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what is the difference between laxatives and stool softeners

A 65-year-old male asked:
Dr. Alvin Lin
Dr. Alvin Lin answered
29 years experience in Geriatrics
Softener vs laxative: There are many different ways to deal w/constipation, starting 1st w/fiber, fluids & exercise. Failing that, stool softeners do exactly that - sof ... Read More

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A 40-year-old member asked:
Dr. Derrick Lonsdale
72 years experience in Preventive Medicine
Stool softener: Softens stool and makes it easier to pass. Laxatives simulate the bowel to move and may be much more reactive and cause some pain.
A 42-year-old female asked:
Dr. Milton Mintz
66 years experience in Geriatrics
Increase your fluid: Intake , if no help after 24 hours see pcp.
A 52-year-old female asked:
Dr. M. Hytham Beck
42 years experience in General Surgery
Change your diet: you need to change your life style and your diet and keep your bowels regular and soft with the least use of laxative, you need to have a colonoscopy ... Read More
A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. M. Jan
Dr. M. Jan answered
65 years experience in Family Medicine
Both are laxatives: Biscodyl is chemical strong laxative. Sennosidees are vegetable laxative, are quite safe and can be taken regularly.
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A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Anthony Back
36 years experience in Medical Oncology
Fiber!: Metamucil is basically a kind of fiber. Other colon 'cleanse' products work by pulling fluid out of the colon, and this fluid brings other stool with ... Read More
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A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Martin Raff
55 years experience in Infectious Disease
Good question: A stool softener causes bulk to the stools and pulls liquid from the walls of the colon to aid in making the stools earier to pass. A laxative irrita ... Read More
A 54-year-old member asked:
Dr. Janet Greenhut
42 years experience in Preventive Medicine
The same: They are essentially the same.
A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Similar effect: Biscodyl is fairly safe chemical available in tablet, suppository & enema form.Acts directly on colonic nerves to stumulate contractions which lead to ... Read More
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A 51-year-old female asked:
Dr. Luis Villaplana
34 years experience in Internal Medicine
LOOSE STOOLS: Have a mushy consistency. Diarrhea is wattery non formed stools.
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A 41-year-old female asked:
Dr. Randall Rogers
43 years experience in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Explanation of lax: colace (docusate sodium) is not a laxative, just a softener-acts a litle like adding slipperyness to stool so it comes out easy-no stimulants miralax ... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Charles Cattano
38 years experience in Gastroenterology
Define "Diarrhea": Stool texture (regardless of volume or frequency of movements) is defined by the bristol stool scale (bss), which ranges from 1 (hard, pellet stool) t ... Read More
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A 29-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mark Diamond
45 years experience in Pediatrics
Different: I believe diarrhea must include a serious increase in the frequency of the bms and looseness.Of course other symptoms such as fever, cramps, etc may b ... Read More
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A 62-year-old male asked:
Dr. Randy Stevens
23 years experience in General Surgery
Fiber and soft stool: Your doctor found an anal fissure. He/she wants you to try a stool softener and add fiber tostood diet. Try pericolace. It is both. Fiber helps to ... Read More
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
38 years experience in General Surgery
Direct cause: Straining to have a hard bowel movement irritates hemorrhoid veins causing vein swelling, discomfort and sometimes bleeding. Do not sit for long times ... Read More
A 54-year-old member asked:
Dr. Heidi Fowler
24 years experience in Psychiatry
They are the : Same thing.
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A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Erin Brennan
8 years experience in General Practice
Different Mechanisms: Both are osmotic laxatives that increase fluid secretion and GI motility. Both are indicated for chronic constipation and ibs with constipation. Amiti ... Read More
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A 50-year-old member asked:
Dr. CHERYL COLDWATER
37 years experience in Pediatrics
The type of stools: Constipation is when someone passes hard stools. A person can go to the bathroom every other day, but if it is a soft bowel movement, it is not consti ... Read More
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A male asked:
Dr. Aimee Barton
22 years experience in Pediatrics
A lot: Hirschprung's is a condition in which the nerves that cause peristalsis (movement of the intestine) are missing from birth. It is treated with surger ... Read More
A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
27 years experience in Gastroenterology
Fiber: Citrucel is methylcellullose. Metamucil is psyllium. These are 2 types of fiber. Is one better than the other? I think citrucel tastes slightly better ... Read More
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A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Martin Fried
35 years experience in General Practice
See below: dietary fiber is consisted of insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber- increases the flow of the stool through the intestines and speeds th ... Read More
A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Pradeep Parihar
30 years experience in Family Medicine
Miralex: work same
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