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Thread: Daily use of stool softeners?

  1. #1

    Daily use of stool softeners?

    I often heard in rehab (and see suggested on here) that taking stool softeners daily can greatly help with stool firmness for us in the SCI population. Recently I was reading the directions on the bottle (go figure), and it says that taking one or two tablets should induce a bowel movement in around 12 hours. I only do my bowel program 3 times a week, so obviously I'm not going within 12 hours of every dose.

    Is it unhealthy for my body to be taking these stool softeners that should bring about a bowel movement, when my body is holding everything in until I'm ready to go? I have hemorrhoids that have started getting bigger since starting to use stool softeners everyday. Could the readiness of my stool be making my hemorrhoids larger? The consistency is getting less hard, so I would expect the size of the hemorrhoids to go down!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Chesapeake, VA
    A stool softener should not make you go. That is a stimulant. A stool softener should only do that soften the stool. Check and make sure that you are not using something with a stimulant.

    The hemorrhoids are supposed to get bigger if you are straining more to go. I know from experience that this is not always the case. Mine only act up (caused form giving birth to two kids) when I get loose stools.

    Try adding some fiber (small increases) and more water. You also may want to try doing your program more frequently. The longer the stool stays in the colon, the harder it gets. It tends to dry out waiting for you to evacuate. While the best fiber comes from whole grains, fruit and veggies (fresh), you can supplement with benefiber. Believe it or not, I have to give it to my cat from time to time. You cannot open the canister at my house without her at your feet crying for it. She really wants the wet food I mix it with but it has become a joke at our house if I pull the canister out of the cabinet. You can open the cabinet where the wet food lives and she does not have the same reaction. It is so funny.--eak

  3. #3

    It's possible that a stool softener may claim it induces bowel movements but I would doubt it works that way in most of the sCI population. I would agree that most hemorrhoids would not increase with use of stool softeners.
    Keep your fluid intake and fiber content up to prevent hemorrhoids from geting larger.


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