In medicine, sorbitol is used as a laxative for a long time. What is a substance, how does it work, are there any contraindications to its use?
Sorbitol, what is it?
Sorbitol, otherwise glucite is a multifaceted substance, has a mass of remarkable properties, is applicable in many spheres of life. It belongs to the class of hexatomic alcohols. A large amount of it is contained in the berries of mountain ash, but in the industry the derived raw material is corn starch.
Sorbitol is tiny crystals, they do not smell, they dissolve perfectly in water. It has a sweet taste, but not as pronounced as sugar, its sweetness is about 2 times lower. Used as a food additive in the production of products, known under the code E420, refers to substances safe for human health, has an energy value of 4 kcal / g.
The use of sorbitol in various areas of life:
- The food industry produces natural sorbitol-based sweetener. Products for people with diabetes are made from it. It is 98% absorbed by the body, therefore, is a worthy competition to synthetic analogues.
- Used in food production, as a means of retaining moisture, a color stabilizer, a preservative and an emulsifier.
- In medical practice, it is used as a drug capable of retaining liquid, and is used in the elimination of stool retention, in cholecystitis, hypovolemia, and chronic colitis.
- In pharmacology, it is added to syrups and coatings of drugs; it is a component of some toothpastes and vitamins.
- In cosmetology, sorbitol is one of the components of cosmetics.
The use of sorbitol covers many types of production.
Laxative sorbitol is quite a productive drug in the treatment of constipation. Sorbitol is present as the main component in the composition of the drug, its formula is C6H14O6. Available in the form of a powder or mixture with distilled water or a weak solution of alcohol. Prepackaged means in bags, ampoules or vials.
Pharmacological properties are indicated in the instructions for use:
Understanding how sorbitol works is easy:
- penetrating the intestines, it interferes with the process of absorption of fluid, attracts water;
- not adsorbed, moves to the colon;
- in it, under the influence of bacteria, the substance is converted into acids;
- they are also not absorbed, but create an increased pressure in the intestine;
- increases the volume of the contents of the colon, which stimulates peristalsis and contributes to the successful defecation.
Although at the present stage, sorbitol is not used so widely, now more modern preparations are used, but thanks to its positive qualities, doctors leave it without attention:
- It is indispensable when the patient is allergic to other medications, his natural origin does not cause an acute reaction of the body.
- Sorbitol does not cause irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa, which allows its use in gastric ulcer and gastritis.
- It is proved that when using sorbitol the body saves the B vitamins.
- It is noticed that the intestinal microflora becomes more stable.
- The drug is not related to the group of carbohydrates, therefore, is applicable for patients with diabetes.
- It does not lose its characteristics at high temperatures.
- When alcohol intoxication, it is also consumed, since it has a detoxification effect.
When you stop taking the drug, diarrhea stops, the body quickly makes up for lost time, the original weight is restored.
Dosage and administration
The use of sorbitol as a laxative is indicated in the instructions, the method of using the drug is marked:
- the powder is pre-dissolved in warm water;
- the drug is used alone, if necessary, 2 times a day, for 10 minutes, it is possible 5 minutes before eating;
- long-term treatment with sorbitol, about 1 or 2.5 months;
- solutions are designed for intravenous droppers, in this case, the course is 10 days;
As for the dosage, when using the sorbitol solution as a laxative, impressive doses are required. The effectiveness of treatment depends on their amount, if the drug is not enough, the result can be not obtained. This is usually not related to the weight of a person and depends on other individual factors. How to choose the necessary dosage of the agent for yourself, how to take sorbitol, as a laxative?
- If 40 g of the drug was taken, but no result followed, the process of gas formation began in the intestine, meteorism developed, which means that this is not enough.
- Then for a laxative effect, it is better to try to use 50 g.
- It is important not to exceed the dosage. Excessive amounts of a substance may adversely affect the condition. It is preferable to begin treatment with 40 g., Then, if this is not enough, gradually increase the dose, selecting the ideal option.
Sorbitol will have a positive effect if the acidity of gastric juice is normal or reduced. With increased acidity, the tool will not have the desired effect.
If the dosage is exceeded, the appearance is not excluded:
- gas formation;
- stomach pains;
- the development of diarrhea;
- slowing down the process of separation of bile:
- may develop irritable bowel syndrome;
It is observed that the absorption of fructose in this state decreases.
Usually the drug is well tolerated, but there are contraindications:
- fructose intolerance:
- increased acidity in the body;
- colon inflammation (colitis):
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Adverse reactions to sorbitol occur with intolerance to the remedy or, when a person uses the drug, neglecting the list of contraindications. The condition is characterized by symptoms:
- the appearance of dryness in the mouth;
- the development of thirst;
- problems with urination;
- allergic reactions in the form of lesions on the skin (urticaria) are not excluded;
- change in acid-base balance (acidosis);
- possible changes in the heart and tachycardia;
- in patients with diabetes mellitus with uncontrolled use, an increase in blood glucose is sometimes observed (hyperglycemia);
- visual impairment;
- vomiting, convulsions sometimes develop;
Therefore, before using it is necessary to consult a doctor.
A laxative is an excellent remedy for relieving constipation, but it is unacceptable to use any medication without a prescription. First, there is the risk of undesirable side effects. Secondly, perhaps it is not necessary, and constipation can be eliminated without medication.