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The Poop on MiraLAX

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

February 28th, 2013  |  24 Comments

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This week we've got a guest post from my good friend Dr. Kaayla Daniel, the naughty nutritionist. I talk to many parents who have been told by their child's doctor that daily MiraLAX is the solution to their child's digestive woes. Kaayla explains in her typical, cheeky way why following that advice is detrimental to long-term health.

Is MiraLAX the New Vioxx? That’s the provocative title of an article by Konstantin Monastyrsky, the author of Fiber Menace.

As of March 2012, the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System showed 2,257 “adverse events” ranging from forgetfulness to death caused by MiraLAX and other polyethylene glycol-containing “block buster” laxative drugs.  Movicol, Dulcolax, LAX-a-Day and a host of other over-the-counter “super poopers” have also been implicated.

The problem is “neuropsychiatric events.” So far, FDA — in its usual “lax” fashion — has decided “no action is necessary at this time.” Yet the laxatives could be contributing to a long list of central and peripheral nervous system disorders, including autism, dementia, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

What’s the problem?  “Collateral damage” from polyethylene glycol,” which “shouldn’t surprise anyone, least of all seasoned pharmacists and medical doctors,” says Monastyrsky. “This industrial chemical is manufactured by Dow Chemical Company for use in wood treatments, paints, coatings, rubber, textiles, detergents and  toilet bowl cleaners.”

Toilet bowl cleaners? Yes. Shocking but true. Could it be that Big Pharm has come out with a product that not only acts as an effective laxative but produces poop with its own built-in toilet cleaner!  (The Naughty Nutritionist here just can’t understand how Merck missed the opportunity to market it as a cost-effective  “two-for-the-price-of-one” product.)

Sadly, it’s not a joking matter.   As Monastyrsky explains:

“The same properties of PEG that make it an excellent toilet bowl cleaner, also wipe clean the mucosal membrane of the large intestine, leaving the colon unprotected and cancer-prone, a situation similar to a dry mouth.   On top of the mucosal membrane damage, a high osmotic gradient of polyethlene glycol solution decimates intestinal bacteria — decimates intestinal bacteria — single cell organisms — just as mercilessly as antibacterial soaps, antibiotics, or heavy metals.

“The resulting death of intestinal bacteria is called dysbiosis in the United States and disbacteriosis in the rest of the world.    Dysbiosis reduces primary immunity, causes a broad range of neurological and blood disorders, makes occasional constipation chronic and more severe, ensures lifelong dependence on laxatives, and is behind ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and colorectal cancer.”

And you thought laxatives just helped you poop!


To follow Dr. Kaayla Daniel, The Naughty Nutritionist, please visit her YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/drkaayladaniel
To learn more from Konstantin Monastyrsky about gut health and adverse effects go to:  http://bit.ly/YGNq8s

Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


24 thoughts on “The Poop on MiraLAX”

  1. Curious says:

    Could the same thing be said about colonics? I don’t think that colonics will kill single cell organisms but could they be flushed out and cause dysbiosis and therefore reduce primary immunity as well.

    1. joette says:

      I’ve not been a fan of routine colonics for that very reason. most add beneficial enzymes, instead of carpet cleaners (or toilet bowl cleaners) but the idea of “cleaning” the colon other than with quality foods, movement and indigenous methods, makes me pause with questions.

  2. Amy S. says:

    This does not surprise me at all. It’s right in line with the traditional medical philosophy of suppressing the symptoms instead of finding the cause and then the true cure. And like many of these temporary fix-it jobs, they make more problems to fix in the process. It’s examples like this which pushed me out of the world of traditional medicine and into the arms of homeopathy and alternative medicine.

  3. Amy S. says:

    And one more thing–I don’t understand how the medical world still hasn’t caught onto the importance of the gut and keeping it healthy. Most disease begins in the gut. Look there, first, on your hunt for health.

    1. joette says:

      Adult, or child, and are there food allergies, intolerances, and other issues? Most kids, for example, who are picky eaters have respiratory issues, skin or food allergies.

  4. LHC says:

    So what do you suggest as a natural alternative to the picky eater?

    1. Adult, or child, and are there food allergies, intolerances, and other issues? Most kids, for example, who are picky eaters have respiratory issues, skin or food allergies and are often approached best with homeopathy based on the entire person.

  5. Beth says:

    Thanks for the excellent and sobering info. There’s a discussion over at Chris Kresser’s blog on the potential risks of colonoscopies with quite a few concerns expressed in the comment section about the harmful prep products required (such as MiraLax). I wonder — is it possible to devise a list of better alternatives, for those who decide to go ahead with the test? Ideally it would include restorative post-test recommendations as well.

  6. Larissa says:

    I, too, would love some alternatives to keep my constipated toddler moving until his gut heals enough from the constipation to move regularly. Must be easy to consume, preferably with fingers, and tasty to toddlers!

    1. kimber says:

      Quality Probiotics daily…and Aloe Vera Juice. AVJ can be mixed with water or other juice – not much taste. For lax effect start with one oz & increase from there to desired results.

    2. rachel says:

      I give my girls apple and/or prune juice mixed with water. A little bit goes a LONG way.

  7. Donna says:

    Unfortunatley, anything touted by the FDA as “safe” is to be scrutinized very closely, and this drug is no exception. Did you all hear the latelst news that the new head of the FDA is the former CEO of Monsanto? The company responsible for spreading toxins throughout our food supply? Be wary, and be careful Dont trust the FDA, now more than ever.

  8. Fiona says:

    Oh no! My two year old had terrible constipation and the doctor put him on miralax for a month! He seems fine now (a year later) but is there anything I can do to counteract any damage that may have been done?

    1. joette says:

      i remain trusting of the information offered by the Weston A. Price Foundation.com. Dr. Weston Price emphasized the importance of building the gut via foods. that would be kefir, yogurt, (of high quality and high fat sorts), raw milk, fermented vegetables and such.

  9. mamaverse says:

    Thanks for this simple, but important, information! I wish more people would read it!!

  10. joette says:

    Since I believe that colonoscopies are inherently fraught with dangers, I have not given any thought as to how to make them safe. As dubious as the prep products are, they’re not the greatest danger. How about the general anesthesia and the potential for mechanical injury to the colon? The routine use of this procedure is archaic, overused and redundant, in that there are many ways to determine colon health without colonoscopies. Don’t ask your proctologist though, he/she only knows this method.

  11. veronica says:

    this is no relationship at all to colonics any more than washing your dirty skin with water would strip it of its balance

  12. Amanda says:

    As an alternative we’ve had great success solving the occasional “digestive issue” in our family using the herb Cape Aloe in concert with a daily probiotic.

  13. Joy says:

    I have a home day-care and I have seen three children in the last 5 years on mira-lax. Currently I have a 14 month old on it. Her Mom did it for five days. The oldest one is now 8 and was on it very long term. She still has lots of problems. Her health has really suffered. The other one is now four and has been on it for two years. She can’t poop without it.
    I find this so tragic.

  14. Cecilia says:

    My Dad died of Colon Cancer, so at age 48 have already had 2 colonoscopies and due for the 3rd. What’s your alternative to them?

  15. Sonya says:

    I read this article and started crying… My 5yo son is autistic and has been constipated since beginning solids as an infant. His GI put him on Miralax nearly a year ago, he takes it daily. She assured me it was safe. Thanks for the article. I would love to know about safe alternatives for my little boy. I’ll keep checking back.

  16. Amy says:

    So now that we know how terrible Miralax is, what do we do? I appreciate the article, but it leaves the reader feeling helpless and hopeless. Nothing at all is said about WHAT DO WE DO? Once you quit taking it, and begin a traditional foods diet, will the damage be reversed? My son, now 15, was on Miralax for a full YEAR – EVERY DAY – and maybe a little longer (I can’t remember specifically now). He had CHRONIC constipation from the time he was 2 until he was 5 and finally we began the Miralax. When I got my grain mill we had him quit the Miralax and he hasn’t had trouble since. He appears to be the picture of health now – tall, strong, vibrant, smart, etc. But I have worried about his gut health ever since. This article puts fear and concern into a parent who has dealt with a child on Miralax, and then leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. Nothing is mentioned about, “What now?” I would welcome your feedback, comments, and advice on this. Thank you.

    1. I tend to think that when the person has come out of a medical issue unscathed, such as with your son, that the body has righted it self. the human mechanism is amazing and can compensate and overcome a great deal when given the tools. and you have supplied them.

      This is not medical advice, but rather an observation and information based on homeopathic principles.

      If there was indeed a lingering issue, then working with a homeopath would be my approach. Each individual must be worked with as just that…an individual. so that means there’s no simple answer.

      As a parent, i’d feel pretty satisfied with myself, if I were you.

      Good job, Dad.

  17. Joel says:

    I thank you for the interesting topic.

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