Aussies urged to get wise on constipation management
Wednesday, 4 May 2011 - Experts are encouraging people to gain a better understanding of constipation treatment as new consumer research released today shows there are still common misconceptions about the condition and the use of laxatives to help treat it.
Evidence shows treatment with bisacodyl (a key ingredient in some stimulant laxatives) is effective in constipation management1 but the latest Dulcolax Survey shows half the population are still concerned about the use of laxatives2.
To dispel the myths and misconceptions about constipation and its treatment, The Gut Foundation has launched a new consumer guide - “How do I manage constipation?”
The Gut Foundation President and Gastroenterologist Professor Terry Bolin says almost one in six people over the age of 30 have suffered from constipation at some stage in their life3 and there are widespread myths among healthcare professionals and consumers regarding its treatment.
“Constipation is a very manageable condition and it’s vital that people are aware of the best ways to manage constipation in order to minimise the impact it can have on a patient’s health and lifestyle. We are hoping this new resource will help improve its management.” said Professor Bolin.
One key area of interest for the new resource is the role of laxatives in the treatment of constipation.
“Fibre is an important preventative measure but for people who need additional assistance in dealing with the problem, sensible use of stimulant laxatives in the recommended dose is unlikely to cause harm and can greatly improve quality of life.”
“Laxatives are greatly misunderstood and many of these misunderstandings prevent better constipation management” said Professor Bolin.
Consultant Dietitian Geraldine Georgeou says diet and lifestyle choices, such as increasing fibre and water intake, can play an active role in preventing constipation however it will not necessarily alleviate the symptoms of constipation.
“It should not be assumed that a diet poor in fibre will cause constipation. Some people may benefit from a fibre rich diet while for others with more severe constipation an increased fibre intake may actually make symptoms worse,” said Ms Georgeou.
“A resource for consumers that is able to help clear up these common misconceptions and provide helpful advice on dealing with constipation and bloating will be very useful,” said Ms Georgeou.
Constipation can have an impact on people’s normal everyday activities with one in five people who suffer from constipation saying that it stops them from exercising and engaging in social activities such as catching up with friends and going on dates2.
Furthermore one in three sufferers is too embarrassed to discuss constipation with their friends and families.
To access ‘How do I manage constipation?’ visit the Gut Foundation websitehttp://www.gutfoundation.com.au/or call 02 9382 2749.
- ENDS -
Issued on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim
MA Kamm, SA Mueller-Lissner, A Wald, U Hinkel, E
Richter, R Swallow, J Bubeck. Stimulant
Laxatives are Effective in Chronic Constipation: Multi-Center, 4-Week, Double-Blind,
Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Bisacodyl. Gastroenterology
2010, 138 (5): 228.
2. Galaxy Research, February 2011, Constipation Study
3. A. Wald et al, The Burden of Constipation on Quality of Life: Results of a Multinational Survey; Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics vol 26, no 2, August 2007