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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