Unfortunately 'instant gratification is getting to us' - for most it is easier to pop a pill than to change the diet or exercise.
This is why the FDA recently approved the drug Linaclotide, AKA Linzess, for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).
But if you really want healthy bowel movements there are certainly natural solutions that you could consider first.
Constipation affects up to 27 percent of American adults and occurs more often in women, causing many negative symptoms that hurt quality of life. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that comes with chronic abdominal pain and decreased bowel movements - ultimately leading to output of hard and dry stool. Constipation is often caused by medications, health conditions, diet and lifestyle choices.
How safe is Linzess?
Long-term side-effects are actually non-existent with the new drug Linzess. But this could well be the case because the study was done over a 26 weeks period on 804 people. So hardly long-term. Other Linzess studies were 12 weeks during treatment phase with a four-week follow-up period. 16 percent of study participants dropped out with diarrhea in one of these 12-week studies.
Known side-effects of Linaclotide
The biggest major adverse event associated with this new class of drugs has been diarrhea, while other adverse effects reported were flatulence, abdominal pain, abdominal distention, headaches, nasopharyngitis, and upper respiratory and urinary tract infections.
Treating Constipation the Natural Way!
Treat the causes and the symptoms go away! Here are a few natural suggestions to "speed things up."
- Fiber - For both constipation and IBS, dietary fiber is the first line of intervention for symptom relief. But the usual causes of slow bowels lie a little deeper in nutritional deficiencies, dysbiosis (fungus or bad bacteria overgrowth), dehydration, and food sensitivities.
- Vitamin C - One symptom of vitamin C deficiency is constipation. Taking vitamin C in amounts just below bowel tolerance (gas, bloating or diarrhea) can definitely improve bowel movements and regularity. Start slow with 4,000 mg spread throughout the day and every four days add another 1,000 mg to the regimen. When you reach bowel tolerance and stools loosen up, back off a little if they get too loose or maintain the dose that works for you.
- Probiotics - When the wrong bacteria or fungi gain control of the bowels, they slow things down to ferment foods just how they like them. A high potency probiotic can help change that. Alternate through probiotic brands to keep the bad guys from mustering a counter-defense.
- Dehydration - Without enough fluids to move things through the intestinal tract, the faeces becomes hard and digestion slows way down. Drinking a large glass of water uponwaking improves bowel movements in most cases. Drinking a large glass of water every two hours of the day can also alleviate IBS symptoms.
- Food sensitivities - A big symptom of food sensitivity is constipation. Studies show that milk can cause constipation and a more recent study also implicates gluten. Constipation is more likely to occur in children fed gluten at six months or earlier - bringing a 35 percent increased risk of constipation.
If you have slow moving bowels, bowel pains or both, find the cause and fix it! Treating the symptoms only hides the causes, allowing sub-clinical problems to grow into bigger problems.