Laxatives Side Effects: Understanding The Risks
Constipation and laxatives
The parameters for constipation vary from person to person.
Generally, if you have difficulty emptying your bowels and have fewer than three bowel movements a week, you likely have constipation.
If these infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools continues for several weeks or longer, youre considered to have chronic constipation.
A laxative is a medicine that stimulates or facilitates bowel movements. There are different types of laxatives available that dont require a prescription.
Even though these laxatives are readily available at your drug store or online, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your needs and which type may be the best one for you.
There are five primary types of over-the-counter laxatives:
How Do I Prevent Constipation
To prevent constipation, you need to maintain a diet rich in fiber and drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day. Prune juice, whole grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruit and vegetables are all fiber-rich foods to include in your daily diet to help prevent constipation. A regular exercise program also can help you prevent constipation.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2019.
How Did It Start
This all began when Fionas grandmother was diagnosed with stage-4 renal disease. They looked for an alternative instead of having her go through dialysis. ;After studying several peer-reviewed journals and other medical literature, they jumped to medical trials. Fionas grandmother went through this organic program. In just 12 weeks, her condition improved significantly.
Within six months during her treatment, she transferred from stage-4 to stage-1. Fionas grandmother lived on for ten more years before dying of heart failure in 2017.
The Kidney Disease Solution has treated more than 25,000 people globally since 2008.
You May Like: How To Know If A Kidney Stone Has Passed
Impact On Clinical Outcomes
Constipation has been increasingly recognized as a potentially serious condition, particularly in patients with ESRD receiving PD, affecting the mechanical properties of dialysis techniques and predisposing to bacterial intestinal translocation and eventual enteric peritonitis. Although little attention has been paid to the clinical impact of constipation beyond its gastrointestinal complications ,,, recent studies have disclosed its independent associations with the risk of several clinical outcomes, such as Parkinsons disease, ESRD, CV disease,, , , and mortality.
Constipation and CV Disease and Mortality
Schematic representation of potential mechanisms underlying the association between constipation and adverse outcomes in chronic kidney disease . CVD, cardiovascular disease; TMAO, trimethylamine-N-oxide.
Constipation and CKD Progression
Cumulative probability of incident chronic kidney disease and incident end-stage renal disease according to constipation status. Reprinted with permission of the American Society of Nephrology from Constipation and incident CKD, Sumida K, Molnar MZ, Potukuchi PK, et al. J Am Soc Nephrol., volume 28, issue 4, Copyright © 2017; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.
What Do You Get
The Kidney Disease Solution is more than only one ebook. They include a lot of different manuals and readings.
Heres what to expect:
- The Main Manual
- How to Interpret Your Kidney Test Result Guide
- Morning Yoga Flow Video
- De-Stress and Renew Meditation Audio
All of these are available digitally. Once you purchase them, you should be able to access them right away. You can get the materials on any device. Whether youre using a smartphone, a notebook, a computer, or a tablet, youll be able to get it anywhere and anytime.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Find Out If You Have Kidney Stones
Feldman Shepherd Attorney Sues Bayers Miralax For Kidney Failure
Since at least 2009, researchers have been aware that MiraLax, an over-the-counter laxative manufactured by Bayer Corp., is not safe for patients who suffer from kidney disease. But this did not stop the company and is affiliates from allowing the drug to be taken by patientsunder supervision from a doctorwhose medical history would put them at risk.
Samuel Woniewala, a patient with pre-existing kidney disease, began taking MiraLax for constipation on his doctors recommendation in 2009, and continued the course of treatment for about four years. He began experiencing abdominal pain in February 2013, and when it intensified in May 2013, he sought help. Doctors performed a biopsy and sent it to the Mayo Clinic, where researchers suggested Woniewala has oxalate nephropathy, which may have been caused by PEG-3350, MiraLaxs active ingredient.
Stepping beyond this accusation, Woniewala and his attorneys, point out that there have been no shortages of complaints against MiraLax and its manufacturers to the Food and Drug Administration. The reports should have compelled to investigate the link between the drug and patients with chronic kidney disease.
Fiber In The Kidney Diet
What is fiber?
Dietary fiber is defined as the component of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by enzymes in the human small intestine. Fiber provides structure for plant cells. Its found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts. Unlike fats, carbohydrates and proteins, fiber cannot be broken down;or absorbed;when passing through your digestive system.
Soluble vs. insoluble
Your body needs two types of fiber. One type is soluble fiber which dissolves in water and ;absorbs fluid as it passes through the digestive system, creating softer, larger stools. Food sources of soluble fiber include oat bran, apples, oranges, berries and various vegetables. Supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel and Fiberall are also considered soluble fiber.
The other type is insoluble fiber . It absorbs water and makes stool bulkier to help bowel movements pass more easily. Examples of insoluble fiber foods are barley, corn, rice, bran, whole wheat, vegetables and apple and pear skins.
Benefits of fiber
Adequate fiber in the kidney diet can be beneficial to people with chronic kidney disease ;because it:
- Keeps GI function healthy
- Adds bulk to stool to prevent constipation
- Prevents diverticulosis
- Helps increase water in stool for easier bowel movements
- Promotes regularity
You May Like: What Is Acute Kidney Failure
Is Miralax Safe For Ckd Patients
Miralaxsafechronic kidney disease
Always choose a laxative that has been recommended by your Nephrologist. Stool Softeners Medications such as docusate sodium and docusate calcium help to soften the stool. They take 3 to 4 days to work fully.
Also Know, are laxatives bad for kidneys? FDA: OTC Laxatives Can Harm Kidneys and Heart. The FDA is warning that taking more than the recommended daily dose of OTC sodium phosphate laxative products to treat constipation can cause rare but serious harm to the kidneys and heart, and even death.
Also to know is, is miralax safe for stage 3 kidney disease?
Miralax is a safe laxative for patients with Stage 3 chronic kidney disease .
Is polyethylene glycol 3350 Safe for Kidneys?
Polyethylene glycol 3350 is a mixture of salts and polyethylene glycol that is commonly used in many over the counter laxatives. It is generally safe for patients with chronic kidney disease .
Management Of Constipation In Ckd
To date, published literature on the management of constipation in patients with CKD is scarce. It is therefore assumed that constipation in CKD has been managed by physicians based primarily on their clinical experience and/or on the general therapeutic recommendations for constipation , or was simply left untreated as a common, ignorable condition. Some patients with CKD might perceive constipation as self-manageable and thus may not even seek special medical attention. However, given the potential clinical impact of constipation, its adequate management may be more important than previously considered. The fundamental key to adequate management is identifying the etiologic, pathophysiologic, and/or symptomatic factors causing constipation in each individual case and modifying such causative factors, if any. Nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions would then need to be considered for the management of constipation in CKD.
Recommended Reading: How Much Money Is A Kidney Worth
How Do I Know That My Constipation Is Not A Sign Of Something Really Serious
Some health issues may need more treatment. See your doctor or a GI specialist if you have any more than 3 months of these:
Take away message: Any day that you do not have a bowel movement, do something differently:
- Take Miralaxâ¢ before you go to bed
- Use a Glycerin suppository to get the urge back
Constipation is easier to prevent than treat.
May the urge be with you!
Constipation May Be A Risk Factor For Kidney Disease
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem that affects tens of millions of Americans. Although the condition in itself is rarely dangerous, new research suggests constipation may be a sign of poor kidney health.
Every year, constipation accounts for visits to the doctor.
Complications are very rare, but chronic, long-lasting constipation can lead to serious health issues.
Previous research has linked constipation to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, presumably through its effects on intestinal bacteria.
An analysis of over 70,000 women found a increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women with severe constipation.
A new study looks at the link between constipation and kidney health.
Don’t Miss: What Std Messes With Your Kidneys
Prevalence Of Constipation In Ckd
Chronic constipation is classified to three categories based on colonic transit and anorectal function : normal transit constipation, slow transit constipation, and defecatory disorders. Normal transit constipation is the most common form encountered by clinicians . Patients report symptoms that they consider to be consistent with constipation, such as hard stools or a perceived difficulty with evacuation. Most of these patients are treated empirically with dietary fiber or osmotic laxatives and responded well. Defecation disorders are a group of functional abnormalities of the pelvic floor or anorectum leading to the symptoms of constipation . Slow transit constipation may be caused by dysfunctions in colonic smooth muscle or neural innervation, resulting in neural colonic motor abnormalities . Wu et al. reported that the colonic transit time of patients treated with hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis was significantly longer than that of age and sex-matched healthy subjects . Delayed intestinal transit was also observed in CKD animal models . Thus, constipation in CKD may primarily be classified as the slow transit type.
Table 1 Rome IV diagnostic criteria for functional constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation
How Do I Increase Fibre In My Diet
- Choose a higher fibre breakfast cereal such as plain whole wheat biscuits or plain shredded whole grain. Porridge oats are also a good source of fibre.
- Choose wholemeal or granary breads or higher fibre white bread and wholegrains like whole wheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice.
- Choose potatoes with their skins on such as boiled new potatoes
- Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads.
- Include plenty of vegetables with meals either as a side dish or added to sauces, stews or curries.
- Have some fresh or dried fruit or fruit canned in natural juice for dessert.
- For snacks try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes or unsalted nuts or seeds.
- High fibre dietary supplements can be used to increase your fibre intake if changing your diet is difficult and you can discuss this with your Kidney Dietitian.
If you are following a low potassium diet or are taking a blood thinning medication called Warfarin then please contact your Kidney Dietitian for more individual advice on how to safely increase your fibre intake.
This information sheet has been provided by your healthcare professional to give you initial advice.; You can ask for a referral to the Kidney Dietitians for individual advice and support.
Over The Counter Medications And Chronic Kidney Disease
Acetaminophen is safe to use. If you have liver problems you should check with your pharmacist or physician first. Do not take more than 12 regular strength tablets or 8 extra strength tablets per day. Acetaminophen will relieve pain and fever but NOT inflammation.;
Medications such as ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetylsalicylic acid are unsafe for your kidneys. ;They can also increase blood pressure, increase risk of heart attack and stroke and cause stomach ulcers and bleeding.;These agents should be avoided with the exception of low-dose daily Aspirin 81 mg, which is safe for regular use if prescribed by your doctor. ;
Most over the counter medications for heartburn are safe to use occasionally. If your heartburn occurs daily, speak with your family physician. ;Magnesium-containing products should be avoided as they accumulate in patients with kidney disease.
|For occasional use|
Constipation is a common problem for people with chronic kidney disease as both iron tablets and calcium tablets can cause this side effect. You may be on other medications, such as pain medications, which can cause constipation.;
If you are taking a medicine on a daily basis which can cause constipation you should also take a medication to prevent constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medication is best for you. ;You do not need to take this with lots of additional fluid which is often recommended. ;
Cough & Cold Medicine;
Why Do I Have Constipation
There are many reasons why someone with kidney disease can develop constipation and these can include:
- Fluid restrictions
- Dietary changes and poor fibre intake
- Other medical conditions such as an under active thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
- Some medications such as certain pain relief medication such as codeine or morphine or certain medications needed when on dialysis
- Stress, anxiety or low mood
You May Like: What Happens When You Pass A Kidney Stone
Can People Over 60 Use This
The program is safe for people over 60 years old.
The program was made for people that have chronic kidney ailments or people at risk of developing one. The creators know that the odds of diseases increase as you age, especially when you reach 60. So from the start, they know people in that group will most likely use it.
Everything in the program was carefully researched and selected to guarantee the best results for individuals over 60.
Impact On Economy And Quality Of Life
In the United States, constipation accounts for 2.5 million physician visits annually, significantly contributing to health care financial burden. The cost is estimated at approximately $3000 for diagnostic workup per patient and at approximately $82 million for over-the-counter laxatives every year; albeit without any relevant data in the CKD population. In addition, the unpleasant clinical symptoms and psychological preoccupations related to constipation can exert a profound negative impact on quality of life, affecting both physical and emotional well-being. In fact, in a study of 605 dialysis patients assessing health-related quality of life by the 12-item short-form, patients with constipation had significantly lower physical and mental health scores than those without constipation.
You May Like: What Are Kidney Stones And Why Are They A Problem
Ckd Kidney Failure Risk Up To 13 Percent Higher With Constipation
Dr. Keiichi Sumida and Dr. Csaba Kovesdy, from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, examined 3.5 million American veterans. These patients were first seen in 2004 and 2006 and then followed through 2013.
All participants had normal kidney function on their first examination, but as time progressed, some of the patients developed constipation and kidney disease.
Patients with constipation were 13 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 9 percent more likely to have kidney failure.
Researchers also established a proportional association between the degree of severity in constipation and CKD and kidney failure.
Increasingly severe constipation was linked to a higher risk of developing kidney disease.
Dr. Kovesdy points to the link between our intestinal health and our kidneys, suggesting his study sheds light on the causes of kidney disease, as well as treatment and prevention.
Our findings highlight the plausible link between the gut and the kidneys and provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of kidney disease progression. Our results suggest the need for careful observation of kidney function trajectory in patients with constipation, particularly among those with more severe constipation.
Dr. Csaba Kovesdy
The results will be published in the next issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
What Can I Take For Constipation
There are a lot of products in the digestive health aisle of the drug store. It helps to understand what they do so you can make good choices about what to use when. Of course, always check with your care team before you take any new product, even an over the counter one. Here are some of the types of products you might see:
- Stool Softeners: Stool softeners like docusate sodium are not laxatives. They make stools softer and easier to pass by pulling more water into them. You can take up to two of these twice a day to help keep stools soft. Back off on the dosage if your stools get too soft.
Fiber products: These are bowel regulators. They work by adding wet bulk to stool. You can take these daily or twice a day to give yourself roughage. There are two kinds of fiber products:
- Psyllium, like Metamucilâ¢ which is wheat based
- Methylcellulose like Citrucelâ¢ which is plant based.
You can, of course, get fiber by eating high fiber cereals, or a mixture of yogurt or applesauce and granola. Sadly, the effect may be ruined by the binders you may need to take with most cereal fibers. Taking in more fiber with foods or fiber products can cause gas and bloating at first. The problem tends to go away with routine use.
Read Also: Does Kidney Infection Cause Diarrhea