Laxatives

The aim of taking laxatives is easily stated: to produce the perfect little pile. Laxatives can coax even the shyest gut out of its shell. Laxatives come in various types, which work in different ways. For all hopelessly constipated travelers, slow transporters, campsite toilet objectors, or hemorrhoid-hindrance conquerors, here’s a look at that box of tricks.

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Our Digestive System

The digestive tract provides the body with a continual supply of water, electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients. To achieve this requires (1) movements of food through the alimentary tract; (2) secretion of digestive juices and digestion of the food; (3) absorption of water, various electrolytes, vitamins, and digestive products; (4) circulation of blood through the gastrointestinal organs to carry away the absorbed substances: and (5) control of these functions by local, nervous and hormonal systems.

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Constipation

Between 10 and 20 percent of people in the United States are constipated. If you want to join this club, you must fulfil at least one of the following conditions: bowel movement less than three times a week; particularly hard stool a quarter of the time, often in pellet form, which is difficult or impossible to pass without help (medication or tricks); no satisfying feeling of emptiness on leaving the toilet.

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Antibiotics

Antibiotics are reliable killers of dangerous pathogens. And their families. And their friends. And their acquaintances. And distant acquaintances of their acquaintances. That makes them the best weapon against dangerous bacteria—and the most dangerous weapon against good bacteria. But who is it who manufactures most antibiotics? It’s bacteria.

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Probiotics

We swallow many billions of living bacteria every day. They are on raw food, a few survive on cooked food, we nibble on our fingers without even thinking about it, we swallow our own mouth bacteria or kiss our way through the bacterial landscapes of others.

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Lactose Intolerance and Fructose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is not an allergy or a real intolerance at all, but a deficiency. But it, too, results from a failure to break down certain nutrients completely into their component parts. Lactose is found in milk. It is derived from two sugar molecules that are linked together by chemical bonds. The body requires a digestive enzyme to break that bond, but, unlike other enzymes, this one does not come from the papilla.

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Fever

A Fever is an abnormally high body temperature and may accompany infectious diseases, extensive physical trauma, cancer, or damage to the CNS. The substances that may cause a fever are called pyrogens.

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Natural Medicines

Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine practices since prehistoric times. Plants synthesis hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defense against insects, fungi, diseases, and herbivorous mammals.

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The Empires and Kingdoms of the Immune System

Imagine you were the grand architect of the immune system. Your job is to organize the defenses against millions of intruders that want to take it over. You get to build whatever defenses you like, although the accountants remind you that the body is on a tight energy budget, has no resources to spare, and they kindly ask you to not be wasteful.

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