Osmotic Laxative Use

Evaluating Risk Factors: Osmotic Oral Laxatives

Evaluating your likely current (and near future) state of health means taking into account the risk factors — such as osmotic laxative use — that affect you.   Our medical diagnosis tool, The Analyst™, identifies major risk factors by asking the right questions.

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If you indicate using laxatives regularly, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Osmotic Laxatives. Do you use oral laxatives that work by drawing water into your colon? Examples include Epsom salts, Milk of Magnesia, GoLYTELY and CoLyte.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Frequent use (1 to 4 times per week) or less
→ Approximately daily
→ More than once daily

The Diagnostic Process

Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no osmotic laxative use, regular osmotic laxative use, daily osmotic laxative use or excessive osmotic laxative use, The Analyst™ will use differential diagnosis to consider possibilities such as:
Calcium Requirement

Oral osmotic laxatives often contain magnesium which reduces calcium absorption.  The long-term use of such products may result in a calcium deficiency.

Magnesium Toxicity

Very large doses of laxatives have been associated with magnesium toxicity, even with normal kidney function.

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