Mineral oil enema is a home remedy used to relieve constipation. When mineral oil is taken via the rear, it coats the colonic walls and stops the excess absorption of water and softens the stools. The slippery nature of the oil also helps with the elimination process by making the fecal matter slide out very easily. Mineral oil is available easily at the drugstore without a prescription but should be used with caution. Side effects may occur after performing mineral oil enema.
1. Altered bowel function- The purpose of enema is to stimulate a bowel movement, but it is not necessary for this change to be a beneficial one. Sometimes the side effects could make it an unpleasant experience altogether. Some people may experience too much of an enema effect and develop bouts of diarrhea which may cause a lot of fluid loss. Therefore, it is required to drink lots of water to prevent dehydration. Another side effect of mineral oil enema is that with its prolonged use, you may stop having the natural urge of going to the toilet.
2. Upset stomach- Mineral oil enema may cause nausea, vomiting and stomach cramping. Though not everyone experiences these side effects, there are still chances. Eventually, the effect of these symptoms would fade away. But if they last for more than a day it is advisable to consult your doctor or physician as soon as you can.
3. Reduced absorption of Vitamins- Mineral oil enema may restrict the amount of nutrients absorbed by the digestive tract, which is a serious side effect. Malnutrition may occur due to the lack of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K if you keep using mineral oil for more than a week.
4. Rectal leakage– Rectal leakage is a common side effect of mineral oil enema which is a lot likely to occur with most people who perform a mineral oil enema. Oil, as well as fecal matter, may seep out through the rectum even after you have evacuated the enema solution. This kind of side effect could be very annoying and embarrassing.
5. Interaction with drugs- Mineral oil enemas could have unknown and potentially dangerous interaction when combined with some of the prescribed drugs. For instance, it is recommended that people taking anticoagulant medications are suggested to avoid taking mineral oil enemas. People taking any sort of medications or supplements should consult their doctor before getting started with the enema session.