I couldn't find another forum for this problem, so I'm going to stick it here.
I have always suffered from horrible constipation, no matter my diet, it was always the same. Mostly because I was born with an enlarged colon and even the best doctors never knew what to do, so they told my mother to give me ducolax or other harsh laxatives (mind you, I was a small child, I was 2 when I had my first colonoscopy), or just wait it out and see if I go on my own, which never worked, I could have waited two weeks before having a bowel movement of some kind and that was with help, and there were many times through the years that I would only go every two, sometimes three weeks, which I was lucky that I didn't end up in the hospital because of it. My mom tried everything, prune juice, change in diet, nothing worked, so that's when she finally broke down and followed the doctors orders to give me the harsh laxatives. It was bad either way you look at it, I could have ended up in the hospital and/or died, or took the laxatives and caused myself to have a lazy bowel.
So I did the latter for years upon years, even though those only made me go once every two weeks at that. Finally, I ended up overdosing on ex-lax when I was 17 (2005), to the point where I was vomiting, but still couldn't go to the bathroom. So I had my mom take me to the hospital and they didn't do much, they fixed the nausea and vomiting, and said that I irritated my stomach too much. I left the hospital that night and finally ended up going to the bathroom the next day or so. My mom finally took me to a gastroenterologist and she basically said I had IBS, an enlarged lazy bowel with no bowel activity whatsoever (due to all those years of laxatives), and that she could prescribe me a laxative that had been on the market since 1999 and it would help a lot, but I still might have to have the removal of my colon by the time I was 30. I started taking the laxative and it made me feel so much better, I was finally going once a week, which she said would be the normal for me, because of the size of my colon.
A few years later I went to go fill a prescript
ion for my laxative and the pharmacist said that I didn't have to do that now and that I could buy it over the counter by the name of Miralax. Okay, sounded good to me. By that time I was 21, maybe 22. But during that time I started suffering from rapid weight and hair loss, but I would gain the weight back after a few weeks, and then I would lose it again. I went to a couple of doctors, had a whole bunch of blood work done, everything came back normal. So I've been living with this weight and hair problem for 3 or 4 years now with no explanation. That's when my mother and I realized that it may just very well be the laxative doing it, so she called the same gastroenterologist I went to originally and asked her about
it, which she then confirmed that it could be a possibility, because it can deplete you of vitamins and minerals, and then she said that I shouldn't have been taking it for that long, even though she was the one that originally prescribed it to me and said that I would probably have to take it indefinitely.
I've cut back on it a lot, I only need to take it once, maybe twice a week, which is a miracle, considering I was taking it every day originally. But I was on the phone with my mother the other night and we were talking about
how I am losing weight again and gobs of hair (some are even turning gray), plus I have seemed to develop an odd swallowing problem (which actually started happening about
2 years ago), almost like a never ending post nasal drip. Oh and the fact that I sometimes have an embarrassing problem of me not making it to the bathroom in time, which is more like a small leakage thing. So I started reading, looking things up, researching, and I came across this article about
Miralax and other laxatives that have the active ingredient - polyethylene glycol. I couldn't believe what I was reading, it all started making sense to me.
Extended use can cause severe malnutrition in young children and older adults, which could explain the weight loss for me, but since I eat like a horse, I end up gaining the weight back after two or three weeks, but then lose it again after a month or two. It can also cause you to have a deficiency in vitamin K and biotin (also it has a blocking effect of absorption of vitamins and minerals in the small and large intestine), and it can wipe clean the mucous membrane of your large intestine, which leaves you prone to cancer. There's just so many more long term effects that this article talks about
, that it's just not even funny. The sad part is that I started developing ulcers, which I never had until I started taking this laxative.
Something I thought was a miracle seems to actually be a nightmare for my insides. But I was wondering if anyone else has experienced long term side effects to this drug and if so, have you found something else without polyethylene glycol that works just as well? The only thing good that came out of this is the fact that I have gained a lot of bowel activity back, the reason why I only need to take the stuff once a week now to keep regular. But I am worried that if I keep taking it, something awful may happen years down the road.
Here is the article, just in case you want to give it a read - www.gutsense.org/gutsense/the-role-of-miralax-laxative-in-autism-dementia-alzheimer.html