Hi I take an herbal compound that contains Senna leaf and
pod. Its been a great relief in my chronic constipation. I’ve been taking it
daily for a few years. But I’m worried that prolonged use of this irritant may
be causing unseen or upcoming problems. Should I stop its use, and if so, what
can I do for the constipation instead? Many thanks!
Long term use of any type of laxative is not
recommended. Natural or synthetic, the
strong laxatives like senna that work by causing irritation in the bowels to
induce a bowel movement, will cause dependence if used over extended periods of
I know it sounds basic, but please make sure you are consuming
adequate amounts of water. I recommend
people consume about ½ their body weight in fluid ounces up to 80oz per day
(i.e.- if you weigh 150 lbs,
try to consume 75 ounces
of water daily). Also, make sure you are
eating enough fiber.
Most people have heard this advice before and do not have
mush success, however it is the most basic first step in keeping your bowels healthy.
If you are still experiencing issues after implementing these
basic steps there are a few things to consider.
I often find that a very common cause of chronic constipation is related
to a low thyroid function. Make sure to
have your doctor run basic blood tests to assess your thyroid.
According to new standards, a
TSH value over 3.0 could mean you have low thyroid function.
From the natural pharmacy, you can consider the use of
Magnesium citrate as a gentler, less habit forming bowel stimulant. It acts by attracting water into the bowels
which adds volume and can reflexively stimulate the natural muscular contractions
needed for a bowel movement. In
addition, magnesium is a very important nutrient needed to carry out thousands
of reactions in the body. Vitamin C in
high doses (3,000-10,000mg) will have the same stimulant effects on the bowel.
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