Can you take laxatives when you have diverticulitis? The answer is no. You can’t take them unless prescribed by your doctor.
What Is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a common condition where the lining of the intestine becomes inflamed and pouches form in the colon wall that allow fecal matter to leak into other parts of your body. Laxatives are medications that make bowel movements easier and more frequent, but they will not cure or prevent diverticulitis nor its complications, such as bleeding from an ulcerated area around a pouch.
What Are Laxatives?
They are used to relieve constipation or irregularity, which may be caused by illnesses, certain foods, lack of exercise, pregnancy and other causes. Laxatives are available over the counter or by prescription and come in a variety of forms, including suppositories, pills, liquids and enemas.
Laxative drugs work by increasing water content and softening stools to make them easier to pass so that you will have a bowel movement with less straining.
Common side effects from taking laxative medications include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea (feeling sick), headaches (throbbing pain) or drowsiness (sleepy). In rare cases they can cause heart irregularities such as rapid heartbeat or arrhythmia which may need emergency treatment if it persists for more than an hour after stopping use of the medication. Serious complications like chronic constipation or dehydration are rare.
You can take some laxatives when you have diverticulitis, but usually only if prescribed by your doctor and taken under their supervision. Talk to them about what kind of laxative is best for you and how much time it should be left in the body before passing a bowel movement (usually between 12-24 hours). Laxatives work by increasing water content so avoid taking these with other medications that could cause dehydration such as diuretics or corticosteroids, which may make symptoms worse.
Lactose intolerance: people who cannot digest lactose will not want to use any form of milk based medication because this would increase diarrhea too greatly. Instead, they might try calcium supplements instead for relief from symptoms .
Do Laxatives Help Diverticulitis?
Laxatives can be effective for relieving certain symptoms of diverticulitis but it is important to talk with your doctor about what kind may best suit your needs. Check with them first to make sure that there are no risks or side effects from using a laxative, and speak to them before taking any other medication as these could interact negatively.
Certain foods such as milk products will need to be avoided in addition because they would amplify the diarrhea too much. Instead, try calcium supplements if you experience lactose intolerance and see if this helps relieve some symptoms of diverticulitis without inducing more discomfort while also being safe on top of medications prescribed by your doctor.
If you are suffering from diverticulitis then do not take laxatives unless prescribed by your doctor!