Monday, September 25, 2023

Apparently America has a backlog and is running out of laxatives

It may be time for Americans to eat more fiber. There is a shortage of laxatives in the United States, according to a study reported by The Wall Street Journal this week. One alleged reason for the supply shortage is additional demand from younger people, an interest that appears to be fueled by TikTok influencers promoting the supposed benefits of laxatives for good gut health.

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The deficiency affects polyethylene glycol 3350, the active ingredient in many laxative brands such as MiraLAX. Searches for laxatives have more than tripled in the last year, according to a report from analytics firm Patrón cited by the Wall Street Journal. Amazon, while searches for fiber products have also increased. The outlet also interviewed gastroenterologists and providers about the drug’s declining availability, who offered several short- and long-term explanations for the increase in demand.

For example, the average American is getting older, and older people are more likely to regularly suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as constipation. The pandemic has also negatively changed many people’s eating habits, leading to an increase in the consumption of unhealthy snacks and other foods that are more likely to lead to constipation. At least some of the demand could come from TikTok fans tuning in to #GutTok, where there are plenty of people offering home remedies for a variety of gastrointestinal health problems.

GutTok has been a trending topic on the social media platform for quite some time, with influencers claiming to know the best way to reduce bloating, improve mood and even clear acne by improving gut health. Some of the suggestions for improving your gut are likely to be harmless at worst, e.g. B. drink more water; can be actively harmful and this can include an over-reliance on laxatives.

Chronic use of laxatives can further worsen a person’s constipation, to the point that increasingly higher doses are required to prevent bowel movements. They can also cause long-term damage to the intestines and increase the risk of rectal prolapse, a condition in which the rectum slips out of the anus. And acute side effects like dehydration or stomach cramps are no picnic.

Although taking a laxative occasionally is fine, people’s gut health would best benefit from sustained positive changes to their lifestyle and diet, such as eating more fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of exercise. Whether these changes will be possible on a large scale in the United States in the foreseeable future is another question.

“It’s crazy to think that our collective intestinal dysfunction has gotten so bad that we’re literally running out of stool softeners,” George Pavlou, president of New Jersey Gastroenterology Associates, told the WSJ.

This content was automatically translated from the source material. Due to the intricacies of machine translation, there may be slight variations. For the original version click here.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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