FACTORS WHICH HELP TO MAINTAIN NORMAL BOWEL HABITS
The following factors, if followed, can help most people maintain normal
(whatever that means for each person) bowel habits without the use of cathartics.
a. Exercise. Exercise helps to maintain muscle tone.
b. Proper Diet. Ingesting foods containing high fiber content provides the bulk
needed by the digestive system for normal bowel functioning.
c. Fluids. Each person should drink several glasses of water a day (unless this
is not allowed by the physician) in order to give the body the water it needs for the
proper functioning of all its systems.
d. Routine. Slow down and relax. Establish a time and a place (i.e., a routine)
where you can relax and have bowel movements.
PRECAUTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF CATHARTICS
It is important that persons not believe that they should take a cathartic every
time they fail to have a daily bowel movement. The precautions below are important in
that they provide some basic guidelines dealing with the ingestion of cathartics.
a. Do not take a cathartic within two hours after having taken another drug.
Taking a drug with a cathartic will have an effect upon the absorption of that drug, it may
result in either more or less of the drug being absorbed.
b. Do not take a cathartic if you do not have a bowel movement for several days.
c. Do not take a cathartic just to take one. Some persons believe it is
therapeutic to periodically take a cathartic. This is not true. In fact, too frequently taking
a cathartic can result in a patient's having the "laxative habit."
d. Do not take a cathartic if you developed a skin rash after having taken it the
e. Do not take a cathartic for more than one week unless your physician has told
f. Do not take a cathartic if you have the following signs --tenderness in the
stomach or lower abdominal area, soreness in the abdomen, bloating, vomiting, or