Constipation is one of the leading symptoms of hemorrhoids. Laxatives help you deal with constipation because they help you achieve a more regular bowel movement, and prevent your hemorrhoids from worsening.
Unfortunately, laxatives are also habit-forming, and may create a dependency which can end up worsening your constipation instead of curing it.
A Word of Caution on Laxative Use
Laxatives force the stool to come out, and frequent consumption may cause the veins of the rectum and anus to bruise and swell, making them vulnerable to infection and inflammation. Regular use will make you a dependent, to a point that you may find it difficult to do your business without a laxative.
Therefore, you should only use laxative as a last resort, and only if you’ve already tried to make some lifestyle changes to relieve the constipation. Lifestyle changes such as loading up on fiber-rich food and drinking plenty of liquids usually clear up the problem. If these measures have failed, then that’s the time you can look at laxatives as your next recourse.
There are many types of laxatives, which is why you need to choose the right kind. Here are the most common laxatives used in the treatment of hemorrhoids:
Bulk-forming laxatives absorb water into the stool. They form a softer and bulkier stool, which is easier to eliminate. They can either be natural (psyllium) or synthetic (methylcellulose).
Also known as stool softeners, these laxatives work by increasing the moisture content of the stool in order to make it softer.
Stool softeners do not directly stimulate bowel movement, but they are used to prevent straining in the toilet, which is why they are highly recommended for hemorrhoids patients.
This type of laxatives makes the intestinal muscles contract in order to facilitate an easier bowel movement. However, frequent use of stimulant laxatives like senna can damage the lining of the intestines.
Laxatives can be taken orally, or they can be inserted in the rectum. Suppositories and enemas are examples of rectal stimulants. They cause contractions within the colon lining to move the stool along.
Bulk-forming laxatives and stool softeners are the safest to use and are the most effective in treating constipation. Avoid those that stimulate or simulate contractions, as this will only worsen your hemorrhoids.
If you’re taking laxatives and your hemorrhoids seem to have taken a turn for the worse, it is wise to consult a Los Angeles proctologist. Please visit us at the Institute to get the best treatment for your hemorrhoids today.