Using Laxatives for Constipation

Using Laxatives for Constipation

December is Constipation Awareness MonthLaxatives for constipation are a common medical supply used by many and can be quite effective for relief if used properly. These over-the-counter products work by inducing a bowel movement to release stool compacted in the intestines. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) recognizes December as Constipation Awareness Month to help educate those suffering from constipation about the problems they may face. We will discuss constipation, why it may happen, and how laxatives may help relieve it.

What is constipation?

When people find it difficult to pass stool or produce less frequent bowel movements, they experience constipation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, having fewer than three bowel movements weekly is the definition of constipation. The more time between bowel movements, the harder it becomes to pass stool.

People with constipation often feel the following symptoms:

  • Feeling a blockage in the rectum
  • Passing fewer than three stools per week
  • Straining to have bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain or stomach cramps
  • Feeling bloated and uncomfortable
  • Feeling sluggish

constipation in the intestinesWhat causes constipation?

Usually, food moves through the intestines, which absorb nutrients, and the colon absorbs water from the partially digested food. Solid matter is created to form stool, and muscles contract to push the waste down to the rectum. When the colon absorbs too much water, the stool becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass through the colon. When the colon’s muscle contractions are sluggish, the stool moves much slower, causing this excess water absorption.

Some of the most common causes of constipation include:

  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Neurological diseases of the brain or spinal cord like Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Colon cancer

Laxatives for constipation

After other lifestyle and diet changes have failed to be effective, laxatives for constipation relief can be considered. Laxatives are made with ingredients that help draw water into the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. There are different types of laxatives, and each kind works differently.

The main types of laxatives include:


These laxatives move through the intestines undigested, absorb water along the way, and swell to form stools.

Examples of bulk-forming laxatives include:

  • Bran cereals
  • FiberCon
  • Benefiber
  • Citrucel
  • Metamucil

Colace stool softener bottle next to cartonStool softeners

These laxatives work by helping increase the amount of water the stool absorbs to make them softer and easier to travel down to the rectum.

An example of a stool softener is Colace Stool Softener.

Lubricant laxatives

These laxatives contain mineral oil to coat the intestinal wall and the stool to help move things along.

Examples of lubricant laxatives include:

  • Fleet Mineral Oil Enema
  • Castor oil


As the name suggests, these laxatives stimulate nerves that trigger bowel contractions to help push stool down to the rectum.

Examples of stimulant laxatives include:

  • Ex-Lax
  • Dulcolax
  • Senna

DocuSol Constipation ReliefOsmotic laxatives

These types of laxatives help draw water to the colon from other areas of the body to produce more bowel movements.

Examples of osmotic laxatives include:

  • DocuSol
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories

It is critical to note that overuse of laxatives can lead to constipation. Reading the label on laxatives and proper use can help relieve constipation symptoms. However, abusing them can lead to further complications.

Where to buy laxatives for constipation?

At Personally Delivered, we carry various laxatives for constipation relief. We have Product Experts who can help you find the type of laxatives you are looking for. Remember, if your problem with constipation persists, speak to your doctor. They can further evaluate your medical history and perform lab tests to determine the root cause.

Laxatives for Constipation at Personally Delivered

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