DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m an 84-year-old male who has just lately discovered reduction from lifelong pressure in bowel actions by utilizing stool softeners. I wish to know in the event that they’re habit-forming if taken as soon as a day. I’ve tried Metamucil with out pretty much as good of outcomes. Please touch upon each. Thanks. – B.C.
ANSWER: Straining for a bowel motion is unhealthy to the bowel and places elevated stress on many constructions, leaving an individual at larger danger for growing diverticula of the colon and symptomatic hemorrhoids. Diverticula are small pouches within the colon wall, which may bleed or turn into infected. First-line therapy for laborious bowel actions contains common train and dietary adjustments, particularly rising recent fruit and different meals containing fiber. One meals that’s particularly useful, confirmed by generations of use in addition to scientific research, is prunes, which include a number of substances along with fiber that assist stop laborious bowel actions.
When weight loss plan adjustments alone are insufficient, then medical therapy is suitable. Psyllium husk, equivalent to in Metamucil, is one other time-tested therapy that’s efficient. Stool softeners, equivalent to sodium docusate (Colace and others), are an alternative choice. Most individuals discover psyllium is superior, but when the stool softeners are working nicely for you, there isn’t any must cease them. They’re protected and don’t trigger any sort of habituation nor long-term results on the colon. As I first famous, straining is dangerous, so therapy can stop issues.
Many individuals with constipation power themselves to drink a large amount of water. Whereas it’s actually true that not ingesting sufficient water may cause some constipation, this isn’t frequent. Most individuals don’t profit by going from regular water consumption to very excessive ranges, and extra water ingesting can have issues of its personal, particularly in individuals on diuretics, equivalent to hydrochlorothiazide or furosemide (Lasix).
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can a pores and skin check present if an individual will react poorly to a COVID-19 vaccine? I’ve had severe allergic reactions to so many meds! I’m too afraid to danger getting the shot. Can or not it’s given in half doses to minimize potential adversarial results? I received’t get the shot with out some assurance. – M.L.
ANSWER: The danger of a severe allergic response to a COVID-19 vaccine is small, roughly 5 individuals per million. The overwhelming majority of those occurred in individuals with earlier severe allergic reactions and occurred inside half-hour of the vaccine.
Individuals with a historical past of extreme allergic response, equivalent to anaphylaxis, to any vaccine must be referred to an allergist for analysis previous to vaccination. The allergist could do testing, equivalent to pores and skin testing, previous to giving the vaccine. The vaccine must be given the place educated consultants and applicable tools is straight away out there within the unlikely case of a extreme response.
Individuals with other forms of allergic responses to meals or medicines, equivalent to a rash to penicillin, are most likely at no larger danger than the overall inhabitants to get a extreme response to the COVID-19 vaccine. You must undoubtedly communicate along with your doctor about your private danger. Most individuals will have the ability to get the vaccine with no bother.
Dr. Roach regrets that he’s unable to reply particular person letters, however will incorporate them within the column every time potential. Readers could e mail inquiries to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or ship mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.