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From: "Howard McCollister" <>
Subject: Re: Fibre laxative question.  Was: Question about radiologists 
Date: 17 Aug 2005 12:17:02 -0500
Message-ID: <43037098$0$16183$>

"Happy Dog" <> wrote in message
> "Howard McCollister" <> wrote
>> Or, you have slow colon motility because of laxative abuse.
> Do small regular doses of psyllium powder laxatives, like Metamucil, cause
> or contribute to slow colon motility?  Or is the effect the same as simply
> eating more fibre?  Metamucil claims: "Fiber supplements may be taken on a
> long-term basis to help supplement your diet."
> moo

Psyllium or other fiber agents aren't laxatives - their purpose to not to
stimulate colon activity, but to prevent constipation by adding bulk to the
stool and softening it by allowing it to attract more water, thereby
allowing the colon to work normally. Small, hard, dehydrated stools
(constipation) do not allow the colon (sigmoid colon and rectum especially)
to work normally,  and increase sigmoid segmentation pressures. Such small
hard stool is not sufficient to generate a mass movement - the patient
compensates by using some kind of stimulating laxative and ultimately the
colon becomes dependant -> vicious cycle.

The use of fiber agents is different than abuse of irritant laxatives, or
the abuse of osmotic laxatives (MOM), or the abuse of enemas - all of which
can be contributing factors in developing colon inertia. These factors are
especially likely when colon inertia develops later in life and intrinsic
colon pathology is ruled out.


From: "Howard McCollister" <>
Subject: Re: Question about radiologists comments. (What does this mean?)
Date: 17 Aug 2005 13:48:13 -0500
Message-ID: <4303860e$0$91632$>

<> wrote in message
> But this problem developed "before" I ever used laxatives.
> Plus, I thought that MOM was safe becasue it does not contain
> stimulant. That is at least what the gastroenterologist led me to
> believe.

Milk of Magnesia is a hyperosmotic laxative. It functions by osmotically
pulling water into the colon, distending it, and stimulating it to contract.
A colon can become dependant on that stimulation in order to function.


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