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i was wondering if anyone could help me out here...i currently take an osmotic laxative similar to epsom/magnesium salts each morning. if i dont its a problem so i just keep taking it each day. but are'nt you not supposed to take this type of laxative long term?anyone? -ta!
 

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ok, the reason to not take laxatives long term is that your body becomes reliant on them. fibre is different becasue it's a part of your regular diet, so eating more fibre to stay regular is ok. taking laxatives is giving your body a medication that helps the bowel to go, but the bowel can become dependednt on them. in nursing homes they usually do bowel care every 3 days. so if you haven't gone for 3 days, they start with a glycerine supp., and then go from there until you go. the rationale being that in three days you should be able to go on your own. many people feel though that this could be too much bowel care, and some people feel it's too little. for us, we need bowel care and often. what may be better is to take a laxative daily until you are regular, adn then slowly cut back. take it for 2 days, and then don't take it for one. get down to every other day, then every 2 days. adjust your diet as well, eat more fibre on the days you don't take a laxative etc. i wish it was this easy
but the idea is that you should not depend on laxatives to go. as far as long term side effects, besides being depepndent, each laxative will have it's own side effects, some will be very minor, some will not. for magnesium salts, the worry is electrolyte impbalances. (i know it can sound minor, but this can vbe very serious) this could be fluid loss since it draws fluid into the bowel and then you would loose more. it also gets things moving quicker through the bowel, so you don't have as much time to absorb. also, i find it irritating to the bowel. do you? maybe i'm taking something different. anyway, the rule of thumb is to not take them for more than 2 weeks at a time.
 
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