Mineral oil has long been used as a popular home remedy when it comes to constipation. The oil coats the intestinal surface so that water could not be absorbed. The water will swell and softens the stools so that it can be eliminated from the body. Take note that the lubrication can also ease the pain during bowel movements. Even though this is a conventional remedy that has been proven to be relatively safe, there are certain side effects that you should be familiar with.
Even though mineral oil limits the absorption of water through the intestines, it can also disrupt the absorption of other vitamins and medications. It is important to wait at least two hours after taking mineral oil before other medications or supplements are taken.
Even stool softeners can disrupt the action of mineral oil and can be absorbed into the body. Just remember that mineral oil and stool softeners must be taken at least two hours apart.
Interactions with food
The anti-absorption properties of mineral oil can interfere with the absorption of nutrients and vitamins from food. Vitamins A, D, E and K are vital nutrients that are blocked by mineral oil. Take note that this is dangerous for fetal development, thus mineral oil should not be used during pregnancy. The mineral oil must be taken at least two hours apart from meals. In case mineral oil must be used, it must not be utilized for more than a week.
In some individuals, mineral oil can trigger allergies. The symptoms include hives, rash, chest tightness, breathing difficult as well as swelling of the face, mouth, lips and tongue. It is best to consult a doctor right away once these symptoms manifest. If you want to learn how to manage allergies, click here.
It is important to note that diarrhea can also cause diarrhea that can lead to nutrient loss and dehydration. The individual should drink 2-3 quarts of fluid in a day including those that contain electrolyte replacement such as sports drinks or chicken broth. The loss of salt and potassium from diarrhea can lead to harmful conditions including muscle cramps and abnormal heart rhythms. In case the diarrhea is severe, the individual should drink a sports drink that specifically offers electrolyte replacement.
Mineral oil can also affect how blood thinners work. Since it restricts the proper absorption of vitamin K which is vital in blood clotting, it can cause the blood to thin out abnormally, increasing the risk for severe bleeding. This can also be risky for women who are pregnant. It is best to consult a doctor before mineral oil is used if blood thinners are taken.
In some individuals, they develop dependence on mineral oil or other laxatives. Their bodies no longer produce bowel movements naturally. A doctor must be consulted if the individual fails to have a bowel movement within 6-8 hours after taking mineral oil or if symptoms such as vomiting, rectal bleeding, nausea, abdominal pain or there is a blocked intestine.