Dependency on laxatives can bring serious medical problems such as intestinal disorders. The following HealthHearty article elaborates more on the ill-effects of laxative abuse.
Although laxatives seem to be a remedy for people who feel constipated, one cannot overlook its side effects that have been reported in many cases. Taking laxatives in more than normal dosage in the name of improving constipation symptoms and losing weight can ruin your health. Long-term usage of laxatives in the prescribed dosage is also considered to be a form of laxative abuse.
This is the result of not following dosage instructions. Taking too much of laxatives and the person is bound to experience diarrhea. Also, long-term use of laxative can cause chronic diarrhea.
Disturbances in Electrolyte Levels
The electrolytes in our body are sodium, chloride and potassium. Normal electrolyte levels in the blood have to be maintained for proper functioning of the heart and the muscles. However, this electrolyte balance deviates from normal range due to chronic diarrhea resulting from laxative abuse. Electrolyte imbalance can cause muscle weakness and even lead to heart failure.
If laxatives are not used properly, it can trigger dehydration. Frequent watery stools is the main reason behind dehydration. This can eventually cause kidney failure and tremors. Dehydration can also cause overall weakness and the person has higher chances of fainting.
Impairs Intestinal Function
Use of laxatives on a daily basis, can also have a negative impact on the intestinal health. Total dependence on laxatives make the intestines sluggish. In such cases, the intestines stop responding, unless the patient takes large doses of laxatives. In short, intestines lose their ability to evacuate stools without the use of these stimulants. Taking large doses of laxatives for prolonged amounts of time can put a person in the risk zone of colon cancer.
Occasionally using laxative is understandable but one simply cannot depend on these substances to stimulate bowel movement daily. Stopping usage of laxatives and taking a diet that promotes bowel movement is the right approach to treat constipation. Believe it or not, but the best remedy for constipation is to have a high fiber diet, coupled with exercise. Of course, drinking plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day) is the most important thing to treat as well as keep constipation at bay.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.