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Can long term use of colon helper laxative lead to health risk?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 6135 Questions
Had my first colonoscopy today and found out that I have melanosis coli. It was obvious that what I was seeing on the screen (I was semi-awake) did not look like the healthy pink colon I had seen in the "what to expect" video. The doctor said it was nothing to worry about. Of course, I came home, looked it up and started worrying. I don't use any products that contain senna or cascara, but I have used a product called Colon Helper for years. Its main ingredient is aloe, which apparently can also cause this condition. My concern is that the discoloration is not just staining, but changes in the cell walls. Should I worry?
Posted Mon, 20 Jan 2014 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer: You need not worry about this. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you so much for trusting us with your health query. I am so sorry to hear about this finding on colonoscopy. As your doctor rightly said, it is an entirely benign finding that has no long term risk of becoming a cancer. The most common cause of this is long term use of a laxative. I have taken a look at the composition of this colon helper and it sees to be a form of laxative. Unless you have any issues with constipation, I will suggest that you stop this or at least discuss with your doctor about this. I hope you find this helpful. I wish you well. Thank you so much for using our services and please do feel free to ask for more information if need. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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