Sunday, July 12, 2009

Milk of Mag

Did you know that one of the best ways to keep “regular” is by taking 2 tablespoons of milk of magnesia each night? I learned this at our medical content meeting the other day. We were into heavy discussions about what the most frequent questions are in the doctors office. For those who are 50+, one of the topics that is frequently discussed with their doctor is about constipation.

One of our physician writers said she advices her patients to eat high fiber bran cereal each morning and then in the evening, take 2 tablespoons of milk of magnesia. That is it! She says Milk of Mag is relatively cheap (generic brand and nonflavored is fine and usually less than $2), is easy to take, and has essentially no long term side effects.

As you probably know, when you're 50+, your bowel starts to slow down and is not as efficient as it used to be. This is why medical protocol tells us old fogies to get a flex sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy every 5 years starting when you are 50. These tests look in your bowel to see if there are problems with diverticulitis, or hemorrhoids, or even cancer. And some of these problems can be prevented or helped with simple milk of mag and bran.

So for those over 50, a little bran in the morning and a little nightcap of milk of magnesium each evening may be all you need to get back in the poop.

Nurse Beth, RN, BSN, MPA


Dan said...

Dear Nurse Beth,
A friend of mine in his 50s ... we'll call him Pepe Le Pew ... says that his family can't live with him eating bran since it increases his flatulence. Any advice?
Friend of Pepe

AnotherQ said...

Dear Friend of Pepe;
Ahhh, you have raised the famous old question of what is good for one may not be good for the many. Air pollution caused from flatulence is clearly not good for the many and if we had to take this to the town council for a vote, the council would vote in favor of the many.

So, your good friend can probably fore go the bran, probably eat some fruit (like an apple) and just take the night cap of milk of mag at night. This way, everyone can be satisfied. Pepe will have less flatulence, but the same poop. And the town can freely breathe unpolluted air.

Good luck, friend of Pepe Le Pew...I hope everything works "out".

Signed, Nurse Beth