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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 58382
Experience:  GP in the United States
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Hi i am 67 years and I need help. For years after a

Customer Question


i am 67 years and I need help.

For years after a operation in my lumbar region at L1/L2, L5/S1 and later followed by L3/L4, my bowel movements are affected.

I have been using a slimming tea for years which contain senna leaves and this has helped to move my bowels daily but sometimes without control. This has resulted to a few embarrassing moments.

I have stopped taking the tea for 2 days and I find that I have no bowel movement in spite of taking fibre food.

My questions are:

1) Is the sliming tea containing senna tea a danger to my health?
2) What is the immediate remedy?

Many thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 4 years ago.
Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Thanks for these excellent questions.

I'm sorry you are not feeling so well.

1)The problem with senna is that it stimulates the bowels to move. Over time, the bowels become dependent on this effect

When the senna is removed, the bowels are unable to contract on their own right away and this rebound constipation can result.

So I would say that yes, this is bad for one's health.

There are no other ill effects

2)I would go to the store and buy a product called miralax. It is called movicol or miralax in the UK. You can ask the chemist for it. This product will help move the bowels safely.

It also doesn't produce this dependent effect like senna does.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, just reply. :)
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Hi--I would like to offer a different opinion here. I don't know whether you've had recent colonoscopy but if it hasn't been in the last year or so you need that. We can't be sure what your exact bowel problem is here and under no circumstances should you take any laxative until you first consult with your doctor about the problem. While this could be just simple constipation, there could be a problem with irritable bowel syndrome, an inflammatory colon disorder, or even colon cancer. We can't be telling you what to do at home for this.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 4 years ago.
Clearly you have developed rebound constipation from stopping senna.

This is quite common.

A colonoscopy is not necessary.

As always, you should discuss recommendations on this site with your doctor but a simple osmotic laxative should fix the problem.

good luck. :)

Don't forget a positive rating. I appreciate it.