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Choosing The Best Laxative You Can Get Over The Counter

best laxative

Marc Kaplan |

If you have moments where your system doesn't work right, you may need something to move things along. You do not need to feel embarrassed or alone. Between 2020 and 2030, people across the globe are expected to spend up to 10.8 billion dollars on over-the-counter laxatives.

When you have trouble with constipation, you want the best laxative you can find. There are many options, so check out our guide on how to get the best one for you. 

The Best Laxative

What is a laxative? Laxatives work by helping you empty your bowels. There are quick working laxatives and some that work overnight while you sleep. The longer it takes to work, the more gentle it tends to be on your body.

The best laxative for you depends on how fast you want it to work. You should consider how often you want to go, and what side effects you are willing to tolerate. 

Do you suffer from bowel incontinence? If so, a harsh laxative could serve as the wrong choice for your need. If you decide to go this route, make sure you have products that help with the laxatives. 

Types of Laxatives

Bulk-forming laxatives work by adding fiber to your diet. They keep liquid in the stools, which increases bulk and helps the bowels push the stools out. Some doctors recommend using these supplements every day as maintenance. 

Oral osmotic laxatives pull water into the colon. That makes it easy to pass stools but may take a few days to work. That is not an immediate laxative, so if you're in a hurry, it may not be the best option. 

Stool softeners are laxatives that make the stool soft and comfortable to pass. Sometimes your stool gets hard, making it painful to go to the bathroom. For those times, these are good choices.

Stimulant laxatives rev up with the digestive system. They speed things up and usually work the same day. If you have had constipation for a while, these are a more immediate laxative and offer quick relief. 

Rectal suppositories get used when other laxatives fail. They help when constipation has been ongoing and gets accompanied by abdominal pain. They work by triggering intestinal contractions.

If you prefer a more organic approach, there are natural laxatives that work. Prunes, Chia seeds, magnesium, and oat bran can move your bowels. Don't forget to drink lots of water, as this is one of the healthiest ways to help with constipation. 

Laxative Side Effects

When shopping for the best laxative, you want to look at the side effects. All laxatives have them, so getting the one you need is important. 

Bulk-forming laxatives are great for maintaining a good amount of fiber in your diet. They can cause gas, bloating, and if not taken with enough water they can make constipation worse. When using these, make sure your water intake is adequate and aim for eight glasses a day. 

Oral osmotic laxatives can make you nauseous, so take them with care. They can also cause cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. 

Stool softeners are more gentle as they take more time to work. When used often, they can create an electrolyte imbalance. That can lead to dizziness and heart palpitations, so don't use these for extended periods. 

Stimulant laxatives can cause nausea, belching, bloating, and gas. They work fast, but sometimes the trade-off means not feeling good in other ways. 

Rectal suppositories are not as easy to use as oral laxatives. They can cause rectal pain, diarrhea, and cramping. 

Most side effects go away after you stop using the medicine. Start with the lowest possible dose and go up if you need to. 

Choosing the Right One

Choosing the best laxative may seem difficult when you consider all the options. That is why reading the label is imperative. You need to know how the laxative you choose will work. 

If a laxative changes the electrolyte balance, you may need more potassium and sodium. You can still use that laxative, but keep your system in balance while doing it. 

Some laxatives can cause dehydration. When you read that on the label, drink extra amounts of water to offset that. 

If you have had severe constipation before you may have leftover medication. If the problem is not as bad now, try something different. You don't want to get an immediate laxative if you need something to help you the next day. 

Buying Your Laxative

Some people like going to the store to get what they want because they can take the time to find what they need. Others get embarrassed in person and prefer to shop online. 

When going to the store, talk to the pharmacist if you need help deciding. They can help you understand the ingredients better and make a good choice for what you need. 

Shopping online is easy, and if you don't need something on the same day, it may be a great option. You can read reviews and buy what you want in the privacy of your home. Some like this because it may not feel as awkward as looking for laxatives in the local grocery store. 

Things to Consider

With so many options available, finding the best laxative can work for anyone. When used on occasion, they help people feel better fast and get your body working well again. 

If you have to take laxatives often, upping your fruits and vegetables might help. Diet affects our bodies, so listen to yours when your system is off. 

When you do get constipation, laxatives can help. You may need other products that help too. Contact us today to learn about all our medical supplies.