How do anti-laxatives work?

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What do pills like Immodium and other anti-laxatives do? Isn’t it bad to stop yourself from using the bathroom? Since you’re getting rid of waste from your body, if you take an anti-laxative, does that keep the waste in?

In: Biology

It slows down the movement through the bowel giving the body more time to absorb water. If its some bacteria giving you the problem then it’s a bad idea to take it. However if its something like IBS and you have to get on with your day it’s useful.

Many laxatives work as the poster below states. Using them however, can be detrimental to your health. Consider a scenario where you ate some bad fish and have diarrhea. Your body is trying to eliminate the pathogenic bacteria and toxins it produces by increasing the water in the gut and flushing it out with peristalsis. If you stop the water or the peristalsis you leave in the toxins, and the bacteria. This can lead to diseases like SIBO, Crohn’s, and gastroparesis.