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 –  Troubled by constipation? The unpleasant symptoms of constipation may be caused by something as simple as not drinking enough fluid or a diet that's low in fiber. Certain medications and medical conditions like an underactive thyroid may also be contributing factors. Less commonly, constipation may be a sign of a more serious health problem. That's why you should see your doctor if constipation is a persistent problem or if you have other signs or symptoms like abdominal pain or blood in your stool.
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Medicine and Health: Relieving Occasional Constipation

When you have an occasional bout of constipation, an enema is one way to get relief. Enemas offer an advantage over laxatives and stool softeners - they're faster. An oral laxative takes several hours or longer to bring relief while an enema works in minutes to stimulate a bowel movement. Plus, today's enemas are easy-to-use and pre-lubricated for maximal comfort. Most importantly, they evacuate hard, impacted waste from the colon quickly - so you feel better fast.

What are they made of? There are saline enemas that work by increasing water in the colon, thereby stimulating a bowel movement. Other enemas contain a lubricant material like mineral oil that coats the inside of the colon so that waste can move out of the body more easily.

Constipation in Children

Children suffer from constipation too and there are enemas made just for them. These enemas have a soft, flexible tip for easy application and comfort. They're made for kids two years of age and older. As with adults, an enema is the fastest way to relieve a child's constipation. They're also effective for cleaning out a child's bowels prior to a medical procedure. Talk to your doctor about whether an enema is right for your child.

Alternatives to Enemas for Relieving Constipation

An enema works well for occasional constipation but using them too frequently can make bowels "lazy." Another option for relieving constipation is suppositories. Unlike enemas that work in five minutes or less, suppositories take a little longer to stimulate a bowel movement, usually about an hour. Both are faster than oral laxatives that take several hours or more to work. Some suppositories are stimulants. Stimulant laxatives contain ingredients that stimulant bowel contractions while others like glycerin suppositories draw in fluid from surrounding tissues to soften and lubricate hard stool.

Other Types of Suppositories

Other types of suppositories help to moisten dry vaginal tissue. Many women experience vaginal dryness after menopause. Suppositories made with natural ingredients soothe and lubricate dry vaginal tissues for greater comfort. These suppositories also help to relieve itching and irritation due to dryness.

Digestion and Nausea: Preventing Constipation

Drinking enough fluid, staying active and adding fibers from plant, vegetable and whole grain sources to your diet helps to prevent constipation - but for those times when constipation is a problem, enemas and suppositories can offer fast and safe relief. If constipation is a recurrent problem, talk to your doctor.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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