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IS POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL SAFE TO INGEST?

Polyethylene glycol is derived from petroleum and is made from ethylene glycol. Right off the bat, it should be obvious from these names that it is not a naturally occurring product. As an extra tidbit, ethylene glycol is the primary ingredient in anti-freeze. This should make consumers a little uncomfortable.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has many applications but a very typical one is used in its treatment of constipation. It is a laxative and helps the stools to retain water, therefore making it easier to expel.

PEG is very effective as a treatment for constipation but it is not without its side effects.

Why is PEG bad?

PEG is known to have the following side effects when used. The effects can worsen the longer it is used.

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping,
  • Increased sweating
  • Gas and upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Using PEG long term to cause bowel movements can lead to a dependency on it

Parents have also noted behavioral problems with their children after long term use of PEG. This ingredient is commonly recommended by pediatricians as the standard treatment for constipation in children. Before starting these treatments it is important to discuss with your doctor whether there are more natural treatments that can be attempted first.

Where can you find PEG?

You can buy PEG at virtually any drug store or supermarket. It is usually marketed under brand names such as Miralax. If a product is targeting constipation, check the ingredients to see if PEG is an active one.

How do you recognize PEG through labels?

PEG is usually listed on a label as POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 3350 so its very easy to recognize.

Alternatives to PEG laxatives

As with any laxative, please drink lots of water while taking them, natural or not. It is wise to consult a doctor before treating any medical conditions.

Finally

PEG is very effective for constipation. However, it is not a naturally occurring product and as a result, should be cause for concern. It can certainly help with debilitating bowel problems. One of the main concerns with using PEG, however, is that its use can be long term with many using it for many months to years.

Once you have started treatment consider a plan, with the approval of a doctor to remove it as a dependency.

Think again before you take POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL
Niki
Author: Niki

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