Can You Take MiraLax on the Atkins Diet?

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Close up of a man drinking water. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate weight loss program that allows you to eat a variety of proteins such as meat, fish and eggs while minimizing your carbohydrate intake. Although this type of dietary plan may aid in weight loss, you may experience side effects such as constipation due to decreased fiber intake from foods such as whole grain breads and other grains discouraged on the Atkins diet. If you experience constipation, your doctor may recommend a laxative such as MiraLax.

Causes

If you suffer from constipation, your bowel movements will come less than three times weekly. Low fiber intake in your diet may cause this to occur, but you may have constipation for other reasons. Lack of physical activity and dehydration could lead to fewer bowel movements. Certain medications may also cause constipation, and conditions of the intestines such as irritable bowel syndrome could also result in fewer bowel movements.

MiraLax

Your doctor may recommend MiraLax or other laxative to help regulate your bowel movements. This product comes in powder form that you must mix with water. Unless otherwise directed, you should not use MiraLax longer than two weeks, since this medication may have addictive properties. You should talk to your doctor before you begin taking this medication or any other laxative, and your doctor can help you determine if MiraLax offers your best form of treatment.

Side Effects

Laxatives such as MiraLax do not interfere with diet plans such as the Atkins diet, but this medication could result in side effects. You may experience an upset stomach, gas, abdominal pain and bloating. If you have these or other unusual side effects, contact your doctor. She can help you find an alternative treatment.

Diet Modifications

The Atkins plan consists of four phases of eating, and the first phase, known as the induction phase, has the greatest restriction on carbohydrate intake. As a result, this initial phase could cause constipation. Although other phases of the plan restrict carb intake, these phases gradually increase the amount of carbohydrates you can eat on the plan. If you and your doctor think your diet contributed to constipation, you may need to follow a less restrictive phase of the Atkins plan. You should also discuss other weight loss options, such as monitoring calorie intake and adding physical exercise to your daily routine.

Considerations

Talk to your doctor before you begin a restrictive diet such as the Atkins diet. Together you and your doctor can determine if low-carb eating will help you reach your goal weight while providing you with the necessary nutrients you need for your overall health.

You should not take medications like MiraLax and other laxatives without first consulting your doctor. These products could interfere with other medications you take and result in complications.

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