate the smooth muscles in the intestine. This increases bowel motility and hastens the passage of the stool. Fluids are absorbed in the bowel. Water absorption increases stool volume and so expands the bowel, stimulating it to evacuate its contents.
NB: These laxatives are for short-term use only!
Stimulant laxatives can cause abdominal (tummy) pain; using them for long periods of time can result in a weakened or 'lazy' bowel.
Osmotic laxatives, such as mini-enemas for example, act locally in the rectum. The solution releases the water absorbed in the stool. This makes the stool soft and flexible.
MICROLAX® is an osmotic action mini-enema which acts only on the stool. It works locally in the rectum and is not habit forming. After only 5-15 minutes, you’ll experience a normal and painless bowel movement. MICROLAX® can be used every day for a short period.
Find out here about the reliable mode of action of MICROLAX®.