Castor Oil oral solution
- What is this medicine?
- What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
- How should I use this medicine?
- What if I miss a dose?
- What may interact with this medicine?
- What should I watch for while using this medicine?
- What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
- Where should I keep my medicine?
- How Does Castor Oil Work For Constipation?
- Ways To Use Castor Oil To Treat Constipation Naturally
- How To Use Castor Oil For Constipation
- 1. Castor Oil
- 2. Castor Oil And Orange Juice
- 3. Castor Oil And Lemon Juice
- 4. Castor Oil With Coconut Milk
- 5. Castor Oil And Heating Pad
- 6. Castor Oil Massage (For Babies)
- Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
- 5 Home Remedies for Constipation
- 5 Natural Ways to Combat Constipation
- Relationship Between Cod Liver Oil and Constipation Explained
- COD LIVER OIL
- Using Cod Liver Oil for Constipation
- Stimulant Laxatives for Cats
- Bulk-Forming Laxatives for Cats
- Check the Ingredients and Consult Your Vet
Castor Oil oral solution
What is this medicine?
CASTOR OIL (KAS tor oil) is a laxative. This medicine is used to relieve constipation. It may also be used to empty and prepare the bowel for surgery or examination.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
blood in your stool (black or tarry stools) or if you have blood in your vomit
stomach or intestine problems
an unusual or allergic reaction to castor oil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply. This medicine is not for regular use, and should only be used as needed.
What may interact with this medicine?
- fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or get worse. Do not use this medicine for longer than directed by your doctor or health care professional. This medicine can be habit-forming. Long-term use can make your body depend on the laxative for regular bowel movements, damage the bowel, cause malnutrition, and problems with the amounts of water and salts in your body. If your constipation keeps returning, check with your doctor or health care professional.
Do not use with any other laxatives. Drink fluids as directed to prevent dehydration. See your doctor right away if you do not have a bowel movement after using this medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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6 Ways To Cure Constipation Using Castor Oil Shaheen Naser Hyderabd040-395603080 August 9, 2019
Constipation is one tiring condition to deal with. Oh yes, that helpless feeling when you know that things need to get out of you, but there is nothing that you can possibly do… except try harder, maybe? Jokes apart, when you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week, it is referred to as constipation. Although there is a range of options that can help in its treatment, castor oil is a natural option if you aren’t pregnant. You must be well aware of the benefits of castor oil for your skin and hair. But ever thought about its potential therapeutic uses? Yes, castor oil has a wide range of health benefits, which includes treating constipation when used in tiny doses. Keep scrolling to find how castor oil helps with constipation and the various ways in which it can be used to treat the condition.
How Does Castor Oil Work For Constipation?
When you have irregular bowel movements, and your stool becomes too hard to pass, it most certainly means that you are constipated. It is now that the role of castor oil comes into play. Castor oil, derived from castor beans (Ricinus communis), contains a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid that exhibits laxative properties.
Let us now take a deeper look at the factors that make castor oil an effective treatment for constipation:
- Being a stimulant laxative, the ricinoleic acid in castor oil binds to the receptors on the muscles of your intestinal walls. This binding leads to contractions of your intestinal walls, enabling the stool to pass out easily.It has some effect on stimulating the uterus muscles as well. While this isn’t of much significance outside of pregnancy, it is if you are pregnant. So much so that a small shot of castor oil was historically used to help bring on labor when it was taking a woman a concerningly long time to mount functional uterine contractions.
- This action of ricinoleic acid also helps in softening your stools and cleansing your intestines.
- Using castor oil can reduce the strain that often accompanies constipation.
- Additionally, castor oil lubricates your bowels without absorbing any of the moisture from your intestinal walls.
If these reasons aren’t enough for you to start using castor oil to treat constipation, here’s more information.
Multiple studies conducted by various researchers have concluded that castor oil can have remarkable benefits on constipation. They also observed that the use of castor oil resulted in a significant decrease in the strain and promoted the feeling of complete evacuation following a bowel movement (1).
Now that you have a legit reason to give castor oil a try, let’s look at the different ways in which it can be used to relieve this condition.
Ways To Use Castor Oil To Treat Constipation Naturally
- Castor Oil
- Castor Oil And Orange Juice
- Castor Oil And Lemon Juice
- Castor Oil With Coconut Milk
- Castor Oil And Heating Pad
- Castor Oil Massage (For Babies)
How To Use Castor Oil For Constipation
1. Castor Oil
You Will Need
1 tablespoon of castor oil
What You Have To Do
Rub some castor oil on your belly, concentrating more around your belly button.
How Often You Should Do This
Do this at least twice daily.
Why This Works
Castor oil can help to soften and break down the fecal matter through the skin and the gut with its laxative properties. Additionally, it enhances muscle contractions that can make your stool pass easily (2).
Back To TOC
2. Castor Oil And Orange Juice
- 1 tablespoon of castor oil
- 1 cup of orange juice
- Add castor oil to a cup of orange juice and mix well.
- Consume this mixture before the oil settles down.
Do this once daily.
The high fiber content of orange juice helps to bulk up the stool, and the laxative effects of castor oil make it easy to pass out of the body, thus relieving constipation (3).
Back To TOC
3. Castor Oil And Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon of castor oil
- 1 cup of lemon juice
- Mix about a tablespoon of castor oil with a cup of lemon juice.
- Consume this before the oil settles down.
Do this once daily.
The acidic nature of lemons, along with the naturally lubricating properties of water, can help to ease your bowel movements (4), (5).
Back To TOC
4. Castor Oil With Coconut Milk
- 1 teaspoon of castor oil
- 1 glass of warm coconut milk
- Add a teaspoon of castor oil to a glass of coconut milk.
- Consume this before the oil starts to settle down.
Do this once every night.
The stimulating properties of castor oil and the soothing and relieving effects of coconut milk work in tandem to relieve constipation and its symptoms.
If you are lactose intolerant, it is recommended that you use any of the other remedies listed in this article to get rid of constipation.
Back To TOC
5. Castor Oil And Heating Pad
- 1 tablespoon of castor oil
- A heating pad
- Massage some castor oil on your stomach, concentrating on the area around the belly button.
- Place a heating pad on top of your belly.
Do this once daily.
Castor oil, when used in combination with a heating pad, can enhance digestion and promote circulation in the affected area. This can soften the fecal compaction, allowing your stool to pass easily (6).
Back To TOC
6. Castor Oil Massage (For Babies)
3 to 4 drops of 100% organic castor oil
- Take a few drops of castor oil and warm it.
- Rub the warmed castor oil between your palms and massage it in a clockwise motion around your infant’s stomach.
- Take a little more oil and massage it onto your infant’s knees and thighs.
- Gently push the legs of your infant towards his abdomen.
- Continue doing this for 10 to 15 minutes.
Do this twice a week.
Castor oil, when used in moderate amounts externally, is beneficial for treating constipation in your baby. A simple massage with castor oil can stimulate bowel movements in your child (7).
Use only 100% organic castor oil for infants and only use it externally in children. Also, make sure that the oil does not come in contact with your child’s anal/genital areas, eyes, and lips.
Now that you know how to use castor oil for constipation, what are you waiting for? These remedies can provide you quick and effective relief from constipation. If none of these treatments are working for you, seek medical help immediately. There are many reasons for constipation. Sometimes, clearing the gut out to avoid toxic build-up is the best step to start, but don’t undervalue the importance of finding the root cause of your constipation. From nutrient deficiencies, anatomical issues, neurological, and more, understanding the cause can lead to a lot more benefits than just getting the relief of being able to have a bowel movement.
Back To TOC
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Is castor oil good for constipation in toddlers?
Yes, it is a great topical treatment. The application of castor oil to the skin can help in treating constipation in toddlers.
How long does castor oil take to treat constipation?
Castor oil will start showing results in two to six hours.
Can a pregnant woman drink castor oil for constipation?
Pregnant women must avoid taking castor oil for constipation as it might stimulate uterus contractions and even lead to a miscarriage.
- 25 Best Foods that Make You Poop
- Top 10 Effective Home Remedies To Cure Constipation
- 11 Types Of Foods That Causes Constipation
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Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.
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James knew he had to go. But when he got to the boys’ bathroom at school, he sat down on the toilet and nothing happened. He waited a couple of minutes and . . . still nothing. He tried pushing, but it kind of hurt. After a while a little poop came out, but it was small and hard, sort of like marbles.
James flushed, zipped up, and washed his hands. He didn’t feel much better. Why? He was a little constipated.
What Is Constipation?
Constipation (say: con-stuh-PAY-shun) is not having a bowel movement (pooping) as often as you usually do or having a tough time going because the poop is hard and dry. Normal poop is sort of soft and easy to pass, so it shouldn’t be too hard to have a bowel movement.
When you poop, what ends up in the toilet is the last step of digestion (say: dye-JES-chun), a process that started way back with the grilled cheese sandwich you had for lunch. After you chew and swallow food, it heads to your stomach. From there it’s on to the small intestine (say: in-TES-tin), then the large intestine (or bowels), and finally out of the body through the rectum and anus.
All these parts make up your digestive system. As food moves through this system, your body soaks up water and nutrients it needs from the food. What’s left over comes out as poop. Flush it and away it goes!
You probably don’t think about this when you go to the bathroom. In fact, you may not think about what you do in the bathroom much at all. But when you’re not going like you normally do, it might be on your mind a lot and you may feel uncomfortable.
Some people think they’re constipated if they don’t poop every day, but everybody’s bathroom habits are different. One kid might go three times a day, and another kid might only go once every 3 days. So the real sign of whether you’re constipated is if you’re going less than you normally do, or if it’s hard to poop.
What Are the Symptoms?
Besides not pooping as often as you usually do, you may feel full and have less of an appetite if you’re constipated. Your belly may stick out a little, too. When you do go to the bathroom, you may feel like you have to work really hard to get the poop out, and it might hurt a little to go.
If your poop is hard and dry, pushing it out may cause tiny tears in the skin of your anus. If this happens, you might see a bit of blood on the toilet paper when you wipe. After you’re done, you may have only gone a little and feel like you still have to go.
Sometimes when a kid’s really constipated, some watery poop like diarrhea might leak out around the hard poop that’s still inside. This can cause a messy accident, even for kids who stopped having accidents a long time ago.
If you think you’re constipated, or if you see blood on the toilet paper after you wipe, tell your parents. It’s probably no big deal, but it’s a good idea to let them know what’s going on.
Why Do Kids Get Constipated?
Constipation is pretty common and different things can cause it. Reasons why kids get constipated include:
- Unhealthy diet. If you fill your diet with fatty, sugary, or starchy foods and don’t eat enough fiber, your bowels may slow down. Fiber — found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — can keep your poop from getting hard and dry. So reach for a pear!
- Not enough exercise. Moving around helps food move through your digestive system. If you don’t get enough active playtime — like running around outside — you could get constipated.
- Not enough fluid. Drinking water and other liquids keeps poop soft as it moves through your intestines. When you don’t drink enough, the poop can get hard and dry and you might get stopped up.
- Not going to the bathroom when you need to. Sometimes kids don’t go to the bathroom when they have to. Maybe they don’t want to use the bathroom at school or maybe they just don’t want to stop what they’re doing right then. But if you make a habit of ignoring your body’s signals that it’s time to go, that might make it harder to go later on.
- Stress. Kids might get constipated when they’re anxious about school or something at home. This can happen during scary events, like starting at a new school, or even if you’re just worried about a lot of homework and tests coming up. Being away from home for more than a few days may make you feel a little stressed, too. If you think stress is plugging things up for you, talk to an adult you trust about it.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Some kids have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can act up when they’re stressed or when they run into certain triggers, like fatty or spicy foods. A kid who has IBS may have constipation sometimes and diarrhea sometimes, as well as belly pain and gas.
How Is It Treated?
If you’re constipated, you probably won’t need any special treatment. Chances are you’ll soon start going regularly again on your own. If your doctor decides you should come in for a visit, he or she might suggest some medicine or a change in diet to get you going. But don’t take any medicine for your constipation unless your doctor recommends it.
Other than some medicine, the doctor might order an X-ray or other types of tests that check out your digestive system. But usually constipation is just constipation. You eventually poop and feel better.
What Can I Do to Help Myself?
You can follow these steps when you’re constipated and even when you’re not!
- Drink plenty of water. This can keep your poop from getting too hard and dry.
- Eat more fiber. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, such as oatmeal and popcorn, all add fiber to your diet. And fiber can keep things moving.
- Ask your parents to use olive oil and other healthy oils in their cooking. This can help make you pass poop more easily.
- Exercise. Throw a ball with your friends, ride your bike, or shoot a few hoops. Activity helps you go to the bathroom regularly. In other words, if you get moving, your bowels will, too!
Reviewed by: Rupal Christine Gupta, MD Date reviewed: October 2014
5 Home Remedies for Constipation
When it comes to being “regular,” there really isn’t a standard. The definition of normal bowel movements differs from person to person.
But regardless of whether you visit the bathroom three times a day or three times a week, the symptoms of constipation are usually the same for everyone. If you aren’t having as many bowel movements as you normally do, or if your stool is hard, dry, or painful, you’re probably experiencing a bout of constipation.
Fortunately, the condition is rarely a sign of serious disease and usually can be cleared up without drastic measures. In fact, there are several home remedies for constipation that can help alleviate the discomfort.
While signs accompanying constipation such as abdominal pain, bloody stool, or unexpected weight loss should be brought to a doctor’s attention, for run-of-the-mill constipation bouts, these non-drug constipation remedies just might do the trick.
Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to play a role in a large number of bodily functions, including digestion. Some studies have shown that omega-3s can be helpful in managing symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which include constipation.
Fish oil, derived either from diet or in supplement form, is a rich source of these fatty acids. Specifically, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil supplements also contain EPA and DHA.
As is the case with all dietary supplements, fish oil supplements should be taken with caution. High doses of any omega-3 fatty acids can increase bleeding risk, so it is especially important that people who bruise easily or have bleeding disorders be careful when using this home remedy for constipation. Blood-thinning medications also put people at risk for this same reason. In addition to blood thinners, diabetes and cholesterol medications, some steroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may produce possible adverse reactions when combined with omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish oil.
Another downside to using this constipation remedy is that fish oil can cause gas and bloating, and in some cases diarrhea. And it is important to know the source of fish oil before using it as a constipation remedy, as some fish may contain heavy metals such as mercury and other contaminants.
Castor oil is a yellowish liquid that can be used as a home remedy for constipation because of its laxative property. One study in Nigeria found that oral castor oil helped children with chronic constipation to move their bowels. An upside to castor oil for constipation is that it works quickly.
For that same reason, however, castor oil should be cautiously administered as a constipation remedy. It should not be taken at bedtime, due to its quick effects. Another downside to this constipation remedy is that it tastes bad, so it is recommended that the castor oil be chilled and mixed with a sweetener such as orange juice. Castor oil is generally considered safe, but it can lead to overdose if taken in large amounts.
One of the best known home remedies for constipation is fiber. The recommended dosage – 20 to 35 grams per day – can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber is also a convenient constipation remedy since most people already have these items in their homes. Fiber supplements such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) can be used as well.
The one downside to using fiber as a constipation home remedy is that it can actually make constipation worse if you don’t drink plenty of water with it. For the fiber to help alleviate constipation, it needs fluids to help move it through the digestive system. Fiber derived from supplements especially must be taken with water in order to avoid worsening constipation.
Herbal therapy is one of the oldest forms of constipation treatments – numerous cultures around the world have used herbs to cure constipation for thousands of years. This tried-and-true constipation therapy is generally divided into two categories: bulk-forming and stimulant laxatives.
Commonly used bulk-forming herbal laxatives include flaxseed, fenugreek, and barley. If you opt for flaxseed as a constipation remedy, you should remember that flaxseed oil is different from the actual flaxseeds, which are available as whole or crushed seeds; flaxseed oil is not a constipation remedy. Stimulant herbs for constipation include senna, Cascara segrada, and aloe.
One reason to think twice before using herbs for constipation is that the stimulant laxatives, particularly aloe, can cause cramping. Herbalists typically recommend a less powerful stimulant like senna before suggesting aloe. Along with side effects, herbal therapies for constipation can potentially interact with medications and supplements. Always speak with a qualified health care practitioner before taking any herbs.
Probiotics are the bacteria inside our intestines that promote digestion. Examples of probiotics are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Sacchromyces boulardi, and they are available in supplement form and some foods, such as yogurt. Some studies have shown that probiotics are an effective non-drug cure for constipation. Like fiber, probiotics are a relatively easy home cure for constipation because they are available in foods that many families already have in the refrigerator.
However, the jury is still out on probiotics for constipation. Recently, Polish researchers conducted a systematic review of trials on the effect of probiotics on constipation and concluded that there was not yet strong enough evidence to support their recommendation.
Abdominal pain is a key symptom of IBS, which, according to several studies, has become more prevalent in Asia in recent years.
Despite further research into the condition and its symptoms, the pathophysiology of IBS remains a mystery.
What is known about it is that women are more likely than men to suffer from IBS, especially when it concerns the constipation-predominant type, and that essential fatty acid (EFA) malnutrition is among the theories that discuss the mechanism of IBS.
Researchers at several Taiwanese universities hypothesised that significant EFA deficiency could induce abdominal pain in IBS patients.
However, due to the different patterns in oral intake of EFAs across different cultures, they designed the current study to focus on the nutritional status of Asian female IBS patients.
They recruited 30 IBS patients and 39 healthy controls, and recorded their height, weight, waist size and age before using the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale on them.
They observed that IBS patients had higher proportions of plasma saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as lower proportions of DHA and total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
“Compared with the controls, our patients with IBS had higher proportions of SFAs and MUFAs and lower DHA and total n-3 in plasma. The relatively low PUFA levels in plasma may have enhanced the endogenous synthesis of SFAs and MUFAs,” they wrote.
The IBS patients also exhibited a higher prevalence of depression, an observation in line with previous studies.
5 Natural Ways to Combat Constipation
Being constipated isn’t fun. In fact, chronic constipation can create some pretty major health problems, including (but not limited to) depression, diverticular disease, and can even contribute to colon cancer. Just as chronic stress has recently been found to be heavily correlated with disease, so has chronic constipation. (Just to be clear, “chronic” refers to ongoing conditions, not those that occur just once or twice.)
While there are many over-the-counter remedies that tout their helpfulness in helping one overcome constipation, it’s actually much better too try and relieve the condition naturally. This means consuming whole foods, exercising, and adopting lifestyle habits that are conducive to a healthy bowel.
Here are 5 ways to combat constipation naturally:
Drinking at least 6 cups (or 48 ounces) of water daily can greatly help promote healthier bowel movements. Without enough fluid, stool simply cannot be passed easily. Bowel movements should be quick and effortless, and if this isn’t the case for you, then you should drink more water.
Walk Baby, Walk
Incorporating walking into your daily routine is a great way to get your bowels moving. Different than weight lifting or attending spin class, walking works most of the muscles in your abdomen and the slow and steady movement induces a full-body stimulation.
Eat Your Veggies
Your mom wasn’t joking—fruit and veggies are essential to good health, and to keeping a happy tummy. The fibre that these foods naturally possess helps to give stool shape and bulk, and promotes daily expulsion of waste. Aside from the fibre, fruit and vegetables are also chalk full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Becoming aware of how many foods you consume each day that may contribute to a slow and sluggish bowel, is key. Foods like heavy breads, pasta, dairy, and sugar can really throw your digestive tract of track. By making better choices, we can make an enormous difference in our bowel health.
Increase Your Fibre with NutraCleanseTM
Incorporating NutraCleanseTM into your diet may take your bowel health to another level. It ensures you receive adequate amounts of fibre (the main benefit of flax seed, which our product is primarily composed of), and gently promotes overall digestive health.
Cheers to a happy healthy gut and please take care!
By Karen Appold
Constipation is—literally—a pain in the butt. Not being able “to go” can be both frustrating and uncomfortable. Medically, constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week, while severe constipation is classified as less than one bowel movement per week.
In addition to infrequent stools, symptoms include lower abdominal discomfort, straining to defecate, small or hard stools, rectal bleeding, and/or anal fissures caused by hard stools.
If you’re looking to find relief naturally, consult your doctor about the following supplements, vitamins, and minerals.
This oil is a yellowish liquid with laxative properties. It works quickly, so use it cautiously. To avoid its bad taste, chill it and mix it with a sweetener.
Fish oil supplements are typically made from certain kinds of fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, halibut, cod liver, seal blubber, or whale blubber. Many of its benefits come from its omega-3 fatty acids. These acids lubricate intestines so food can easily move through the colon. Fish oil is a great source of omega-3s, but flax oil and hemp oil work well also.
If you’re choosing this constipation remedy, be sure to consume it with plenty of water so it moves through the digestive system. Otherwise, you may worsen the condition. Look specifically for psyllium, methylcellulose, or glucomannan supplements.
Probiotics are naturally-occurring good bacteria in the intestines that aid digestion. You can purchase probiotics—such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Sacchromyces boulardi—in supplement form. They can also be found in certain foods, such as yogurt, pickles, dark chocolate, and sauerkraut.
This mineral relaxes muscles in the large intestine, resulting in a laxative effect. Combine with vitamin C for even better effects.
This vitamin is a common ingredient in many laxatives. When consumed in large amounts on an empty stomach, it softens stools.
Also known as folic acid, this vitamin works to both treat and prevent severe constipation because it acts as a stool softener. This allows more liquid to remain in your stool.
Regardless of which supplements you decide to take, always be sure to consult with your primary care physician before adding them to your daily routine.
Karen Appold is a freelance medical writer in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
Relationship Between Cod Liver Oil and Constipation Explained
The relationship between cod liver oil and constipation is one of natural treatment and ailment. In other words, cod liver oil has been used to provide natural relief from constipation for many years. Other fish oils provide the same benefit, without the risks that can be associated with excess consumption of cod liver oil. Both of these oils provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for optimal brain, heart, joint and digestive function.
Both my parents and my grandparents took regular doses of cod liver oil and constipation was not a problem for them. After complaining of a “tummy ache”, my mother gave me a spoonful of the nasty tasting, smelly stuff. After that, I kept my tummy aches to myself. Sure, it relieved the constipation, but “Yuck!” I could taste it for hours, every time I burped!
Today, the better fish oil supplements are molecularly distilled to remove the odor. In capsule form, they are tasteless. Storing the capsules in the freezer and/or taking them with food can prevent both the burping and any aftertaste, while still relieving occasional constipation.
Most people experience constipation occasionally. Too little fiber in the diet is one common cause, as is too little water. But, many other factors can contribute to occasional constipation. Prescription medications, dietary supplements containing iron, a sedentary lifestyle, traveling or other changes in routine and stress are some of the many things that can lead to constipation.
Excessive use of stimulant laxatives can cause the eventual dysfunction of the digestive muscles, leading to chronic constipation. Most people find that even occasional use of stimulant laxatives can cause cramping and discomfort. Fish oils improve digestive function, can be taken regularly and are “gentler” than most over-the-counter laxatives, like Ex-Lax. Many people relate cod liver oil and constipation prevention.
Just remember to choose wisely. All supplements are not the same. Cod liver oils contain vitamin A. Pregnant women should avoid supplements containing vitamin A, as it has been associated with a significant increase in birth defects. Too much vitamin A, in even healthy adults can be toxic. In general, it is safer to get your daily vitamin A requirements from food or beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A on an as-needed basis and is therefore non-toxic.
Other concerns over cod liver oil consumption are related to mercury contamination and contamination from other industrial pollutants. Mercury is stored in the livers of fish. Thus, there is a greater chance of mercury contamination in oils that come from fish livers. The source of most cod liver oils is the Atlantic Cod fish, which has been over harvested and swims in some of the most polluted waters in the world.
Fish oils derived from the “flesh” of the fish are generally safer alternatives. But, it is still necessary to choose carefully. Some oils are not molecularly distilled and contain mercury and other contaminants. And, if you are concerned about environmental issues, some fish are over harvested and their populations are not considered sustainable. Manufacturers should list the “source fish” (cod, shark, salmon, etc.), the distillation process used and the ocean from which the fish is harvested, but most do not.
To learn more about cod liver oil and constipation relief or prevention…and to learn more about choosing the best supplements, please visit The Fish Oil Guide.
COD LIVER OIL
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- Farmer A, Montori V, Dinneen S, Clar C. Fish oil in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2001;3:CD003205. View abstract.
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- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. Available at: www.nap.edu/books/0309072794/html/.
- Foti C, Bonamonte D, Conserva A, Pepe ML, Angelini G. Allergic contact dermatitis to cod liver oil contained in a topical ointment. Contact Dermatitis 2007;57(4):281-2. View abstract.
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- Gruenwald J, Graubaum HJ, Harde A. Effect of cod liver oil on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Adv Ther 2002;19(2):101-7. View abstract.
- Hansen JB, Olsen JO, Wilsgard L, Osterud B. Effects of dietary supplementation with cod liver oil on monocyte thromboplastin synthesis, coagulation and fibrinolysis. J Intern Med Suppl 1989;225:133-9.. View abstract.
- Hardarson T, Kristinsson A, Skúladóttir G, Asvaldsdóttir H, Snorrason SP. Cod liver oil does not reduce ventricular extrasystoles after myocardial infarction. J Intern Med 1989;226(1):33-7. View abstract.
- Helland IB, Saarem K, Saugstad OD, Drevon CA. Fatty acid composition in maternal milk and plasma during supplementation with cod liver oil. Eur J Clin Nutr 1998;52(11):839-45. View abstract.
- Helland IB, Saugstad OD, Saarem K, et al. Supplementation of n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation reduces maternal plasma lipid levels and provides DHA to the infants. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2006;19(7):397-406. View abstract.
- Henderson MJ, Jones RG. Cod liver oil or bust. Lancet 1987;2:274-5.
- Jensen T, Stender S, Goldstein K, et al. Partial normalization by dietary cod-liver oil of increased microvascular albumin leakage in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes and albuminuria. N Engl J Med 1989;321:1572-7. View abstract.
- Jonasson F, Fisher DE, Eiriksdottir G, et al. Five-year incidence, progression, and risk factors for age-related macular degeneration: the age, gene/environment susceptibility study. Ophthalmology 2014;121(9):1766-72. View abstract.
- Landymore RW, Kinley CE, Cooper JH, et al. Cod-liver oil in the prevention of intimal hyperplasia in autogenous vein grafts used for arterial bypass. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1985;89:351-7. View abstract.
- Landymore RW, MacAulay M, Sheridan B, Cameron C. Comparison of cod-liver oil and aspirin-dipyridamole for the prevention of intimal hyperplasia in autologous vein grafts. Ann Thorac Surg 1986;41:54-7. View abstract.
- Landymore RW, MacAulay MA, Cooper JH, Sheridan BL. Effects of cod-liver oil on intimal hyperplasia in vein grafts used for arterial bypass. Can J Surg 1986;29:129-31.. View abstract.
- Linday LA, Dolitsky JN, Shindledecker RD, Pippenger CE. Lemon-flavored cod liver oil and multivitamin-mineral supplement for the secondary prevention of otitis media in young children: pilot research. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2002:111:642-52.. View abstract.
- Linday LA, Shindledecker RD, Tapia-Mendoza J, Dolitsky JN. Effect of daily cod liver oil and a multivitamin-multimineral supplement with selenium on upper respiratory tract pediatric visits by young, inner-city, Latino children: randomized pediatric sites. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2004;113:891-901. View abstract.
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- Lombardo YB, Chicco A, D’Alessandro ME, et al. Dietary fish oil normalize dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance with unchanged insulin levels in rats fed a high sucrose diet. Biochim Biophys Acta 1996;1299:175-82. View abstract.
- Lorenz R, Spengler U, Fischer S, Duhm J, Weber PC. Platelet function, thromboxane formation and blood pressure control during supplementation of the Western diet with cod liver oil. Circulation 1983;67(3):504-11. View abstract.
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- Mai XM, Langhammer A, Chen Y, Camargo CA. Cod liver oil intake and incidence of asthma in Norwegian adults – the HUNT study. Thorax 2013;68(1):25-30. View abstract.
- Mavroeidi A, Aucott L, Black AJ, et al. Seasonal variation in 25(OH)D at Aberdeen (57°N) and bone health indicators–could holidays in the sun and cod liver oil supplements alleviate deficiency? PLoS One 2013;8(1):e53381. View abstract.
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- Prisco D, Paniccia R, Bandinelli B, et al. Effect of medium-term supplementation with a moderate dose of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on blood pressure in mild hypertensive patients. Thromb Res 1998;1:105-12. View abstract.
- Raeder MB, Steen VM, Vollset SE, Bjelland I. Associations between cod liver oil use and symptoms of depression: The Hordaland Health Study. J Affect Disord 2007;101:245-9. View abstract.
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Using Cod Liver Oil for Constipation
Try this Alternative to Using Cod Liver Oil for Constipation
Using cod liver oil for constipation may not be the most effective treatment for constipation. While you are getting a healthy source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D, you are not getting any fiber in your diet.
High Fiber Foods
Eating a high fiber diet will contribute to good bowel health and reduce constipation.
The average fiber intake for most adults is only 5 to 15 grams a day. Nutritionists recommend you eat at least 20 – 30 grams a day.
Increasing your fiber intake will go a long way to relieving and preventing constipation. Fiber softens hard dry stools and makes it them easier to pass.
Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and legumes will help increase your fiber intake.
Other methods to reduce constipation include using psyllium husks and special herbal formulations.
One of my favorite methods of getting extra fiber is adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to my morning cup of orange juice.
Flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fiber; about 40% of the flaxseed is fiber. Whole grains such as wheat bran, oat meal, and oat bran are also high in fiber.
Corn bran has one of the highest fiber contents at 78%. Rice bran comes a close second with 75% fiber.
Important: Drink plenty of water when you eat more fiber.
Eating all the fiber in the world won’t help if you don’t drink enough water. Your intestines absorb water from the stool as it passes through your body.
If you’re dehydrated, your body will try to absorb even more water from your stools to make up for the deficit. This can make your stools hard and dry causing uncomfortable bowel movements.
Drinking lots of water and juices will add bulk and make your bowel movements softer and easier.
Should you have a bowel movement every day?
Doctors say there’s no normal frequency for bowel movements; some people may have three movements a day and others have three movements a week.
If you have a chronic case of constipation, you should see your doctor as he/she may prescribe laxatives as a short-term treatment.
Eating a fiber-rich diet, exercising and drinking plenty of water will help reduce constipation symptoms.
You can also take a fiber supplement to ensure you’re getting your daily recommended dosage of fiber.
Constipation can become a serious and painful condition for any animal, so it’s important to be aware of the best cat laxatives you can use to help your pet. The following laxatives are approved for felines, but you should consult your vet right away if your cat appears to be in distress. If your cat is dealing with recurring digestive symptoms, get your hands on LovetoKnow’s vet-written eBook called “Happy Tummy Cat” for a roadmap to understanding and recovery.
Stimulant Laxatives for Cats
Stimulant laxatives are typically used to lubricate the digestive tract so it’s easier for the cat to pass a stool. This type of laxative is typically used when hairballs lead to constipation.
Sentry HC Petromalt
Sentry HC Petromalt uses a combination of mineral oil, petrolatum, glycerin, and other ingredients to break up hairballs and lubricate the digestive tract. This product also contains corn syrup, so it may not be appropriate for cats that are allergic to corn or have diabetes.
Lax’aire contains petrolatum to lubricate the intestinal tract and cod liver oil to act as a laxative. Additional ingredients include soybean oil and peptonized iron. Cats tend to like the taste of the cod liver oil, so it’s easy to administer.
Laxatone is an over-the-counter product that’s especially useful for treating constipation caused by ingesting fur. The tuna, catnip, and malt-flavored varieties of this laxative contain a combination of white petroleum USP, light mineral oil, and soybean oil, among other ingredients, to relieve constipation.
Cat owners who prefer to avoid giving their cats petroleum products may prefer Laxatone Natural. This formula contains soybean, vegetable, cod liver, and flaxseed oils, as well as beeswax to lubricate and ease constipation.
Bulk-Forming Laxatives for Cats
Bulk-forming laxatives absorb water and help soften dry, hard feces so they pass easier. The extra bulk also helps the cat pass stools more often, which keeps him regular and lowers the chance of becoming constipated.
Lactulose is a prescription liquid laxative that softens stools. It’s often used to treat cats that suffer from megacolon, and it lessens complications from certain types of liver disease.
Metamucil for Cats
According to WebMD, it’s safe to use Metamucil for cats and is especially useful for cats that suffer from frequent constipation. The site recommends adding one teaspoon per day to wet cat food, and that you can keep your cat on this regimen indefinitely without causing a problem. However, you should make sure your cat also has plenty of fresh water available when taking this laxative. Metamucil is readily available at any pharmacy department.
Vetasyl is an over-the-counter constipation remedy that contains a combination of psyllium seed husks and barley malt extract powder. It’s a very natural product that doesn’t contain any additional chemicals or preservatives. Like Metamucil, Vetasyl is sprinkled over wet cat food, and your cat should have a constant supply of fresh water in order for the laxative to work properly.
Check the Ingredients and Consult Your Vet
As with anything else you’d feed your cat, read the ingredients label to make sure the laxative you choose doesn’t contain anything you know your cat is allergic to. Constipation can be uncomfortable at its mildest and life threatening at its worst, so call your vet to discuss using a laxative, and get his or her expert opinion whether this is the right treatment for your pet.