With age, intestinal activity decreases for various reasons: muscles weaken, the level of enzymes decreases, blood pressure rises. People in old age show less physical activity, which together leads to constipation. Laxatives for older people should act gently, be safe and accessible. What should be preferred - drugs or recipes of traditional medicine?
What you will find in this article:
Types of laxatives
Laxatives are considered drugs that accelerate the movement of feces in the intestine and facilitate bowel movement.
Drugs may have a different nature:
- mineral substances (magnesium and sodium sulfate, sulfur, liquid paraffin, some types of mineral water);
- vegetable, on the basis of medicinal herbs (buckthorn bark, grass of a hay, aloe, algae, fruits of a zhostera, rhubarb root, vegetable oil);
- artificially synthesized (isafenin, phenolphthalein)
By way of action
- agents that enhance the motility of the small intestine (castorca);
- agents that increase secretion and motility of all intestinal sections (magnesium and sodium sulfate, mineral waters - “Slavyanovskaya”, “Morshinskaya”);
- agents affecting the motility of the large intestine (on herbs, vegetable oils, synthetic drugs)
The effect of funds that affect the large intestine, manifests itself after 6-12 hours, and the remaining sections and the entire intestine - after 4-5 hours.
By impact force
- laxative drugs facilitate bowel movement, the stool, when taken, is soft, decorated. This group includes fruits - apples, prunes, apricots, dried apricots, grapes; sea kale, agar-agar; herbal medicines (hay, buckthorn, rhubarb); castor and liquid paraffin;
- Medication of medium strength leads to the appearance of liquid or mushy stool. This group includes salt and synthetic drugs.
- Substances that cause abundant liquid stool, strong intestinal peristalsis is called penetrating or drastic. This effect can be achieved by taking high concentration of salt preparations and large doses of castor oil.
On the mechanism of impact
- Drugs, the admission of which leads to an increase in osmotic pressure in the intestine, an increase in the volume of the contents and a dilution of fecal masses. Such an action has drugs based on lactulose (Duphalac), salt solutions;
- Drugs that exert chemical effects on intestinal receptors and their irritation as a result - herbal and synthetic drugs, castor oil ;
- Drugs that make fecal masses softer, which facilitates their passage through the intestines - vegetable oils.
Saline laxatives in the intestine break down into ions, thereby greatly increasing osmotic pressure. Slowly absorbed, they mechanically irritate the receptors and stimulate the secretion of the intestine.
As a result of chemical reactions in the intestine, hydrogen sulfide is released, which stimulates peristalsis.
Salt drugs prescribed on an empty stomach, with plenty of fluid.
Laxative drugs that are able to swell in the intestine, due to an increase in volume, lead to stretching of the walls and mechanical effects on the receptors, thus provoking defecation.
Plant-based drugs have a chemical effect on the receptors, enhancing intestinal contractions. Fatty acids in vegetable oils act in a similar way: they are saponified and chemical irritation of the intestinal walls occurs. In addition, vegetable oils can soften the feces, promote the release of the intestine, enveloping the walls, reduce resorption of water.
What are laxatives for?
Older people need laxatives because the body cannot cope with its functions on its own, it needs help. Over the years, the bone, muscular and ligamentous apparatus weakens, the level of beneficial microflora in the intestines decreases, stools, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy diet are disturbed by taking certain medications - all this leads to constipation, feces and blockages.
Laxative drugs are indicated for bed patients, as well as on the eve of and after operations.
When constipation requires a complex effect, which includes:
- adherence to the day, moderate physical activity;
- balanced healthy eating;
- regular use of drugs to normalize bowel cleansing;
- refusal of constipation medication
What to do with constipation
The list of effective drugs can be found on the Internet, but the choice of one or another remedy should be guided not by praise, but by common sense and specialist appointments. Self-medication can aggravate the situation, strong remedies cause pain, cramps, flatulence, discomfort, intestinal colic, which can be dangerous in old age.
Medications have contraindications and side effects that must be considered.
- Drugs that mechanically or chemically irritate the intestinal wall receptors:
- Senade is indicated for intestinal atony, chronic constipation, for cleansing the intestines before surgeries, softening the feces for hemorrhoids and anal fissures. The active ingredient is the extract of the leaves of the Seine (a medicinal product on a plant basis), begins to act after 8-10 hours, affects the large intestine. Available in pill form, not suitable for daily use. Has a number of contraindications.
- Guttalaks is a saline laxative, transparent slightly colored solution. Subjected to hydrolysis in the large intestine, after 6-12 hours begins to act. Suitable for short-term reception, relief of bowel movements and bowel cleansing.
- Bisacodyl - suitable for short-term effects on the intestines. Available in the form of tablets and suppositories (rectal suppositories). Recommended evening reception to get the effect in the morning.
- Means that increase osmotic pressure in the intestines:
- Duphalac and other lactulose-based analogs. Promote mild bowel movements, are not absorbed in the intestines, are processed by the flora of the large intestine. Suitable for permanent use, not addictive. Liquid preparations are convenient for elderly and bed patients.
- Forlax - white, highly soluble powder. Active ingredient - macrogol. The drug restores regular stools and is not addictive. It clears the intestines in 24-48 hours.
- Preparations with pro and prebiotics, normalizing the intestinal microflora and contributing to the restoration of the natural balance:
- Inulin - a biologically active food supplement, is available in the form of tablets or powder. Restores the structure and growth of beneficial intestinal microflora.
- Herbal preparations:
- Fitolax chewable tablets, bars, drops and tea have an effect from the first dose, the effect occurs in 12 -16 hours. In the composition of the tablets Fitolaks senna extract, chamomile flowers, dill seeds, pieces of dried apricots. The liquid form contains fennel seeds, senna grass, and buckthorn bark. In the bars - the seeds of dill and plantain, prunes, beets.
- Phytomucil - contains the plantain seed coat, plum pulp, soluble fiber. Soluble fibers, swelling, soften fecal masses, insoluble - irritate the intestinal wall. Thus, intestinal peristalsis improves and natural cleansing takes place.
Rapid-acting drugs are not recommended for older people, because weak muscular muscles are not able to cope with the strong effects, there are cramps, pain, severe discomfort, flatulence.
The best drugs - gradual action, working during the night and in the morning liberating the intestine.
Herbal preparations can be used only after consulting a doctor: herbal infusions and decoctions have a lot of contraindications, and you need to treat them with caution.
- Mild laxative effect has a compote of dried fruits - dried apricots, prunes, raisins. Insist day, drink in the morning, on an empty stomach, 0.2 l;
- Boiled beets with vegetable oil - salad improves intestinal motility. Beets are contraindicated in gastritis;
- One-day kefir or yogurt with vegetable oil - 1 tbsp. liters of oil to 0.2 liters of drink;
- In the first and second courses it is recommended to add bran, the daily rate is 3-4 tbsp. l;
- 1.5 tsp flax seeds pour boiling water, leave to insist until the formation of mucus. Slime (without seeds!) Drink for ½ tbsp. during the day;
- Black elderberry berries wash, put in an enamel bowl, cover with sugar at the rate of 1 tbsp. sugar per 1 liter of berries, boil for 20 minutes on low heat, put in glass jars. Take 3 tbsp. l morning and evening on an empty stomach;
It may seem that traditional medicines are cheaper and better, but they have a number of restrictions and you need to take them only in consultation with your doctor.
Among the contraindications for the treatment of constipation both medicinal and folk remedies are mentioned:
- peptic ulcer of the stomach and intestines;
- intestinal bleeding;
- intestinal obstruction
Side effects include bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, individual intolerance to the components of the drugs.
Constipation is an unpleasant sensation from which you can and should get rid of. The main thing is that the therapy does not cause harm.