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#1 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 12:11 AM

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I just had a colonoscopy and was told i have black colon from taking laxatives.I have been off Dulcalax for years and have been taking a rhubarb supplement.The doctor didn't seem very concerned about the black colon,..he just said it was from the laxatives and to get another colonoscopy in 5 years.Should i stop taking the rhubarb supplement?It seems to be the only thing that helps me "go".I could try to find another alternative if i had to i suppose...Any advice??Thank you~Wendi
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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:36 AM

The chemicals in herbal laxatives that are stimulatory laxatives can stain the colon just like they could if they were made in the lab. Anthroquinones are the chemicals that cause this, and it doesn't matter what they are in (natural vs made in a lab) they do the same thing.There is some debate about this, but it does seem to be mostly harmless and doesn't increase cancer risk or anything like that. Kinda like an internal fake tan. There is some indication they do find slightly more cancers of a certain type in people who have the darkened colon, but it seems to be because you can actually see them better as they are not pigmented so they stand out more in a darkened colon than in one that has not been stained by the laxatives.It does indicate you use those types of laxatives regularly. Unfortunately some people need them in order to go. If you can't get enough relief from osmotic laxatives (like miralax) you may need to use them.
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#3 annie7

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:41 AM

hi wendi i take laxatives too. my last gastro doc had pretty much the same attitude when i asked about melanosis coli--black colon--said it ws caused by long-term intake of laxatives with anthraquinones such as senna and cascara sagrada--and rhubard too would be in that class of laxatives--but it wasn't really anything to worry about--that current research has shown that is not now thought of as a serious thing like it once was. ducolax has different ingredients than senna, rhubarb etc--no anthraquinones. i remember someone on the board once mentioned that because of this difference ducolax--bisacodyl--doesn't cause melanosis coli.here's something from pub med:Adverse effects of laxatives: fact and fiction.Müller-Lissner SA.Laxatives are generally well tolerated and may be considered safe drugs. When taken at much higher than the recommended doses (laxative abuse) some side effects may occur (e.g. hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, renal tubular damage). It is controversial whether the laxatives currently used may lead to morphologic changes of the autonomous nervous system of the colon. Melanosis coli is due to pigment-laden macrophages within the submucosa. It occurs after long-term intake of anthraquinones and has no functional consequences. No case of 'cathartic colon' has been observed during the last few decades, and we can assume that it was probably caused by laxatives which are no longer in use.PMID: 8234421 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8234421

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#4 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:11 PM

Thanks for the info :( I might try Milk of Magnesia and stop taking the rhubarb.Is MOM habit forming?Is it safe to take everyday?
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#5 Kathleen M.

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:24 PM

Turning the colon black doesn't make anything habit forming. They haven't seen any cathartic colon in several decades as the only laxative accused of that isn't even on the market anymore.Osmotics really can't be habit forming as all they do is pull water into the stool. MoM is an osmotic laxative. If you need a lot of it I would go with miralax as you can load the body with more magnesium than you can get rid of over time and if your kidneys aren't 100% it can happen, eventually.
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#6 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:29 PM

I have tried Miralax and really didn't like it. Do you think 3 tablespoons of MoM a day is too much?
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#7 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:32 PM

I'm just trying to decide if it's safer to stay with the rhubarb or switch to MoM????
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#8 Kathleen M.

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:45 PM

Regardless of the color change there doesn't seem to be any danger to having the extra pigmentation in your colon. If anything it may make it easier for them to see certain cancers if you ever get one.The stuff I have here says 1200 mg magnesium per Tablespoon and the recommended daily maximum is about 1000 mgs a day so 3 Tablespoons may be a lot to take every single day. If your kidneys are in good shape you may be OK, but if the magnesium builds up because you can't clear 3600 mgs a day you may have issues with your heart keeping a proper rhythm.High doses as a one off is probably safer then every single day. Magnesium tends to accumulate a little bit at a time until your minerals are out of balance rather than be an acute toxicity.
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#9 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:49 PM

Oh,...It might be better to just stay with the Rhubarb then....Thank you so much for your advice and for taking the time to post :(
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#10 Mary5

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:56 PM

What exactly is this Rhubarb supplement that you take?

#11 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:01 PM

It's by Swanson and it's called Turkey Rhubarb.It helped me get off Dulcalax ,but i didn't know it would turn my colon black.I left a message with the doctor to have him call me so i can confirm that it is still ok for me to be taking this.I will post a response when he calls back :(
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#12 Tiss

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:10 PM

Have you tried Zelnorm??
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#13 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 09:27 PM

I have tried many things including Zelnorm.It didn't work to well for me.
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#14 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 12:00 AM

My doctor told me to stop taking the rhubarb...He said my colon was pitch black from it...Is magnesium oxide safe to take everyday?If so what is the highest dose i can take?
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#15 Kathleen M.

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:58 AM

Generally magnesium oxide is safe.For general supplementation purposes the usually dose is about 400 mgs a day (the USRDA minimum you need every single day of Magnesium to be healthy, the exact dose depends on age, gender, etc.) and the usual maximum recommended dose is about 1000 mgs a day.Start lower and work up to the dose that does you some good every day. When people take magnesium for a day or two to get things going but usually go on their own then they can take higher dose for that shorter period of time.It usually is pretty hard to overdose on magnesium, but if you have had some kidney disease you may need to be more careful because if they were damaged from something else they may not clear out the magnesium as easily as they should.
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#16 Bewitched-Bothered and Bewildered

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:44 PM

I went back to the doctor today and he said it's better for me to stay on the Rhubarb supplement if it's helping then to switch to MOM.He said taken daily,MOM can give a person too much magnesium.
***Bewitched***-AKA-Wendi-poo/Severe IBS-constipation,depression,Anxiety..........

#17 teach

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

Does Miralax taken once a day cause a black colon??????

#18 Kathleen M.

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 04:30 PM

Only stimulatory laxatives (anthroquinone containing ones) cause this.Miralax is an OSMOTIC laxative so should not do this.There appears to be no danger to the color change, anyway, so do not panic.
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#19 teach

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:25 PM

Thanks..... Does Miralax cause colon damage? Also..if you take it how many times a day will you go?

#20 Kathleen M.

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:12 AM

Osmotic laxatives like miralax do not cause colon darkening (which isn't really damage, more like an internal self tan) nor can they cause the colon to become "lazy".It is pretty clear most of the "colon lazy" thing is much more medical myth and if it ever did happen the only laxative it seems to be associated with strongly has been off the market for the last several decades. All the recent research with currently available stimulatory laxatives show that any change in constipation severity would have happened even if you took nothing.It is pretty easy to adjust the dose of miralax to whatever you need to become regular. Some people may need alot and won't go every day, and too much can cause a few bouts of diarrhea a day (and huge doses cause the colonoscopy clean out type of thing, and they do use large doses of miralax as a colonoscopy prep).
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
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