Anti-Diarrhea Pills: Cure Of The Century?
When most of us suffer from diarrhea, most of us just keep popping Imodium pills down our throats until the soggy mess clears up. But how many of us actually know what we are taking and what is going on inside our bodies after taking this miracle cure?
It's soft, and you want it hard. Hmmm, there's a Viagra joke here...
Diarrhea is essentially caused by an imbalance or failure in the movement of the bowels, the secretion of feces, and/or the absorption of water. These clever little anti-diarrhea pills (well, most brands) work on all three degrees of this problem. This is because most brands, including Imodium, consist partly of a man-made opiate. This is required to semi-paralyze the bowels.
During an attack of diarrhea, the bowels contract rapidly, stopping the absorption of water and resulting in a dose of the squirts. By slowing these contractions, the pills allow your body to absorb more water, letting your stools get a more solid feel to them.
The last factor is the water that does not get absorbed. This is where the pills do even more wondrous stuff. Not satisfied with paralyzing your back passage, the pills contain "bulk-forming" agents. These particles absorb excess water and swell up, making your runny plops into nice, hard, firm turds.
It's been said that drinking salty water would also achieve the same effect, as this would help the process of osmosis in the bowels. But for anyone who has tasted salt water -- just you try and keep the bugger down.
There are downsides to these miracle pills. So far, reported side affects include:
- abdominal pain / discomfort
- drowsiness and dizziness
- dry mouth
- nausea and sickness
- skin rash
- constipation (D'OH!)
- and in very rare cases, children under three have experienced opiate-like highs.
So, now you know the risks before you pop another anti-diarrhea pill. The question NOW is: "How many can I take before I become CONSTIPATED?"