With the high prevalence of constipation in America it is unfortunately common to see the overuse of the over the counter laxatives. Some women get into a gradual but pervasive overuse syndrome where eventually they can’t have a bowel movement without the laxatives.
This situation is serious- not only does it decrease the quality of life on a daily basis, it can increase your chance of either full or partial ilieus (aka bowel obstructions) which can be life threatening.
Did you know that chronic laxative use can also stain the inside of your bowels with black spots that is visible on colonoscopy and it can also make your gut dependent on the laxative in the long run, adding to the very reason you started taking it in the first place!
So don’t be shy about talking to your doctor about not being regular- there are easy lifestyle changes they can suggest after making sure there is not another underlying condition(s) making you more prone to being constipated-
Warning signs that it is way OVERDUE in seeking professional medical help-
1. You have a hard time having a bowel movement every day or the time between movements are increasing day to day
2. You are using otc laxatives or “teas” to have a bowel movement more than once a week
3. You struggle with constant gas, bloating, heartburn issues
4. Bad breath and very noxious gas passing
5. Blood either on toilet paper, toilet water or mixed in with stool
6. Decreased appetite and weight loss
Just taking laxatives on a regular basis can hide any underlying issues and delay in diagnosis-
So don’t be too lax about taking laxatives.